Heart says Renault, head says Golf – I’d probably have to toss a coin if I were in the market for a hot hatch. Great comparison Anthony.
As far as comparisons go, this one’s a bit expedient. The cars weren’t driven back to back (Anthony says he hasn’t even driven the Megane on the road, although WHEELS has) and the photography is from both vehicles’ respective press launch days.
Great review however you stated that Sat Nav is in the RS, I don’t believe it is even an option. If Renault bring out a dual clutch tranny I know which i’d buy, Sydney traffic is a chore with a manual.
yea i can see a sat nav screen in the golf but not the renault
You’re right there cam, thanks for that. I’ll have to blame the press kit, as it wasn’t on the test car either.
You can either have the Renault sport monitor or the Sat nav not both at the same time as they take up the same spot on the dashboard.
Golf . . . I wouldn’t want to “stand out” and by the time I get the APR upgrade it will be quicker, anyway.
So true. I’m putting a flux capacitor on my ten year old pug next week. Then it’ll be even faster than a Lambo
Renault. Quicker, looks better, unique, cheaper. Finally something to beat the Golf.
Looks are definitely subjective. In my subjective opinion, I’d say the Golf looks a great deal better.
Is this a Golf 5 or 6? Can’t tell the difference. Oh wait, there isn’t any.
Yeah, APR ECU upgrades are famous for improving grip and handling, making Golfs faster than Porsches since 1999. Give me a break…
What segment are you talking about Anthony when you say it is the “Renault that packs the bigger punch with a price/segment-topping 184kW and 340Nm to play with”? If the segment you are talking about is FWD hot hatches under $50,000, the Renault does not have “segment topping” power or torque. Don’t forget that there is the Mazda 3MPS that has 190kW and 380Nm.
That being said these two are the pick of the group and it would be a hard decision on which one to pick. I know I would have trouble trying to pick which one to park in my garage. However I think they are more a car to lease and to get rid of when the warranty runs out!
Both nice cars, but the performance times are most likely manufacturer quoted. A recent wheels comparison report had the Megane around the 7.1 mark. Handling though is reportedly exceptional and more than makes up for this.
No it really does do 0-100 in 6.1
i did a easy 6.2 in mine….more than once
autoboy….my old RS225 Megane does under 7 secs in real time driving ….and being 4 years old
What a detailed and comprehensive review!! Well done, it was an amazing read and i really got the feeling that you took the time to delve right into each one of these excellent cars! A refreshing change from some reviewers that decide to describe their experience with a 40K+ sports car as “Oh it says 6.1 seconds in the brochure so its fast…”!
I’d be really interested if Renault were planning to introduce a 5-door version?
Awesome review mate
..not such a great review but thanks for the effort…Anthony says that he’s never driven the megane away from the track & then comprehensively praises its ride on the road in the next breath..how can you compare two cars fairly when they’re not both tested in the same way?
Thx for being honest about that but it kind of makes this review bogus..
So let’s see, the RS 250 is faster than a Golf R around the track, let alone a GTI, with handling and grip in a league of its own, looks better than a terminally boring Golf Mk 5.5 and doesn’t cost more than a GTI with an extra cup holder. On the other hand, if you want anything VW there’s a waiting list stretching for months and months and there’s as many as Mazda 3s on the road, all looking pretty much the same regardless of the engine. Still hard to decide? Really?
I’m not about the waiting list for a GTI. I walked into4 dealers in Melbourne in November looking for a GTI with leather and sunroof and 18″ wheels. Hagled on price, settled on the specs and had my car 5 days later. Most dealers in Melbourne have stock and in most cases you can have pretty much what you want with trim and specs + colours ex-stock. Anybody that drives along the Burwood Highway Furntree Gully or Nepean Hwy Brighton will know aht I’m saying. In my case the 3 colour choises I was asked for were all ex-stock
just hard to decide what color RS250 you want *L*….. tartan seats in the golf ….you must be kidding me !
Well written piece of automotive journalism, Anthony. You’ve set the standard for other CA scribes to follow.
