Monday, 9 January 2012 3:52 PM
The basic shape of the new Renault Megane, like its predecessor, still looks ready to leave you standing at the kerb if you’re too slow getting in. But it looks more contemporary with new LED running lights, glossy black bumper with chrome highlights and a new selection of wheels.
The 2012 Megane also introduces three new stop/start engines. The TCe 115 petrol engine replaces the old 1.6-litre 16v with an increase in power to 115bhp and 140lb/ft of torque. Direct fuel injection and turbo charging means this extra power is squeezed from just 1,198cc and fuel consumption is a wallet-relieving 53.3mpg combined. And there are two new diesels to choose from: The dCi 110 giving 80.7mpg combined and 191lb/ft of torque from 1.5 litres or the 1.6-litre dCi 130 with 70.6mpg combined and 235lb/ft of torque.
Driver aids abound too. The Visio System improves safety and visibility with a camera that monitors light levels and automatically dips the lights so you can see where you’re going – and eliminates moments when oncoming drivers wonder why you’re frantically washing your windows while your lights are still blinding. The system also monitors the position of the car on the road and provides an alert should you stray across the lines without indicating. Other new options include Hill-Start assist, a rear mounted camera and motorway-mode indicators – a flick of the stalk flashes the indicators three times ensuring you won’t get stuck in the outside lane while the driver behind wonders how you intend to turn right.
But what have they done to the snorty Megane Renaultsport? Well, they’ve made it better. There's an F1 style front blade with two rows of LEDs, black headlight surrounds and new 18-inch alloys. The redesigned interior has red stitching on the steering wheel and dash with further options of two-tone grey/charcoal leather upholstery, Recaro seats and a black lacquer finish on the centre console. Renault have also been busy under the bonnet, boosting the power to 265bhp and modifying the exhaust system so the Megane makes all the right noises regardless of how close to the floor your right foot is.
It promises to be popular – Megane is currently Renault’s best-seller – so you may have to take a tent down to the showroom come the April on-sale date, to beat the queues of Frenchie fans.
By David Young
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