Renault Megane

Megane is a successful project, so successful to reverse the slumping sales of the French company. In 1998, it was the second best selling car in Europe, having sold 580,000 units in the forms of 5 doors hatchback, 4 doors saloon, 3 doors coupe, 2 doors cabriolet coupe and the 5 seats MPV called Scenic. It won the customers' heart by refinement, practicality and especially value for money. 

A mid-life facelift has been made in early 1999, costing some £107 million. The whole front end has been redesigned, incorporating a BMW-like grille with chromed surround. Most comment is quite crude to this change, so is mine. 

As predicted, a facelift won't alter the basic monocoque body and the suspensions (MacPherson struts in front and trailing arms in the rear). Most of the work has been done to the engine compartment - in addition to the old 8V engines, Clio's 110hp 1.6 litres 16V and a new 95hp 1.4 litres have joined the range. The 1.6 unit is quite torquey, especially within a wide 2500-4000rpm band. It is also sufficiently quiet and smooth, except in high rev where more noise generated. 

As before, the Megane still rides on soft suspension setting, that guarantee supple ride in the price of body control. Steering is too light and too slow (3.5 turns lock-to-lock) for an exciting drive, therefore it is still not a driver's car. 

The new cabin is surrounded by plastic of improved quality. ABS, trip computer, passenger and side air bag are standard. New Megane is more bargain than ever. 

The above report was last updated on 2 May 99. All Rights Reserved.

Megane Coupe

Megane Coupe is not so good. Although it has a 150hp 16v 2 litres engine comes from the discarded Clio Williams, it is no more inspiring in handling than the sedan. Furthermore, the dashboard is virtually carried over from the sedan, once again robbed it with the coupe image that it pretends to be. In fact, Megane Coupe is only a GTi with a coupe look and less rear seats space. 
The above report was last updated in 1998. All Rights Reserved.


Megane 1.6 5dr
Megane Coupe 16v
Front-engined, Fwd
Front-engined, Fwd
L / W / H / WB: 
4129 / 1699 / 1420 / 2580 mm
L / W / H / WB: 
3931 / 1699 / 1366 / 2468 mm
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl.
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl.
1598 c.c.
1998 c.c.
110 hp
150 hp
109 lbft
136 lbft
F: strut / R: torsion beam
185/60 R15
195/50 R16
1090 kg
1154 kg
Top speed
130 mph*
0-60 mph
7.8 sec*
0-100 mph
22.1 sec*
* Tested by Autocar

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