The Megane 250 is a great car indeed.. along with its little brother the Clio RS200.. why on earth is Renault capable of making such a great performance variants but mediocre ‘normal’ cars is beyond me.. they are truly an idiosyncratic manufacturer.
I haven’t driven the RS250 yet but have driven the garden variety 5-door hatch Megane III. The Megane hatch is quite literally as exciting as Kim Catrall starring in Tiida’s TVC. I can’t wait to drive the RS250 to see how different it is. I’m sure it won’t disappoint. This is another great example how the two could not be more different.. compare this to regular Golf vs GTI, regular Focus vs ST/XR5.. etc. They show closer semblance in terms of handling characteristics (the donor cars are already a decent handler).
Lastly, Renault’s efforts in tuning its ‘programme-deflection flexible beam’ (layman speak: Torsion Beam) rear suspension is highly commendable. It proves when done right, it can still rival a fully independent setup.. maybe not in comfort’s sake, but in performance situation.
That’s because Renault Sport is using their own chassis and engines. For instance, Clio’s chassis is wider and a bit longer than of the vanilla version. The Cup chassis is even stiffer again. Same goes for the RS 250. I don’t really know how Renault Sport can afford making cars that good while using so many “special” parts, but I sure hope thy continue to release real hot hatches. In comparison, the Golf R shares everything with the basic 1.4 Golf bar the engine, transmission, some suspension tweaks and those fancy LED decorations. Oh wait, I forgot about them R badges and the price tag…
Thanks Sam. I never actually pay much attention to the different wheelbases of Renault RS vs its donor cars.. it seems that Renault does modify the chassis for these cars.
I’m aware of the different engine (F4R vs M4R), the latter being a Nissan-derived engine.
I also love the concept of their ‘skunkworks’ operation in Dieppe, where they produce these lovely automobiles.. much like BMW M GmbH has its own production line in Garching.
Agree with your comment re: Golf R. Morover, I think the current R feels a little less special than the previous generations which had the legendary 3.2 motor. The current R feels more like a top of the range Golf rather than a special, exclusive performance version.
They can afford it by living of the Nissan Sales…
They rescued Nissan – you got your story 180 degrees out
zahmad….you are showing you total lack of knowledge in the auto industry arent you . Best keep quiet the more you say the stupider your sound …..ssshhhhhhhh
Seems you don’t have to wait an eternity for a Renault either, it really is no suprise MKV VW drivers are turning more and more to the French connection.
Anthony C., on the styling and dimension table, I believe the Golf is 1360kg (not 1189kg)?
I would have the Megane anyday. It’s more exclusive and stylish. I see too many Golf on the road nowdays….
It’s hard to know what people expect from Golfs, appearance-wise. Seriously, how much more do you want before things start getting tacky or overdone?
The very first GTi had, usually, white, red or black paint, identical steel wheels to a Golf L, a chin spoiler, tiny wheel arch appliques and two red stripes at the top and bottom of the grille. Outside, that was it! Inside, not much more. Under the bonnet, a tiny fuel injected 1.6 that went respectably with a kerb weight of 820 kg.
The success formula has been built on this restraint. Over the years, VW has willingly left it to others to play with digital instruments, wacky spoilers, rakish styling, metalllic orange paint jobs, higher outputs and so on.
That’s taking nothing away from this Renault, by the way: RESPECT! It looks like an absolute cracker and I’d love to have a drive of one. I’m just saying there’s space for the two approaches, and the seemingly boring one has worked since 1976.
Well said. People say the look of the GTI is boring but it is also inoffesive and not everybody wants to stand out. In my biased opinion (I have a MK6) its a brilliant looking car.
But then it should not be classed as a hot hatch but rather jsut a hatchback as nothing about it is extreme, not even the performance. Even Miss Daisy would complain
The golf is a brilliant car.
But the Renault is the only hot hatch in this comparison, and it also beats the Golf R.
As for anyone who talks about chipping the Golf, you can do that with the Renault too…how does 220kw and 400nm sound? Add that to the better handling, steering feel and braking of the Megane and its game over.
