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Renault Megane Review

Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane
Renault Megane

1/10

Renault Megane

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Renault Megane

3/10

Renault Megane

4/10

Renault Megane

5/10

Renault Megane

6/10

Renault Megane

7/10

Renault Megane

8/10

Renault Megane

9/10

Renault Megane

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, Plug-in Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Comfortable, quiet, but cramped hatch

Best bits

  • Strong refinement and comfort
  • Stylish exterior design 
  • Low running costs on diesel models

Not so great

  • A bit sloppy in corners
  • Dual-clutch gearbox hesitant
  • Fiddly infotainment

Read by

Renault Megane driving

Overall verdict

Renault Megane interior

On the inside

Renault Megane rear

Driving

Renault Megane side profile

How much does it cost to run

Renault Megane rear

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Renault Megane

"The Renault Megane is a handsome family hatch with a good level of standard equipment, temptingly low prices and a plush, comfortable ride. It's relaxing to drive, without displaying any real wow-factor. Still, its narrow engine line-up, so-so cabin quality, mediocre practicality and sloppy body control make it an also-ran in this class."

Renault Megane driving

In fact, it feels stuck in the past, as a car that was built to take on a two-generation old Volkswagen Golf – by offering a solid feel and a very comfortable ride. Sadly for this fourth-generation Megane, things have moved on significantly. 


It was originally launched back in 2016, given an update in 2018 and revised again in 2020.  The latest version gets full LED headlight, C-shaped front indicators and scrolling rear indicators, while it also brought with it the R.S. Line trim, which essentially makes it look like a Renaultsport model, but without the performance or high runnings costs – think Ford Focus ST-Line or Volkswagen Golf R-Line.  


As before comes in three different body styles, but we only get the five-door hatchback and the roomier Megane Sport Tourer estate – which can now be had as a plug-in hybrid – in the UK. When it first arrived on our shores, the Megane had three diesel and two petrol engines for buyers to pick from, but now the line-up has slimmed significantly, with just one of each fuel type available.


The TCe turbo petrol has a 1.3-litre capacity and 140PS output, while the Blue dCi diesel is a 1.5-litre with 115PS, and both come with a six-speed manual as standard. Buyers can add a dual-clutch ‘EDC’ automatic transmission to either engine, with a small hit to fuel economy, but a noticeable increase in their acceleration.


Unless you plan on covering epic mileages, the TCe would be our pick. It's a smooth and (at low speeds, anyway) gutsy engine with just as much poke as the diesel car, but a broader power band, so it feels more relaxing to drive in most settings. It'll manage mid-forties mpg at a steady cruise too, which is not bad considering the performance it provides.


However, the diesel is also impressively refined on the motorway, and will manage over 60mpg, putting it up there with the most frugal cars in this class. Both engines suit the Renault's relaxed character. It has soft suspension that's great at soaking up bumpy roads, but does start to wallow about if you push it too hard – the Ford Focus and SEAT Leon almost feel like sports cars by comparison. 


The quick steering doesn't help – it feels like you turn the wheel and wait for the rest of the body to catch up , while the steering resembles stirring a bowl of thick soup, rather than actually telling you what the front wheels are up to. It's also surprisingly easy to spin up the tyres powering out of corners. In fairness, the brakes are easy to use smoothly and the gear shift is reasonably tight and precise, but it's not enough to make the Megane any better than average to drive. 


The original range kicked off with Expression, then Dynamique and Signature trims, plus GT and GT Line, the 2018 facelift scaled that back to Play, Iconic and GT Line models, and the 2020 model year trimmed the line-up down further to just two models – Iconic and the aforementioned R.S. Line.  


In fairness to the Megane, it feels expensive inside with plenty of soft touch plastics, metal ventilation knobs and a glassy finish to the centre console.  The trouble is, the media system feels like the missing link between cars from a decade ago, and the slick, all-digital driving environments you'll find in the latest Volkswagen Golf or Skoda Octavia.


