If cars were sold on looks alone, then the new Renault Megane should be literally rolling off the forecourts. Great advances have been made by Renault in more recent years to produce cars that look stylish and sleek. This is all great but the big question is, are they reliable and durable also. Whilst we await the arrival of the saloon and estate versions of the new Megane on to Irish shores, I had the opportunity to put the new Megane hatchback GT line model through its paces.  The GT line trim displays various features which have been influenced by Renault Sport. Our test model was powered by the ever reliable diesel power plant in the form of the 1.5 dCi engine with 110 bhp. Stop/ Start technology is also utilised in order to maximise fuel economy.

From the outside the hatchback Megane is a stylish car to look at. The front end is sleek in comparison to the rounded rear and the almost flared quarter panel gives it a muscular appearance. Taking pride of place in the middle of the distinctive front grille, the Renault badge. This is the first aspect to catch you eye.  The GT line adds another aspect in the style department with the inclusion of a subtle body kit with a wider lower air intake with a honeycomb-pattern mesh at the front which are flanked by lateral scoops whilst an elliptical chrome exhaust tailpipe and a profiled diffuser hint at the car’s sporty character in the rear. Whilst 17 inch alloys are standard on the GT Line, my test model has been fitted with the optional extra of California 18 inch wheels.

The interior of the Megane is where the GT line trim is most noticeable. The first thing that you will notice when you sit in is the sport seats which help you nestle in but at no time feel too restrictive. Blue stitching and finish are common place throughout the interior finish adding to a sportier appearance. The Renault R-Link touch screen multimedia display is then located in the centre of the dash. The customisable Renault R-Link system is designed to control the essential functions intuitively and in complete safety, without taking your eyes off the road. Customised dual zone climate control allows each front-seat passenger to choose the temperature they prefer. There are three available modes designed to suit everybody. There are plenty of little storage compartments in the cabin of the Megane also.

There appears to be plenty of space in the front seats however it is slightly more constricted in the rear and rear headroom is also reduced as a result of the sloping roof line. Whilst our test drive Megane was a hatchback it still measures over 4 metres in length. Boot space is respectable at a minimum of 434 litres with the rear seats fixed.

On the road, the Megane handles very well. Body roll on cornering is almost non-existent which is a massive plus and there is plenty of torque in the engine with a maximum 260Nm at 1,750rpm aided by a very responsive throttle. This is complimented by the addition of a sports button which provides a much better feel to the steering and a more responsive throttle.

The Renault Megane is what would be regarded as an all-rounder. It oozes style and a sporty appearance and the diesel engine powering my test car is one that has been tried and tested and is without doubt capable of proving itself in terms of reliability and durability.

Technical Specification

Engine Size – 1.5 dCi

Fuel Type – Diesel

Power – 110 bhp

Torque –  260Nm

Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 11.3 seconds

Top Speed – 187 km/hour

Consumption (Combined) –3.9 litres/ 100 kilometres when fitted with 18 inch alloys

CO2 emissions – 100g / km when fitted with 18 inch alloys

Road Tax – € 180

Base Price – € 19,490

Price as per model tested – € 27,030 (GT Line Nav plus optional extras)