To be honest I’m glad more people want the Golf GTi…its become the BMW 320i of a new generation.
Meanwhile the true enthusiasts can drive around in something better, faster and far less common than a Golf.
The RS250 is a great car, no doubt about it, but as an ownership proposition I think most are prepared to trade off a little of the performance aspect of the RS250 for a car that has better resale value, a bigger dealer network, has better quality ( even though the golf is not without its faults in this regard and that the Renault is much improved too) and is more practical on a daily basis.
I own a mkv gti and would consider the Renault but the above factors just swing it back in favour of the golf. If someone else was paying the bills, however, I would go for the Renault.
Yep own a renosport megane. 10,000klms front engine mount gone. 18,000 klms both front steering arms need replacing. front tyres and they are $400 each last about 15,000 of city driving. 4 times to have the air replaced. Nice car and drives great…. but forget it.
Other cars need tires replaced as well. Also it comes with a warranty and obviously your problems aren’t going to happen with most renaults, unless maybe they are abused.
The Renault Megane Renault Sport 250 is the car for you if:
•You want the best handling hot hatch in the business bar none
•You want stand-out exterior and interior styling
•You want the most standard features in a hot hatch
The Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk 6 is the car for you if:
•You want the best value for money hot hatch in the business
So if the Renault is faster, handles better, has more standard features and is about the same price as the Golf, how is the Golf the “best value for money hot hatch”??
The GTI is cheaper than the Megane and has a nicer interior despite having less features. It’s also an easier car to live with on a day-to-day basis and also comes with DSG.
Tartan ??? Nicer ??? …..LSD trip anyone.
Anthony really ??
DSG is proving to be a problematic gearbox with poor reliability and exessive service costs ..
Totally agree!!!! my dsg gear box is gone, costs me $5k to replace…
never buy DSG
Oh btw, my car only done 90,000km. all services with VW repairer.
I keep hearing stories about Renault’s reliability, not good ones either. Does this still equate to the RS division? Has anyone had bad experiences with previous RS models? What are their servicing costs like etc? I LOVE the look of the new RS and they look superb “in the metal” so to speak, much better than these photos, but the stories are putting me off!
I think you’re confused with the reliability of a Volkswagen – you just need to own one for a few years
I’ve always been interested to try something French since the early Renault Megane Sport. If you can get past the stigma of Renaults being unreliable and expensive to maintain, I think the best choice is obvious if you’re after the best driver’s car.
Well RS really means RS reliability. Living with one day to day.. its still a cheap megane with fast engine and big brakes. Everything else just breaks, so if you dont mind going back to the dealer nice car. Servicing costs are cheap though…. but you will always get it back driving worse than when it went in. Not sure what they do to them, but its an issue. You would be better off buying a base model anything and an mgb for the weekend!
Guess what – you can not buy a Renault in Tasmania. You can buy everything else and there are a lot of Subarus down here, due to the wet roads I suppose.
I do love that yellow rev counter in the 250. One of these cars looks “Hot” and it is not the Golf.
Just as well. We had a Renault 19 for a while when we were living in Queenstown and the frequent breakdowns were a major pain to get fixed there. Even when we came back to Melbourne it was inconvenient to get it fixed.
I dont really get Renault’s attitude to the Australian market. Do they want to crack it? Do they want us to start buying Renaults?
If so, why bother bring in the RS at $42k?? Surely, positioning it at a price point in the mid range between the GTI and the XR5, ie $38ish, would make more sense and would open the car (and brand) up to a whole range of people that would have not considered buying a Megane.
Surely sacraficing a little margin in exchange for larger volumnes would do Renault a world of good if they are serious about wanting to sell more cars in Australia.
They need the extra margin to cover how many times the car will be back to replace bits that break ! Oh and the sticky tape whilst its still under warranty. Nice cars RenoSports but a DUD!
I’ve owned a renaultsport clio for the last 8 years and apart from replacing a TDC sensor at 110,000kms its given me no trouble whatsoever. Fine vehicle!
Working at a dealership handling both makes i can tell you as a percentage of cars sold a LOT more VW’s come in
on flat beds the Renault’s.
