It’s been a prolonged wait, yet a latest RenaultSport Megane has finally arrived in a UK. Its prototype was among a excellent doing cars in a category – so this eagerly-awaited new indication is a hugely critical automobile for prohibited induce fans conflicting a globe.
But given prolongation of a prior indication ceased, a marketplace has been filled with a stand of impossibly gifted cars. Hyundai wowed us with a i30 N, while a four-wheel expostulate Ford Focus RS lifted a bar with a relentless hold and punchy powertrain. The glorious Honda Civic Type R is a stream prohibited induce champion, however, and while we’ll find out if a Megane RS can kick it in a organisation exam unequivocally soon, this initial expostulate on UK roads has valid a Japanese hulk will have utterly a quarrel on a hands.
• Best prohibited hatchbacks on sale
Available with a choice of primer and involuntary gearboxes, a Megane RS was propitious with a former. RenaultSport’s stream Clio RS has come underneath complicated critique for being auto-only, yet a French organisation has seen clarity with a latest Megane – charity both a primer and a DCT from launch. Our automobile also featured a £1,500 ‘Cup’ pack, that adds a limited-slip differential and a stiffer, some-more focused framework set-up. The automobile also had a set of £950 19-inch amalgamate wheels and a distinguished £1,300 Volcanic Orange paint job.
Image 2 of 22
Image 2 of 22
Looks aside, a Megane primarily feels a bit lacking; a control weights are a bit off-kilter, with a complicated purchase resisting with a comparatively light gearshift, for example. But take a automobile onto some faster roads and a Renault starts to come alive.
With some speed behind you, a steering unequivocally starts to impress. That’s partly down to a four-wheel steering system, that is propitious as customary on all Megane RS models. Below 37mph (or 62mph in Race mode), a set-up turns a back wheels in a conflicting instruction to a fronts, permitting a nose to dive in quicker than we initial expect. Above those speeds, a back wheels drive a same approach as a fronts, boosting fortitude in quick corners.
It feels bizarre during first, yet it means that a Megane is unequivocally agile. Then, as we come onto a energy out of corners, a limited-slip differential works to tie a car’s line. It works good and means you’ll come to penchant any pointy turns in a road. The complement can be inconsistent, however, infrequently feeling ungainly and unnecessary.
Like a handling, a RS’s float takes some removing used to. It primarily feels utterly poor, yet a faster you’re going, a some-more gentle it gets. The Megane’s vast 19-inch wheels rebound in and out of potholes and a low-speed float is a small rough. Powering out of a dilemma in second rigging mostly requires mixed steering inputs to control a front wheels as they follow ruts in a tarmac.
But once you’re during speed a automobile unequivocally does settle down. Here, bumps that would have dissapoint a Renault around city seem to warp into a background. Hydraulic strike stops on a startle absorbers assistance explain that considerable restraint during high speed – softening a dilemma by ensuring a cessation doesn’t strech a finish of a transport utterly as abruptly. This is a highway car, though, and it’s a contrition to learn a Megane usually comes alive when you’re impending a inhabitant speed limit; a Civic Type R’s wonderfully-weighted controls are delightfully manageable during all times.
The new 1.8-litre engine in a RenaultSport Megane is smaller in ability than a prior car’s 2.0-litre unit, yet it’s some-more powerful: with 276bhp and 390Nm of torque. Although a aged car’s turbocharged petrol section didn’t gurgle or howl, it had a singular and characterful bark that speedy we to pull it hard. This new engine has assimilated a scores of complicated prohibited hatchbacks with an artificially-enhanced soundtrack that includes fake-sounding pops from a empty on a overrun. Peak energy comes in during 6,000rpm, yet it doesn’t penchant being revved quite hard.
Image 4 of 22
Image 4 of 22
The six-speed primer adds a essential additional turn of involvement, however. It’s not a sweetest shift, with a somewhat close embankment and a lumpy change action, yet we wouldn’t feel brief altered by selecting this over a involuntary version. It’s put to contrition by sharp gearshifts in opposition cars, yet a well-placed pedals and good stop feel meant it’s easy to blip a stifle as we change down entrance into a corner.
It gets a prohibited partial of prohibited induce right, yet a RS would stutter if it couldn’t conduct a hatchback part. Although a sports seats meant there’s reduction back legroom than in a customary Megane, it’s differently only as atmospheric inside. The 384-litre foot is standard for a course, yet a scarcely atmospheric Civic trumps it here, too.
The Megane RS is pretty economical, as good – Renault’s quoted 39.2mpg puts it roughly in line with rivals, while CO2 emissions aren’t all that high, either. Another cause that will keep using costs down is a low list price. Add a few extras to compare a Civic on spec and a disproportion is a lot smaller, mind.