We checked out the all new Renault Megane and were very impressed by the car.
Renault, it seems, has struck gold again with the all new and totally fabulous Megane which is replacing the very successful Fluence, writes Noel Dundon
Now Megane is a name which is well known to Renault users and the hatchback version of the car proved to be a winner with customers who love hatchbacks. But, for those who wanted a saloon car, the Fluence was to be their choice and boy did they sell a lot of those. In fact, the lads at Cleary's Renault, Loughtagalla, Thurles will testify to how good a seller the Fluence was. And, still is - the Fluence is a brilliant second hand seller as well and has held value very successfully.
The Megane though has gone one step beyond again and starting at just €23,500 for the 1.5 litre diesel 110bhp version, right up to the €30,000 GT Coupe - the 1.6 litre 130bhp Signature model - the customer is spoiled for choice, depending on the available budget.
Renault have gone in big for in-cabin technology and it works very well. It's not as complicated as you might think and it is actually quite easy to navigate your way around the various dials and buttons which are all included within hands reach - most on the steering column.
There is the likes of keyless entry, sat nav, lane departure warnings, air-con, bluetooth, cruise control, speed limiter, touchscreen selection and a host of other standards that you now get in most modern cars. But, what you don't normally get is the MULTI-SENSE system which adapts the behaviour of your vehicle to your mood. You can have neutral, Eco, Comfort, Sport, or Perso mode and depending on the form you choose, you can have more precise steering, faster acceleration, eco-saving running, or a combination of all the features. It's quite amazing really, and a little mindblowing to be honest.
The Megane is also very comfortable with a multiplicy of seat settings to ensure that you get just the position you want and there is a hell of a lot of legroom in the backseats too to keep all travelling companions happy. Unusually enough, the extra legroom does not impact on bootspace as is normally the case - innovative design has ensured that the boot is very sizeable and indeed very flexible too.
So, how does this machine drive? Well, as you would expect it is rather sweet on the road. It holds very well, has great presence, looks tremendous and won't have you stopping every few hours for a refill at the tank - economy wise, it is up there with the best of them.
There are ten different colours available and while the pearl black version we had on test drive from Cleary Motors this week, looked really well, we are assured by salesman Michael Heffernan that the glacier white is simply stunning. "I'm not usually a big fan of white cars, but this looked absolutely magnificent as it left the forecourt," he told us.
There are also seven different versions of wheels from standard to sport, Florida to Daytona, and of course they add to the look of the car too, depending in your preference.
The Megane saloon is a throwback to a great car for Renault and judging by our impression of the latest version, this will be equally as successfully, even if it is light years away from the original.