As an owner of a 4 yr old RS225 Renault and 07 Megane sedan i have had no problems at all with either car.
People basing there opinions on cars from the 80’s is pretty nieve.
SS Commodore is better. does the renault have a touchscreen? no. even my iphone has a touchscreen. does the golf have an electric drivers seat? no. plus the commodore has more power and space and has a better reliability reputation than both these brands.
Yes and handles like that fat guy off master chef. Consumes as much too…… SS Commodore is not even a close comparison to these two cars.
no the commodores rear wheel drive so it will actually make it round corners without understeering. and it only needs 91 ron or e85.
Your kidding about the handling around corners right? Oh and the fuel compared to my last dunnydore…. don’t even go there. I complained about bits falling off a reno… but a commodore, now there’s a sorry story.
well i know ppl who have 400000ks on there commodore. do u know anyone with that much on their golf?
Shouldn’t you have been at school this afternoon c.o. when your comments were written? I am only saying this because your grasp of the English language is that of a school child, a junior highschool student at that. Acutally now I think of it, most junior highschool students I know have better English skills than what you have displayed. In case you still don’t understand, ugh, ugh, yo, grunt, fooly sic, ugh ya no wot i am sayin…
Yep try corners in the wet in a crummer , i think you will find very little understeer in either the renault or the golf , thats if you ever try one , they are a thinking mans car .
Another Holden bogan
You’re kidding, right? Comparing a large sedan to a medium sized hatch is a complete waste of time. Build quality, fuel economy and handling aside, the Commodore can’t comfortably carry 3 passengers plus a large dog. The Golf can.
then you get the wagon if you want a dog. a dog wouldnt like to be in the back of a small hatchback.
Commodore is a dog woof
Can you imagine how miserable your life would be spending 400,000kms in a Commodore. Its a wonder the bloke who owns this car hasnt yet killed himself.
Anyway I suppose lots of Commodores have 400,000kms on them…they’re called taxis.
My dog is a pretty big boy at 40 kilos. He’s just fine – you’d be surprised at the room in a “small hatch”. I like the look of the Commy Wagon, but it’s just not worth the misery I’d feel each and every day.
Are you freaking serious. The Commodore is an antique compared to either of these 2 cars!
I’m not sure a touchscreen is the main factor when choosing a car. Comparing a SS Commodore to these two cars is ridculous anyway. It’s a completely different segment of the car market.
If you want drive around in a car that uses 5 litres more petrol per 100km and has poorer handling than good for you.
I’m still debating Focus RS Vs the RS250.
Biggest turn off from the Focus is price, biggest turn off from the RS250 is the worry about reliability and resale.
I do at least 30,000km+ a year so I’ll be nudging the km limit on the warranty about the same time as it expires year wise (3years)
What do people think about the RS250 pushing 100,000km in 3 years? Still going or fallen to pieces?
And the wise man bought the golf .
the boring scotsman buys the golf…… plain looking car with eye watering service costs, rubbish reliability and TARTAN SEATS !!
i think the SS commodore would be better if ur doing a lot of kms. theyre built holden tough and last better on australian roads. plus if its a v8 they have better resale than the v6 and its faster than the renault and golf. and its more practical and better equipped wich is important if ur doing a lot of driving.
Your killing me c.o.,I’m loving reading your insights
into the world of modern motoring. Keep it up.
So i deduct from your statement the golf and the renault are faster than the ss V6 , wow , a five year old could work that out , you stick with the old world gm V8, probably need to tow a petrol tanker behind it .
yeh well the v6 is for try-hards and thrifty fleets. even my VY SV8 is faster than both these. and it has a electric drivers seat which the golf doesnt.
WOW electric seats maketh the car , and add weight , like to see the old barge out hustle either of these through a corner .
c.o. do you rev your engine at the lights like: Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam, the select D for maximum respect?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look up ‘commy vs JDM’ on you tube.
Not to mention, thankyou very much for destroying my thread.
