Renault Megane GTline review

Renault Megane GTline

The shiny deep blue Renault Megane GTline made quite an impression on my neighbours and people on the street. They would stop, look and then smile. Preferred this one to the old model. I do too. Yep, a great looking car.

Driving it brings a smile to your face too.

The Megane GTline is between the “normal” models and the high performance R range. I think a particularly good fit between the two. More than just a cosmetic package. What Renault has managed to do is to make a comfortable car which can perform as well. Think of a French Honda Civic.

At idle you can almost not hear or feel this engine. On two occasions I got out of the car only to realise the engine is still on. It’s that smooth and quiet. The advantage of a turbo petrol engine mounted on thick rubber.

The car has a good sized boot and emergency spare tyre.

Power is a claimed  96kW at 5 500 and torque of 190 Nm at 2 250. Maximum speed is 200km and 0 – 100km/h is 9.7 seconds.

Interior

The improvement in the interior of the new range of Renaults has to be experienced to be believed. Big people may find the front seats a little too sporty (ie narrow). I found them just right. I like the combination of leather and cloth.

A clever design element is red stitching on the leather clad steering wheel and gear lever, complimented by a red stripe on the left of the dash under a mock carbon fibre panel. Looks good.

The GTline has a good amount of soft touch surfaces. There are more than enough nooks and crannies and cup holders.

I found the dials and switches easy to use and in the right places. You wont even need the manual. It all makes sense. Materials seem to be top notch.

Fit and finish is excellent.

Driving Impressions

The GTline feels sure footed. Perhaps because of the 205/55/R17 profile tyres the ride never feels harsh, but at the same time you feel in contact with the road. A brilliantly balanced driving experience.

The clutch and gear selection is excellent. So smooth and easy. you will never miss a gear or stall this car. It has hill hold control which works both ways. Driving is effortless.

If you want to turn on the taps, the turbo blows any cobwebs out of your hair. Real world acceleration and handling is top drawer.

It is both easy and fun to drive.

Iffy points

Nothing about this car screams at you: bad. They have really put together a very good package.

The fuel consumption is never going to best the best precisely because it can be an exciting car to drive which results in heavier fuel consumption. Expect around 8.7litre/100km. You van get it down to 8.2litre/100km average, which I achieved driving to work. But a little spin over Franschoek Pass will take it to 9.2litre/100km. Eina. Renault claims 6.3litre/100km. I wonder where they get those figures?

Good points

It is such a competent all round car. It has good overtaking acceleration and superb roadholding. It feels planted.

It comes with all the safety equipment both passive and active, like ABS, ESP and EBD.

I liked the automatic halogen headlights and wipers.

Summary

Megane GTline gets right something that few cars does. It gets the balance between practical, comfortable motoring and fun, responsive driving just right. French flair perhaps?

Costs

The GTline costs R249 900. That includes 5 Year / 150 000km mechanical warranty and 5 Year / 100 000km service plan.

The baseline 1.6 16v Expression costs R209 900 the diesel 1.6 dCi Dynamique R269 900.

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