Renault Megane Estate (2009 - ) review
Read the Renault Megane Sport Tourer estate (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
- Large loadspace
- Decently equipped
- Frugal diesel engines
- Reliability a worry
- Lacks excitement
- Residual values poor
At a glance
There really is a Megane Sport Tourer to suit all tastes and pockets, with a choice of five different trim levels. The lead-in Extreme models feature air-con, electric front windows, electrically adjusted and heated mirrors, CD player with auxiliary socket and keycard. Expression trim adds roof bars, electric rear windows, an alarm system and a 60:40 split/folding rear seat, while mid-range Dynamique TomTom versions include Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rain sensor, cruise control, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and TomTom sat-nav. Privilège TomTom trim adds power folding mirrors, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, rear parking sensors and half-leather seats. The sporting flagship, the GT, includes all the features of the Dynamique TomTom trim level, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, sports suspension, power folding mirrors, aluminium pedals, sports bumpers and sports seats. Sat-nav is an optional extra on GT models though.
The smooth-flowing Renault Megane Sport Tourer looks smarter than many of its boxy estate car rivals. The rear is well-integrated and stylish and the side profile looks sporty and athletic.
The Megane feels plusher than its predecessor, with a solid, sturdily-built cabin. The controls are well-placed, and the sat-nav system is mounted suitably high. A large digital speedometer dominates the instrument cluster. The seats are comfortable, with decent levels of support, and the steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake.
Renault offers four petrol engines, including a 128bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre unit and a 1.6-litre powerplant that’s available in 99bhp or 108bhp 1.6-litre forms. There’s also a 138bhp 2.0-litre unit while at the top of the range is a 178bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. On the diesel front, a pair of 1.5-litre engines produce either 89bhp or 108bhp, while there’s a 1.9-litre unit also offered, which develops 128bhp – alongside this are two 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines producing 148bhp when mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox or 158bhp when paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox.
The Megane can accommodate up to 524 litres with the seats up, and 1,600 litres with them folded. This is larger than the majority of its main rivals. The boot is well shaped, though you have to flip up the rear seat bases, before you can fold the rear seats down flat. All Meganes have a maximum 1,300kg towing weight.
Renault cars don’t set the world on fire when it comes to reliability, often appearing at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys. That’s a shame, because the Megane feels like a well-built family estate, with a quality feel to the cabin. The French car maker fully intends to bridge the quality gap and has a task force in place to improve performance in this area.
Ride and handling
The Megane provides a safe, comfortable and well-mannered drive. It handles neatly, offers lots of grip and a comfortable ride, but there’s very little feedback from the slightly vague steering. The Sport Tourer is much more at home cruising at motorway speeds rather than tackling fast B-roads. All of the engines are well hushed, while road and wind noise are decently muted.
The 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine is inexpensive to run. Running costs on the Megane are impressively low, depending on which model you choose. It delivers 64.2mpg average fuel economy and emits low CO2 emissions of just 114g/km. And even if you choose the automatic version, it achieves the same figures. Insurance groupings are set low and servicing is only needed every 18,000 miles or two years. However Renaults do not hold their value very well.
Although the Megane Sport Tourer hasn’t specifically been tested by EuroNCAP, the hatchback has, and it scored an impressive five-star rating. All Megane models come with driver, passenger, side and head airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist. In addition, there are Isofix child seat safety fasteners on the rear outer seats.