Don’t forget the touchscreen Bangel. According to pretty much every post from c.o. a touchscreen is the most important part of the car. If your car doesn’t have one, it is not worth buying…
LOL @ c.o.
You are having a go about the Golf and Megane understeering when you have a VY!!! Now I am sure the types of cars you have actually driven is rather limited if you think the handling of a Commodore is the ‘ducks guts’. Those pre-VE Commodores are notorious for leaning very heavily on the outside front wheel which then leads into “shock horror”, tyre scrubbing understeer (unless you give it a bootfull of course, but we all know that isn’t the fastest way around a corner!!) On top of that they had the steering feel of a bowl of custard. Even the previous shape Mazda6 Classic could generate more G through a corner and achieve a higher speed in a slalom test and emergency lane change etc both wet and dry. If you want proof, look at the first annual Wheels Active Safety Program test. With the tests attributed to pure handling, the VY/VZ Commodore in most cases was just above mid field out of the top 20 selling cars at the time and was ‘outhandled’ in all handling based tests by the humble Mazda6 Classic. Even the BMW 330Ci they had as a benchmark, which itself is a very tidy handler and much better than any Commodore due to it’s lighter weight/pedigree etc, was outclassed by the Mazda6 in the same tests. I know, I found it hard to believe as well and is the reason why I remember it so clearly, but they were the facts.
Sure, your VY may be faster than these in a straight line, but anyone can go fast on the straights! However on a mountain road it would be A LOT closer than you think… I also bet you my little Suzuki accelerates even faster than your SV8, and it has a piddly little 650cc engine that only has 2 cyls and cost $11,000 new. It is all relative you know…
That being said the VE is another thing altogether and handles extremely well for a big, heavy car with a steering feel that has finally caught up with, and in some cases overtaken the competition. However it is not the ‘ducks guts’ you are making it out to be when it comes to handling, even though it has a touchscreen!! Don’t get me wrong, the VE is extremely good for what it is, but you can’t completely re-write the laws of physics. It is afterall the law!
You can’t even spell your name mate, you have left the C and K off the end of it.
You’ve probably considered a WRX already but I thought I’d just put it forward. Subarus are well known for their reliability so a lot of driving shouldn’t do a lot of bad.
I wouldn’t be trusting a Renault with that sort of mileage, especially since it’s very early in the life-cycle. However that’s just from experience as a former owner about 10 years ago. The Focus will probably be worth a lot more than the Renault in three years’ time as it will be somewhat of a collector’s item. However if it had 100,000kms on it I’m not sure the resale would be great. I prefer the Focus. Not as good to look at but that engine is fantastic. Otherwise maybe you could save yourself a few grand and get an XR5 Turbo Focus.
I would not buy the RS, mainly as a protest to Ford in relation to the contempt it has shown to its Australian fast hatch fans in managing its release – ie 2 years late, at the end of its product life cycle, and with $20,000 tacked on to the RRP over and above what the rest of the UK and europe pays.
You’d be better off buying one of the last LV xr5s, adding dreamscience and a set of quality coilovers and saving yourself 35k. The current deals available on the xr5s make them the best value for money car in the country…. bar one.
or you could buy the rs250….
The XR5 is great value. Actually in seeing the ads on the side of the page the whole Focus range is at the moment. While I can see why you would want to boycott the Focus I don’t think that’s a great idea because “lack of consumer interest” is what delayed it so much. Hopefully if they’re all snapped up quickly Ford will see sense and bring the new Focus ST and any hot Fiesta our way.
It wasn’t lack of interest.. If they had of bought it out around when it was released, and sold it at a price comparable with europe (ie An ST is £21k or about $AU34k-ish, an RS is £28k, or $AU43k, but yet RRP here is $AU65K) they would have sold a lot more than the 315 the bought out.
And with the new global nature of the new ST, we’ll get it here for sure, and it will be a sub $40k car.
The real question is when is the next Focus RS arriving, and will we be ripped off again.
