It’s a Monday morning and the calendar reminder signals to tell me this week I will be living with the Renault Grand Mégane GT Line. The Mégane is a good-looking car in normal guise but with the addition of the GT Line pack I know I am in for a real treat. After taking delivery I ogle at the GT Blue paintwork, flanked over tasteful 17-inch Celsium alloys. The GT Line range comes with the help of the Renault Sport division, which of course provides the Renault Group with engineering and manufacturing services for the fast R.S., Gordini and GT range. It is the sporty division of the group if you like involved in all things racing, including F1. The Mégane GT Line arrived to Irish shores late 2011 and has certainly turned heads. The bodywork features sports bumpers and a rear valance that looks excellent in dark silver colour. The mirrors tie in with this theme and the GT Line badges adorn the front grill and sit neatly on the rear.
Inside you get more badges, two-tone leather seats and aluminum sport pedals. The model I am driving is the EDC variant which is the semi automatic transmission mated to a 1.5 (dCi 110) engine. Other options include manual transmissions and a petrol 1.2 engine (TCe 115). So the big question is have Renault Sport merely supplied the looks or have they added performance or handling? Well the answer is yes and no. The Energy dCi 110 engine still offers 110hp, but more torque at 260 Nm in manual which you can feel from 1,750 rpm. For handling, identical rear dampers and tyres to the Megane Renaultsport 265 have been fitted and the chassis features anti-roll bars that have also been tweaked to ensure perfect handling. So how does it drive and handle?
I opted for a Sunday morning spin over the Wicklow gap and out to Glendalough for a spot of lunch. The weather was good for a change, which meant I got a chance to open the panoramic sunroof to soak up some rays. Power is delivered smoothly through the automatic transmission and the torque feels plentiful, 0-100km/h comes up in 11 seconds and it can return 4.2 l/100km on the combined cycle with emission outputs of just 114g/km. The gearbox is smooth but when driven in a spirited fashion I found it somewhat slow with delays between gear changes. My advice is to flick to sport manual if you plan an overtaking for safety as you are in full control. Through the corners the Grand Mégane feels planted and not like hefty estate back. It turns in well and holds the road beautifully. Over rough surfaces I expected the harder setup to be tough, but this was not the case with the sport suspension easily soaking up bumps and potholes.
Overall the Grand Mégane GT Line does nothing but inspire confidence. I like an individual car so for me the rare GT Line would be my chosen Mégane. As always all Renault vehicles come with 3-year warranty and AA Roadside Assist. That beautiful paintwork is also guaranteed for 3 years while the anticorrosion warranty runs for 12 years. This warranty package can be extended up to 5 years and unlimited mileage for added piece of mind. Is this the ultimate everyday Mégane? We at Rev.ie think so!
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