2014 Renault Megane Review: A Facelift In Its True Meaning

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 31, 2014

First launched back in 1995, the Renault Megane has been on the market for almost 20 years and continues to be quite a rival for its German competitors and other players on the market. Last week, we had the chance to test the 2014 Renault Megane Facelift, which was launched back in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and we must admit that we were quite impressed with the car. We had the chance to drive this model last week in Spain, where we also visited the Palencia site, the place where Renault builds the Megane.

For those of you who do not know yet, the latest facelift includes a larger and more prominent Renault badge, a redesigned bumper and a new bonnet, but also new daytime running lights and redesigned headlights. Although these are the only made at the exterior, this is a sophisticated makeover, which boosts the image of the Megane.

A reversing camera helped us park the cars and avoid any obstacles found behind the vehicles. But this is not all, as the Megane comes with a reversing radar too, able to show the drivers how close they are to an obstacle via a sound alert.

All the models tested featured the Bose badges on the fenders, meaning that the vehicles are offered with a gloss black bumper surround along with new upholstery and new 17-inch Akhiro wheels. And this is not all as the Megane Bose model also comes with protective side moldings in chrome and lacquer black, while the Megane Sport Tourer is fitted with chrome-finished roof bars and side window surrounds.

The Megane III ranks among the most reliable cars in its segment and the best proof is the ADAC 2012 (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club) survey that ranks the Megane as “good” or even “excellent” over the service period between 2007 and 2002.

The Megane models that were built in 2009, 2010 and 2011 are ranked as “excellent”. Whether you like the coupe, sport tourer or the hatchback version, the 2014 Renault Megane Facelift remains one of the best choices and the best rival for the VW Group rivals.

Prices for Megane Hatchback, Megane Coupe and Megane Estate start from €20,300, €23,400 and €21,100 respectively. The Megane GT starts at €31,900.

Interior Design

Inside, changes are subtle but the cabin of the Megane remains a pleasant place to sit in due to the high quality of the materials used by the French carmaker. Our test car featured the R-link infotainment centre that supports downloadable apps, as well as smartphone integration. We loved it and we must tell you that this is one of the best interfaces found in its segment.

The Renault R-Link integrated multimedia tablet is offered as an option or, depending on model and trim level (excluding the coupe-cabriolet), as standard. Renault’s R-Link technology groups all the multimedia functions such as navigation, radio, telephony with Bluetooth and audio streaming, as well as connectivity for mobile devices in 26 languages.

Depending of the country, over 50 apps can be downloaded in-car. All the functions of the R-Link are controlled via the 7-inch (18 cm) touch screen. Some of the functions can be activated using voice commands, while the Text to Speech (TTS) function automatically vocalizes text messages and RSS flows for some apps once the vehicle is in motion.

The only thing we didn’t like was the fact that the display offers touchscreen support but the driver has to stretch his arm to reach it. Still, do not be alarmed as the Megane comes with a joystick that can control the R-link. We do expect the next-generation Megane to integrate its infotainment system more ergonomically.

The interior of the cars we tested were highlighted by the addition of the Bose sound system, which is a must for those who enjoy good music on long trips.

Powertrain

Under the hood, our test car featured the new 1.2-liter Energy TCe 130 petrol engine that delivers 130 hp and 205 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm. The Energy TCe 130 comes with Stop&Start as standard in order to reduce fuel consumption by 15%. This engine offers a smooth ride as well as a decent amount of performance but also a fuel consumption of just 5.4 l/100 km (combined cycle). In the extra-urban cycle, fuel consumption is reduced to an impressive 4.6 l/100 km.

CO2 emissions reach only 124 g/km. Despite the fuel-efficiency, the performances are decent: a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds and a top speed limited at 190 km/h. We also tried this engine on the coupe version and we were not disappointed at all. Moreover, we had the chance to drive the Megane Sport Tourer model powered by the 1.6-liter Energy dCi 130 diesel engine that generates 130 hp and 320 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm.

This engine has a fuel consumption of just 4 l/100 km (combined cycle), which translates into CO2 emissions of 104 g/km. In the extra-urban cycle the vehicle has a fuel consumption of 3.6 l/100 km.

Regarding the performances, the engine pushes the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds, while top speed is limited at 200 km/h. Renault offers as standard a manual gearbox for all engines, but as an option the EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) automatic transmission is available.

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