Recommended. If you’ve got your heart set on a Megane RS the GT NAV will keep you going nicely until it arrives.
The Renault Megane, like all cars in the French manufacturer’s range, is in a good place. Like the rest of the range, notably the Clio, it’s looking great, has plenty of appeal inside and out and lots going for it in driving terms.
But the one that the petrol heads have come to deem somewhat legendary is the RS – the stripped-down, full-fat, race car for the road. Renault hasn’t yet got around to doing a version for its newest Megane, but in the GT NAV that we drove we have something to keep us amused in the meantime.
It looks great, for a kick-off, as we alluded to above, but even more so with the embellishments that come with a sporty body kit. More importantly, though, it goes very well indeed, even if it isn’t a full-on hot RS.
It gets to 62mph in 7.2 seconds and that’s nice and tidy for a hottish hatch. Top end is 143mph, which, again, isn’t too shabby. That power comes from a 1.6 petrol – not exciting on paper, but Renault has managed to get 205hp out of it. Despite impressive performance stats it’s still good for 47 to the gallon and CO2 of 134g/km.
So it’s quick and fun and that’s added to very much by the sharp handling and the fact that it has plenty of grip to boot. It’s a thoroughly engaging drive – in many ways it ticks the boxes of what a quick hatchback should be.
Part of that is the firm ride, which makes you feel more connected to the road, adding to that semi-race car experience. It sounds sporty, too.
If you’re happy with all of that, wait until you stick it in RS Drive mode. Things get very angry and even closer to that full hot hatch experience. In some ways that’s going to suit a lot of people – you can dial it up when you want to have some fun and dial it down for everyday use.
On the inside it’s a big leap for interior quality compared to previous-generation Renaults and you get a cool upright screen as well. Standard kit for the GT includes carbon black upholstery, tinted windows, black 16in alloys, air con, electric windows all round, cruise control, digital radio and Bluetooth.
The GT NAV trim, which we drove, adds plenty more, including a rear parking camera, lots of automatic functions, 18in alloys, the body kit, Renault Sport trim, sports seats, climate control and more.
There aren’t many downsides to this car – it’s a bit tight in the back and that’s about it. So it is, therefore, a serious alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the SEAT Leon Cupra, not least because it undercuts them price-wise.
1. It’s an underestimated hottish hatch.
2. It looks cracking.
3. It’s useable every day.
We don't like:
1. It’s a little tight in the back.
2. Nothing else.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The GT goes very nicely, even if it’s not the full-blooded RS.
Most sensible: Despite being a hot hatch it’s reasonable on economy.
Next: ratings and breakdown