The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Megane Renaultsport is one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars on sale, and Cup versions make excellent track day cars.
Reasons to buy:
- Brilliant handling
- Good looking
- Improved interior quality
How good does it look?
The Renault Megane Renaultsport 250 coupe is a subtle yet aggressive-looking car. Glossy black bumpers and wing mirrors, smart alloy wheels, a rear air diffuser, a centrally-positioned exhaust and LED daytime running lights come as standard.
What's the interior like?
How practical is it?
This car suffers from rear seats that are as claustrophobic as those of the Volkswagen Scirocco, although there is just about enough room for two adult passengers. Rear visibility is poor, but at least rear parking sensors are standard. The oddly-shaped boot lacks the carrying capacity of key rivals though.
What's it like to drive?
Handling is excellent with plenty to reward the enthusiast driver. Renault’s more sporting Cup chassis comes as standard on the entry-level car, or as an option on the more comfort-oriented Sport trim level. The standard suspension is anything but soft though, and while it does offer a more comfortable drive, it still offers huge composure and grip.
How powerful is it?
The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine delivers 250bhp. It sprints the car from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and on to a stop speed of 156mph. It’s quieter than expected, although there’s a pleasing exhaust rasp at higher revs.
How much will it cost me?
Average 33mpg and high 195g/km CO2 mean relatively high running costs. Volkwsagen’s Golf GTI is more efficient with 38.7mpg and 170g/k. The Renault’s insurance is in one of the highest groups and replacement tyres and brakes are costly.
How reliable is it?
While Renault has not had a top reputation for reliability in the past, it has taken steps to make its latest Megane much more trouble-free. We encountered no problems during our test and the car felt well-built.
How safe is it?
The Renault Megane hatchback scored five-stars in EuroNCAP crash testing. Front, side and curtain airbags are fitted as standard, as well as electronic stability programme and anti-lock brakes.
How much equipment do I get?
The sportiest Megane 250 Cup is well equipped. Rear parking sensors, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, heated door mirrors and sports seats are standard. The non-Cup version is more luxurious, with leather heated seats, auto wipers and lights and climate control.
This is the ultimate hot hatch for precision driving. The Ford Focus RS offers more grunt, and the Golf GTI is a better everyday car, but the 250 in Cup guise offers the best handling.