Renault faces plenty of competition in the hot hatch segment with its Renault Mégane GT writes Hannah Gordon.
What is it? Nestled in-between the regular Mégane and the hot hatch RS, the GT is really a ‘warm hatch’ having just 205 bhp. It is sure to tick plenty of boxes and Renault are well known for making great fast hatchbacks.
Who is it aimed at? A starting price of just £25,500 it makes it an affordable choice to a lot of people. The looks will appeal to many looking for a sporty car that doesn’t necessarily cost a fortune to run. The Mégane also benefits from having 5-doors and a boot space of 434 litres meaning it could easily accommodate a family.
Styling? The Mégane styling has become a lot more mainstream and this new design looks good, from the standard Mégane the GT gets a nice set of 18” inch diamond cut alloys, full LED headlights and electric front mirrors. The front and rear bumpers get a sportier look and include silver inserts for the front and a silver diffuser for the rear. There is also two exhaust tailpipes, but don’t be too excited, only one is actually a proper exhaust. The Mégane GT overall is a decent looking car, just doesn’t really have the ‘wow’ factor.
Under the bonnet? The engine consists of a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol, the same used on the Renault Clio RS. It claims to reach 62mph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 143 mph. The engine pulls well but in a market where fast hatches are abundant the 205 bhp seems a bit puny. Out on the road the 7-speed automatic gearbox slips between gears without any trouble, although synthetic engine noises sent through the speakers aren’t great.
What about inside?The interior is a nice place to be with flashes of colour and a nice seating position, the Alcantara pack is an added extra but you do get a nicer set of sport seats to park your behind in. The new Mégane comes with a 8.7” inch portrait touchscreen which controls all entertainment, sat nav and car controls such as climate control. The touchscreen felt slow and bit difficult to use, a major worry as everything does run off this central screen. The GT does come with Dual zone climate control, tinted rear windows/tailgate and a Hands free keycard as standard.
On the road?Once Renaultsport get hold of a car they always improve it and the GT is no exception. Suspension and steering have been tweeked to give a slightly firmer and responsive drive, the Mégane GT also features 4Control which is a 4 wheel-steering technology. The four wheel steering is a bit disconcerting, once or twice i felt like i was driving on ice due to the rear wheels steering to.
The engine feels more lively from a low gear pick up but for me it felt like it had enough grunt, the gearbox is pleasant and mostly finds the correct gear. An RS mode button is located on the dash and gives the car a sportier feel.
What about safety? The Mégane does have a Euro NCap score of 5 stars and comes with Emergency Brake Assist, ESP, Anti Skid Regulation, Hill Start Assist, Lane Departure warning and Traffic sign recognition all as standard on the GT. A Safety Pack can be purchased for an extra £400 which includes Adaptive Cruise control and Distance Warning.
And options? Metallic paint is at least a £525 extra depending on what colour you go for, should you fancy a sunroof thats also a £500 addition. Hands free parking will set you back £350 and if a good sound system is of importance then a Bose system will cost you £500. The Alcantara Packs for the interior seats will mean an extra £1200 added to your purchase price.
Will it break the bank? A combined economy of 47.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of 134 g/km ( Tax band E £130) won’t break the bank but are a long way off from the more frugal diesels offered on the less sportier models. Renault state service intervals of 18,000 miles or one year whichever comes first.
So the verdict? The Renault Mégane GT has plenty to offer especially at a relatively low starting price but does lack a bit of excitement and the four-wheel steering just feels silly. The Mégane is a car that you could easily live with for its practicality but it just feels to ordinary, almost like a jack of all trades master of none. If you want a Mégane go all out crazy for the impending RS version, if you just want economy and a suitable family hatchback then the standard Mégane should suffice.
Why you’ll buy one? Styling; Practical, Price
Why you won’t? Lacks some excitement
Ford Focus ST prices start from £22,195
Peugeot GTi – prices start from £26,555
Renault Mégane GT
Max speed: 143 mph
0-62 mph: 7.2 seconds
Emissions: 134 g/km
Model price range: from £25,500
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 47.1 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 434 litres
Length: 4359 mm
Width: 1818 mm
Height: 1447 mm
Wheelbase: 2669 mm
16th November, 2016