Long Term Test Report: Renault Megane Coupé GT dCi 160
The end is nigh. The hot blue hatch is off to pastures new. After a final few trips, Lisa Curtiss looks back at what she’s loved and liked least over the past year in Renault’s hottest diesel Megane.
With its collection date looming, I’ve been determined to make the most of the remaining time left with the Megane. I’ve had relatives staying to ferry around in it to all the local sights, a few Heathrow runs and a couple of jaunts up to Silverstone for the Grand Prix and a cracking time at Porsche’s Driving Experience Centre, located just inside the circuit gates. The drive to Silverstone was one of the first trips I did in the Megane; rather fitting really, considering its Renaultsport pedigree, which has provided a thoroughly decent and engaging drive over the year.
Overall, this car has genuinely impressed me. It’s been 100 per cent reliable, fault-free and a real pleasure to drive. It’s also been the chariot of choice for most of my errands, despite a plethora of attractive challengers from Renault and other manufacturers’ fleets, primarily because it’s cracking looking, versatile and easy to live with, as well as capable of providing some decent driving fun.
Looking more at what the car has highlighted as its good points: it can bowl fluidly along on the motorway with ample punch to overtake at speed. It has a wallow-free, firm ride and reasonable fuel consumption even while cruising around the licence decorating limits. The car has plenty of grip, feels secure to throw around and its steering nicely precise.
The leg, shoulder and headroom in the rear is adequate unless you’re a member of the 6ft-plus club, but if that’s the case, jump into the front passenger seat where you can stretch out with ease. The seats are supportive and comfortable and the boot is well proportioned and has managed to accommodate what seems to be an Argos and Pets Corner’s worth of items over the year, including awkward stuff like large TVs, shrubs, golf clubs and even the odd bale of hay.
The satellite navigation has been excellent, easy and fast to use with its postcode facility and has proved accurate to a fault. The air conditioning is super-efficient, and in terms of general dash layout, it’s practical and well thought out. I’ve particularly appreciated the easily reachable open cubby space for bits and pieces like sunglasses, my purse and mobile phone under the radio in the centre of the dash, and the wide door pockets large enough for my handbag to fit. I’ve also made good use of the covered central storage cubby behind the gear lever to keep items like my camera, batteries, notepads and pens stowed neatly out of sight.
In terms of cabin quality and durability, apart from managing a slight scratch on the glove box cover courtesy of one of my super-sized moggies charging loose from his carrier mid way to the vets, all seats and plastics are as good as new. A particular bonus considering my frequent journeys with mucky-fingered kids, especially with trips to the beach and muddy forests.
And last but not least, arguably the key highlight for me has been the car’s cracking good looks, which still appear fresh and modern and really make it stand out from the crowd. Its curves, colour, striking alloys, quantity of chrome, attractive lights and Renaultsport features fetchingly combine to create what’s proved to be a real eye-catcher of a car and one I’ve felt proud to drive. It’s attracted admiring glances on every outing and many an ‘Oi nice car love!’
Down-sides? Honestly very few. A lack of visibility out of the side and rear has been my only real gripe, with pedals which have sometimes proved slippery under wet shoes a minor second and finally, after a downpour, when you open the boot, sometimes rain water drips inside. Of the many, many cars I’ve owned and had on loan throughout my life, this Megane GT is right up there with those that are the most missed.
However, if you happen to be on a budget, live in Glasgow and beyond and are currently looking for some used cars in Glasgow, why don’t you visit motors.co.uk and peruse what they have to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Renault Megane Coupé GT dCi 160
|Price when new:||£23.475|
|Price as tested (including options):||£25,110|
|Optional extras:||Arkamys 3D sound 4x30W radio CD with Bluetooth and multi-function TunePoint, automatic dual-zone climate control, Carminat TomTom, metallic paint.|
|Engine:||1995cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel|
|Power output:||158bhp at 3,750rpm|
|Maximum torque:||80lb ft at 2,000rpm|
|Maximum towing weight:||1,300kg|
|Fuel consumption:||47.9mpg (official combined)41.7mpg (on test)|
|CO2 emissions (Taxband):||155g/gm (G)|
|Benefit in kind tax liability:||24%|
|Size (Length/width with mirrors):||4,295/2,037mm|
|Boot space (Minimum/maximum):||344/991litres|
|EuroNCAP safety rating:||5 stars (5-door tested)|
|Date arrived:||30th July 2010|
|Mileage to date:||10,792miles|
|Costs to date:||None|
|Faults to date:||None|