Safety is a top priority for Renault's new Mégane small family car. That is why it was given a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. After all, it is underpinned by Renault's Common Module Family (CMF) platform that also underpins the Kadjar crossover.
This CMF platform employs high elastic limit steel for the spars and side rails as well as cross members located between the engine compartment and the cabin. To illustrate the strength of this limit steel, just a square millimeter could bear a load of 120 kg.
Moreover, this platform allows the integration of operative occupant restraint systems like dual-generator front airbags. These airbags – which deploy according to the type of impact as well as according to the position of the vehicle occupant – have allowed the new Mégane to receive high scores in terms of both adult and child protection.
During side impacts, front occupants are protected by two latest-generation two curtain airbags and two side airbags. It also boasts of seat belts with pretensioners and adaptive load limiters, which adjust the degree of restraint according to the severity of the impact and the build of occupants.
Aside from these safety elements, the Mégane features an array of driver assistance systems already equipped on larger Renault vehicles. One of these is the Adaptive Cruise Control, which automatically adjusts the Mégane's speed to ensure that there is a safe distance between the car and the vehicle at the front.
Another reassuring system is the Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS), which gives a warning to prompt the driver to brake to avoid a head-on collision. This system also applies brakes automatically in emergency situations.
The Mégane also features a number of warning systems like Lane Departure Warning, Safe Distance Warning and Overspeed Protection with Traffic Sign Recognition, as well as Blind Spot Warning. Lane Departure Warning informs drivers that the Mégane is departing from its lane without turning on the indicators while the Safe Distance Warning system ensures that drivers maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
On the other hand, Blind Spot Warning provides a visual warning when it detects a vehicle in one of the door mirror’s blind spots. Overspeed Protection with Traffic Sign Recognition, meanwhile, is able to read traffic signs, thereby accordingly adjusting the cruise control’s speed setting.
Driving is made a lot easier with the Mégane as it features a number of driving aids like Hands Free Parking with front, rear and lateral parking sensors as well as a reversing camera. This small car automatically switches from dipped to main beam head lights and vice-versa sans driver intervention.
Mégane comes with a color head-up display in the line of sight, thereby providing information on majority of the driver assistance systems as well as its speed and navigation instructions. Aside from the Mégane, Euro NCAP also awarded the Renault Talisman with a five-star rating.
The CMF-underpinned Kadjar and Espace were also given five-star ratings by Euro NCAP earlier this year. Renault boasts of the anti-submarining technology employed for its vehicles. This technology, which was first launched 15 years ago, prevents occupants from sliding beneath their seat belt during a head-on impact.
This technology has been made better with the use of specific crash test dummies equipped with more flexible groins – thereby allowing Renault to obtain simulations that almost match real-world situations. Renault's anti-submarining technology involves extensive work on seat ergonomics and on the positioning of the seat belt anchor points. The benefits of this technology have prompted
Euro NCAP to employ it as one of the criteria for its protocol starting January 2015.