No I wasn’t saying that it was a lack of interest. It’s just that Ford Oz didn’t interpret market interests correctly. When they finally woke up and realised it was too late and they could only secure a few. Because they knew there was an interest they knew that all 315 could sell so why not jack up the price? That’s how capitalism works…
Hey rrp is $59990
“didnt interpret market interest”… “finally woke up”… “knew that all 315 would sell so why not jack up the price?”
As said at the start, the whole process showed utter comtempt for the Australian Ford Hot Hatch fans and potential buyers….
A good honest review, I’m a bit of a GTI fanboy but I’m very tempted by the Renault.
2008 Renault Megane RS F1 Team R26 Phase II X84 168kw
Private Price Guide $23,500 – $26,200
2008 Volkswagen Golf GTi V 147kW
Private Price Guide $26,300 – $29,100
2008 Mazda 3 MPS BK Series 2 (Apr)190KW
Private Price Guide $26,600 – $29,500
Renault losses big time on resale.
Why try and rationalise a purchase such as this when these cars are about emotion?
If you love the look of the renault, love driving it and desperately want one in your life, throw away your spreadsheets and just buy the fkn thing!
If you feel the same about the golf, go for it!
Resale and operating cost analysis is something fleet managers do. When you’re buying a car that’s about passion and driving thrills, such pontificating gets in the way of enjoyment!
You’re a long time dead. If you love it, buy it!
Buying car based on emotions alone and you’ll end up with a 370Z or Cayman or MX-5 – buying a car based on emotions and using your head too and you will probably end up with a hot hatch or maybe something like an SS/XR6 or RX-8 etc, something half useful but still fast-ish
People will dissagree in X years when is selling time.
Good stuff JJ thats what cars are all about , if it rocks your boat buy it , life is tooo short .
Mr Car salesman I would love to buy your Hot Hatch please don’t tell me the price or service cost’s or loan repayments or retained value.
Please get the loan any interest rate will do, I don’t care what the weekly will be repayments.
Just get me the car.
if you were told service costs ….you would NOT buy a Golf
Finally CA gave the Golf GTI a run for it’s money.
I actually feel sorry Forrest the Golf GTI, maybe try testing it against the Cliob RS 200.
Actually even the CLio RS 200 on the twists will give the Golf GTI a run down.
If you want a manual Golf GTI like the one tested, you should buy one now. Rumour has it that (like the Polo GTi) all future Golf GTIs will be automatic-only.
The Golf looks so dated next to the Megane!
It has been slaughtered by the Renault as a hot hatch!
Correct AC the RS probably slaughter most aussie sixers through the corners on a B road , an the odd V8 .
maybe the ford’s and arion’s but not the Holden’s. Commodore’s have a superior chassis in fact its so good that it got sent to america to use in the chevy camaro which is well known for being better than the european vacum cleaners when it comes to corners
oh dear, don’t feed the troll
So your saying that Rally cars that are majority All Wheel Drive or FWD are slower on curves than a RWD?!
Maybe thats why there is 0 (none) RWD cars in world rally.
Tight curves the Megane will kill the Commadore, RWD will just spin out.
Get your facts right.
Well I won’t mention then that your “superior chassis” in the form of a modifed HSV Clubsport DTS in the Modern class was beaten in the Targa Wrest Point in Tasmania that just finished recently by a lowly Showroom class FWD Mazda3 MPS. It also isn’t the first time this has happened in Targa events and won’t be the last. And we all know Tasmanian roads have a lot of corners…
The Mazda3 MPS regularly cleans up the v8s in both the nationals and the Targa. Go figure?
European vacuum cleaners are one of the best. Dyson (UK) has a cult following, myself cannot be more satisfied with my Miele S5 Series (Germany). Engineered to last 15 years, clever design and very high build quality. It also handles really well around corners having 3 point steering with castor wheels.
Now, tell me about your Kambrook?
Sorry, FWD buzz boxes don’t do it for me. Better second hand options for $50K these days.
So why bother reading the article or commenting on it?
