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Vehicle Reviews

Renault Mégane 1.4 TCe GT-Line

Renault Megane

Of all the vehicles that I have had the opportunity of driving, I have always wanted to get myself behind the wheel of the Renault Mégane, specifically the previous or alternatively the latest variant on offer.

The Mégane’s stylistic character and sleek proportions together with refined engine offerings have certainly captured my attention and I would assume that I am not alone in this boat…I would have a hard time in believing otherwise.

The tested model here is the 2013 Mégane 1.4 TCe GT-Line, Hatch.

Styling

Styling cues on the outside resemble that of previous models with but a few refreshing changes which include the grill section being increased in size as well as a change in the LED daytime running lights resulting in a more aggressive and low slung demeanor which is the centre piece of the slightly redesigned front bumper.

Other changes include black headlight masks, aluminium pedal unit and GT-Line badging.

The front headlight clusters still continue to swoop back through to front wheel arches allowing for a more athletic look and thus achieving what Renault has stated…a sports-style chassis with an exclusive exterior. This is amplified with the addition of tinted Dark Metal 17 inch wheels.

No evident major changes to the side and back profile of the Mégane have been made. The Mégane’s backside further remains unchanged and still sports an agile and composed behind.

 

Interior

What was noticeable to me at first upon entering into the spacious cabin was that there was a lack of cup holders. Morning coffee, post gym smoothies and other beverages alike seem to be out of the question and would recommend you get your fix prior to taking the road.

Another aspect which I was not able to let go of was the angle or positioning of the front seats. I couldn’t seem to get into a comfortable seating or driving position but I was resound by the fact that the seats were themselves comfortable and were of good quality. The red stitching running along the steering wheel added to the sporty nature of the Mégane.

With the front seats positioned to cater for a man of 1.71 meters in length, the back seats had ample room, head room was vast and the cabin well insulated. Nothing out of the ordinary sparked any dislike besides from what I have already mentioned.

The dash look refreshing with the positioning of the instrument cluster. The dash incorporates a Tom Tom satellite navigation unit, radio, CD, USB and iPod connectivity. Cruise control operation is incorporated on the multifunction steering wheel. Dual zone climate control is also evident in the Mégane.

The Drive

The Mégane is powered by a spirited 1.4 TCe (Turbo Control efficiency) which pushes out 96KW at 5500rpm with 190NM of torque from the 2250rpm range. The Mégane will do a sprint from 0-100km/h in 9.7 seconds and through its 6 speed manual transmission will get to a top speed of 200km/h.

I found the vehicle very capable on the road and was confident enough to chuck her through the corners with ease where she maintained the grip right through to the exit. Steering is precise and is nicely weighted. What was most surprising to me was when in the high gears and riding along a steep hill, when accelerating the sound of the turbo kicks in and the vehicle presses on with intent and therefore no need to shift down when on hills. I was indeed impressed.

The chassis worked well with the suspension and the ride was as a result compliant and comfortable but when
riding on bumpy and pothole laden roads, the sporty suspension will loose some of its smoothness but is expected.

High gears were held with ease when cruising along and low speeds which ultimately offered positive fuel efficient driving. Renault claims a combined cycle of 6.3l/100km but I managed to realize an amount of just under 8l/100km. This may be contributed to some spirited driving.

On the safety front, it was a welcoming experience when I intentionally steered the vehicle to the right hand side lane of the expressway that the lane departure warning system kicked in and sounded an alarm warning me of what was happening.

Other safety features include ESP, EBA, 5 star EURO NCAP rating and a host of airbags for both front and rear passengers which include front, side and curtain airbags.

Conclusion

The Mégane has come a long way and should be regarded as a serious competitor in the C-segment market. The Mégane both looks and feels stylish, has a clean and quality cabin which is expressed in the quality finishes and attention to detail. The engine is sporty and offers the average enthusiastic driver a chance to enjoy the thrills of the open road and enjoy the confidence in what the drive offers.

Pricing for this Mégane variant is just under the R260,000.00 mark.

20-09-2013