Both of the cars we've just mentioned can play the role of family transporter better than the Megane, too, as the French car has some questionable ergonomics up front, a back seat that's very cramped and a boot that's not particularly easy to load. 


That's the trouble with the Megane – it feels like a car that has to take on the new Volkswagen Golf armed with 10-year-old Golf technology. 

Is the Renault Megane right for you?

There is no denying that the curvaceous design of the Megane will come as a welcome tonic to buyers sick of the same incredibly conservative designs pumped out by Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Ford year after year.


However anyone enamoured with the exterior might feel a tad disappointed by posh feeling interior's standard infotainment system that's feeling its age, especially compared with the sleek, almost button-free cabins of the new Seat Leon, Skoda Octavia, and Volkswagen Golf. It's not a car for tech-savvy business users.


What the Megane does do well is offer a quiet life behind the wheel. It's calm and relaxing in most driving scenarios, with quiet engines, a frugal diesel option, and a surprisingly low price considering the kit on offer. It'll suit buyers on a budget who want a family car with a bit of panache. Be warned though, that it's not the most spacious or practical choice.

What's the best Renault Megane model/engine to choose?

If you’re buying a used Megane then look out for the discontinued engines, especially the powerful 1.6-litre TCe 205 turbo petrol. This engine was only offered on the sporty GT Nav trim, but it's a quick, affordable car.


Similarly, the older 1.6 dCi 130 is less parsimonious than its 115PS relation, but a better all-rounder thanks to its greater pulling power and still respectable running costs, with a real world 60mpg figure entirely possible.


From the current range, the TCe petrol is our pick, because the Megane weighs more than other cars in this class, and it needs the additional performance this engine brings over the diesel, and it's cheaper to buy too.


Neither gearbox is particularly impressive, so unless you really need an automatic, we'd avoid the hesitant dual-clutch transmission in favour of the six-speed manual, purely on the basis of saving a few extra quid.


All Meganes come well equipped, so it's hard to go wrong with any of the trims, but we'd nudge you towards the mid-range Iconic (earlier cars ) for its additional safety features, built-in sat-nav and larger wheels.

What other cars are similar to the Renault Megane?

Family buyers are spoilt for choice, whether looking for a five-door hatchback like the Megane, or a raised-up SUV sat on the same platform. For those after the former, it all depends on what your priorities are going in.


Company car buyers keen to cut their bills should check out the Toyota Corolla. It's as quiet and cosseting as the Megane, but its hybrid system means it will cost a lot less in BIK - under £100 in the cheapest Icon trim. Anyone who needs a huge interior and massive boot should look no further than a Skoda Octavia, while the closely-related SEAT Leon offers a sportier drive, and the new Volkswagen Golf is impressively hi-tech inside.


Those on a tighter budget should check out entry-level versions of the Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra. Keener drivers will get more satisfaction behind the wheel of the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 than in the heavy Renault.


As we mentioned above, there's an army of high-riding SUVs that do a similar job, but offer an upright driving position, and greater versatility. These include Renault's own Kadjar, the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Karoq.

Learn more

Renault Megane interior

On the inside

Renault Megane rear

Driving

Renault Megane side profile

How much does it cost to run

Renault Megane rear

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Are Renault Megane cars reliable?

This generation of Renault Megane feels solid and owners report fewer problems than with the old model. Watch out for clogged DPF filters on diesel models and automatic gearboxes are reported to be more fragile than manuals.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

How good is a Renault Megane?

The Renault Megane is alright if you want a car that's comfortable and solid, but its back seat is unforgivably tight and it doesn't feel very reassuring in corners.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

Where is Renault Megane manufactured?

The current version of the Renault Megane is built in Renault's car plant in Palencia, Spain.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

When is the cam belt change on a Renault Megane?

Renault recommends timing belt change for the Megane to be every 72,000 miles or five years whichever comes first.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

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