So there you have it, apparently golf drivers are fleet managers since they waffle on so much about fuel economy and quality and resale and such. Add to that the Golf is smaller than most of the competition (easier for grannies to park), less power (so granny can’t get into too much trouble), less kit and tech stuff (we can’t confuse our granny), massively understated and bland looking (don’t excite granny into a heart attack now) and here we have…..the perfect granny car. You never hear Golf owners bragging about how big or fast their car is or how much standard kit you get for the money, but the build quality and resale is fantastic (for a granny). Let’s not also forget the Golf’s penchant for options, everything good is an option – xenons, leather, decent wheels, etc, etc. Take a standard Golf and option it up to meet the competition and you suddenly have a much more expensive (and smaller and underpowered) car and are really paying for that resale.
It is finally good to see someone do a fair dinkum review and throw the age-old press bias (towards all Golfs) out the window although it would have been impossible anyway to justify the Golf winning against the Megane.
Poor Golf. Just because you don’t understand it, don’t pay out on it. Is there a great deal more about…I dunno…the world in general that you don’t understand?
Expect nothing else from a Golf fanboy, or is that fan-granny.
I have in fact driven one and it was nice, but only nice. All the usual stuff quality, nice to drive, handles well, blah, blah, blah. Then you step back and have a real look at how much you have to pay to option it up to the others, how small it is, how slow it is, how bland it looks and just plain unexciting – grandma car.
c.o. do you rev your engine at the lights like: Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam, then select D for maximum respect?
If people are looking for the ultimate hot hatch under $50K, it is the Megane, hands down. I have never been a big fan of powerful FWD cars, but this thing completely changed my perception. A mate was in the market for one and we tested the Gti and the RS250 back to back. The Gti simply has no chance keeping up with an RS250, it really is an engineering marvel given its pushing close to 200 KW for a FWD and you have hardly any understeer or torque steer. That mechanical front diff is simply amazing. But I understand why some people would put their money down on a Gti. The Gti feels more like a premium vehicle; its little things like a better interior layout and quality of materials and also the doors closing with a solid thud that can make a difference to a purchase. But I think if you are looking for the best driving experience, you cant got past the Renault. Only problem is you have to wait to May if you want to order one to your specs!
Wait for it, c.o. is gonna make a remark about his c.o.ckmodore’s solid thud when the doors close.
No, that is the Cruze that does that. Holden marketing told us so it must be true…
And just like the 3MPS with its oz spec 190kw/380nm i think its also de-tuned for the Oz market.
As far as reliability.
Is either good?
What if they are driven hard is either good?
I am not talking about modified race versions doing rally circuit. But the Australian versions bought and driven daily
Driven hard by far the Megane RS 250, but you’ll probably have to track it to really push it to the limits.
Proud owner of new RS250 Trophee (fully optioned, couldn’t buy Cup model in brisbane or select options without waiting for a custom build 3 months+). Awesome performance and the styling is years ahead of any other hot hatch.
Great turbo boost, especially shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear while giving it a bootful! Can;t wait to get it on a track once enginge is run in.
I did have to demand a wheel alignment and front wheel rotation to fix wondering steer issue, so now it is even better.
Simply a great value sports car that will provide hours of driving pleasure and looks the business. Viva la Renault!
First thing first, great review Anthony!!
I have to agree with majority of the things you have said. Personally i’m driving a mk5 gti pirelli, so even with the VW bias, i think the RS250, is seriously the best hot hatch in it’s class. In terms of performance nothing can beat it for that price range. If i do part with my current car, i’ll definitely go for the RS250 over Golf gti, Focus XR5 or MPS3.
BUT it is also true it depends what you use the car for… if you use the car for mostly weekends? RS250 all the time, but for day to day? I think the GTI has a slight edge, it is definitely more “luxurious” out of the 2. I would definitely prefer to sit in the gti for an hour’s traffic.
The styling of the RS250 is just amazing, it is a beautiful car, and having driven one for a full day, it is a beautiful bit of machinery.
I just don’t know how Renault can come up with such an extremely well balanced car!
