2016 Renault Megane GT LHD preview

By Jaedene Hudson on 01 July 2016
2016 Renault Megane GT

Engine
Transmission
Fuel Economy
16.4 L/ 100km
Output
ANCAP rating

Not Tested

The 2016 Renault Megane GT competes in the overcrowded small car segment and is up against models such as the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30.

The full Megane model line-up will be announced later in the year, but Renault flew in four cars for us to sample in the GT-Line and the flagship GT specification.

Pricing has not been announced yet, although the range is expected to start from around $23,000.

The fourth-generation Megane features the company's new 'face', is longer, and sits on a longer wheelbase compared with the current model.

Renault says the new Megane will come with three engine choices – a 1.2-litre four-cylinder in the GT-line, a 1.6-litre turbocharged four cylinder in the GT and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel. The high-performance RS is expected to arrive in 2017.

Inside, both models have a premium feel, with black and blue faux leather trim and a seven-inch touchscreen (optional 8.7-inch screen). The GT-line has a five-louvered grille, while the GT can be easily distinguished by a honeycomb grille, different wheels, twin rectangular exhaust tips, Alcantara seats and GT badges.

The GT houses the turbo engine and also adds bigger brakes and four wheel steering.

The front sports seats in both are well bolstered and the rear seats are sculpted and comfortable. The longer wheelbase means there is more rear space, although it doesn't feel quite as spacious as a Mazda3 or a Corolla.

There are five different driving modes – eco, neutral, sport, comfort, and the fifth is a personalisation option.

The 1.2-litre engine gets along well and combined with the six-speed manual that was in the test cars, makes the most of the smaller output.

The range topping 1.6-litre engine (151kW/280Nm) has plenty of get up and go and sounds great (aided by the interior audio). It has good low-end power and excellent mid-range torque, working well with the seven-speed auto that produces slick shifts. In the eco and neutral modes, the auto is tuned for economy and so likes to spend more time in the taller, more efficient ratios. Switch it to sport mode and this adjusts the engine response, throttle and transmission for a much sportier drive.

While we didn't get to take the Megane out on public roads, the test track's five per cent gradient has coarse bitumen, a lot of irregularities and off camber corners that showed how good the Megane's ride is. The suspension is well damped and soaked up some pretty large bumps with ease. However, it should be noted that the cars we tested are not the exact specification that we'll get in Australia, although the suspension is expected to be similar.

We also sampled the car on a high speed loop and completed several exercises that showed off the GT's four-wheel-steering. I'd never experienced this before and what a fantastic system it is. You can actually feel the rear wheels steering you round corners. It works by angling the rear wheels up to 2.7 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels, which results in better cornering. It's operational up to 60km/h in all driving modes. In sport mode, the threshold rises to 80km/h. This is very fancy technology on small car.

First impressions are that the new Megane is a great little thing, but we will reserve full judgment until we get the car in the NRMA garage.

Watch our preview drive of the new 2016 Renault Megane GT:

 

QuickFacts

Make

Renault

Model

Megane GT 2016

Category

Small

Body type

5-door hatchback

Pros

Great looks
More upmarket, premium cabin
8.7-inch screen

Cons

French ergonomics still a bit fiddly
8.7-inch screen optional

Country of manufacture

France

Priced from

$38,490

Specifications

Engine

Number of cylinders

4

Engine size

1.6 L

Claimed max power (kW)

151 kW @ 6000 rpm

Claimed max torque (Nm)

280 Nm @ 2400 rpm

 

Transmission

Type

7-speed automatic

 

Fuel Consumption

Claimed fuel consumption

6.0L/100km

CO2 Emissions

134g/km



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