THE first Mégane was unveiled in the autumn of 1995, having been revitalised with each successive edition within its 19 years. It has gained the honourable title of being the flagship model for the French marque.
In South Africa, sales of Renault vehicles for the first six months of 2014 have been very favourable with private car sales growing by 92 percent, selling 8 272 cars, recorded by Naamsa, compared to the same period in 2013, which showed sales of 4 515 cars. According to Fabien Payzan, Marketing and Communications Vice President, Renault South Africa, it’s also the third biggest segment with 36 200 units sold in 2013 and 15 910 units already sold during the first half of this year.
The launch of the sporty New Mégane My2014 range in South Africa, should take Renault to new heights.
The range is completely new and has three models, consisting of the top-of-the-range new 162kW Mégane GT Turbo, mid-range GT-Line Turbo with a 97kW output and the base level model, Dynamique with 81kW. All three versions will be available infive-door hatches or three-door coupés, offering the same specifications with the same price.
Our first drive began with the new downsized four-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbo 97kW engine making its début in the GT-Line Turbo. Having been engineered in France and produced in Spain,it’s a quick little car that provides good power.
Along with downsized engines, the cars are also fitted with better cooling mechanisms as these go hand in hand. Low-end torque provides good take-off, with 90 percent of maximal torque delivered at 1500rpm and a fuel consumption measured at 5.4 litres/100km.
Exterior styling includes a GT front bumper with running daytime LED lights, while the rear bumper has a dark grey integrated diffuser, 17-inch alloy wheels and dark grey-coloured side mirrors and exterior door handles.
Six airbags, ABS - coupled with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA); cruise control plus speed limiter and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic anti-slip regulation (ASR) and athree-point Isofix seat anchorage on side rear seats, all standard, across the range.
Intelligent technologies, such as the dual-zone climate control, fingertip controls behind the steering wheel, an integrated navigation system linked to Live services, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, auto locking/unlocking system and a rear park assist, are all meant to create an intuitive on-board experience, also standard, across the range.
The second drive took place in the GT Turbo, powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo engine as the MéganeRS, producing 162kW and 340Nm of torque. It has a 0-100km/h time of 7.6 seconds, while top speed clocks off at 240km/h, and the fuel consumption sits at 7.3 litres/100km. The chassis and suspension are also derived from the RS, but have been optimised with specific settings that make it comfortable for everyday use.
The GT Turbo has bumpers and the dark grey bitsin common with its mid-level GT-Line Turbo sibling(the difference,being 18” alloy wheels), the GT signature on the boot lid, in addition to the diamond badge centrepiece on the front grille.
The interior has a combination of fabric and leather seats which also display the GT signature. Ithas a Renault Sport-specific dash cluster and a dashboard-integrated grey line, while Renault Sport-branded protectors cover the front doors sills.
Both cars are quite responsive, provide smooth and comfortable rides, have relatively good space in the cabin and boot and have great styling inside and out. Young customers should be very pleased with the new range.
All cars include afive-year/150 000km warranty complemented by a standard five-year/90 000km service plan.
Prices, excluding the optional panoramic sunroof or metallic paint:
Dynamique 81kW - R249 900
GT-Line Turbo 97kW - R279 900
GT Turbo 162kW - R329 900