The one thing i’m not too sure about is tuning… since the gti/r shares so much with the standard golfs, tuning potential is high, especially for the gti, which shares the same engine as the R (just K03 turbo instead of K04 and FWD instead of AWD). As for the Renault i haven’t really seen many places in Australia who tunes the RS250…. since it extracts so much power already, with basically the perfect balance, not sure if a tune would actually make it better or worst…
At the end of the day, it all comes down to priorities. You give up that little bit of comfort to get that little bit more power. But really i think whichever way you go, you will be extremely happy.
Hey mate, not being an idiot but the MKVI GTI and R share the motor only to a point.
For starters one is belt driven other is chain driven (R), one has a cam follower issue (R), one does not. You are absolutely right in the turbo’s, K04 used on the S3, R, MPS, TT-S etc and the K03 is on the GTI. There not that much bigger TBH (K04), but its bigger none the less.
Also the bottom end of the R is tougher, rods, pistons (forged) etc.
There is a guy on our forum, who owns both and runs a shop who drove the R and found to it to not use much oil on a couple of hard laps, where the GTI slams through through the stuff, and has a much higher oil consumption under duress. because of this last fact, VW went with the FSI motor found in the R (tougher more durable) despite being an older, less technically brilliant TSI motor found in the K03 driven GTI.
Sorry if i went on a bit, they just have a couple of differences which some give little credit.
So, having hungrily read everything I could about as many hot hatches as I could, I drove some again: a type R – devine gearbox/clutch, lovely engine above 5k, but too slow unless you work it hard, too jiggly for everyday & the red/black interior was hard on my eyes and cheap), Renault RS250(Trophee)- love the looks, the engine is amazing, clutch feels heavy, rides a bit iffy and the Recaros are bone hard but it drives with soul & feel (but those seats), Golf – lovely interior, good performance but just a tad bland, Mini JCW – nippy, fun, well made but tiny and I didnt like the ‘slot’ outlook thru the front screen, XR5 – lovely engine, anywhere urge, rides well and that 5 cylinder warble wow – oh but I’ve got one, Giulietta – every curve is sexxy and it impresses at first but then the blandness of the motor, the hard to use clutch, the lack of under thigh support, the odd design dash & blackness, the boredom (GTI Golf anyone?) nuh, Volvo C30 T5 – where’s all the good bits of the XR5 gone, WRX – you get in and are instantly underwelmed by the cheap uninspired dash/seats/quality and it’s just soulessly fast (very fast), so then what… back in the Renault (another Trophee) love/hate, back in the Alfa nice ride, could I get used to the clutch/boredom nuh, back in the Renault (finally a CUP) what a difference – the ride is still lively but it doesn’t get through to your bum, discovered the 5 throttle maps: linear for everyday sport for getting serious WOW! this is now an everyday proposition – it’s well made (compared with my XR5) comfy (the cup seats are amazing) sounds lovely (who needs the below par stereo anyway), fast & not furious (MPS anyone?) and just a damn fine place to be – my white one is on a boat heading this way by next month (please)…
i own a rs250 and mazda rx8 gt 2009 modeel and i love absolutely love both cars. it all really depends on what you re looking for, comfort, practicality, nice interior – golf gti. car that handles real good and goes like stink- rs250. at the end of the day rx8 outhandles them both since its real wheel drive and as long as u keep it above 5 revs, nuthin comes close to its handling on a track. however if u re after a sub $50000 hatchback only to race offlights and for daily drivin then i suggest u get mazda 3 mps, the thing has so much torque in third and fourth gear its quicker then porsche carrera s, or even new bmw m3. the 2010 model handles well too, but its in gear acceleratin is absolutely astounding. i raced a couple of mazda 3 mps’s and in straight line i keep up in 1st gear and half second gear, but after that the thing just pulls away. i am still thinkin of gettin one just cos they re so damn quick.
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I really like the look of this car, only thing is I didnt like how you cant option any of the things all the new cars seem to have Sat nav etc, but it did have a lap timer which could prove handy!
its sucks the renault has no sat nav in it
It does now. The Monaco Edition was the first to have it standard I believe.
thinking of getting a megane 250 but heard bad review about renault.. only way to find out is to try it !!!
As someone who owns a car purely for track sessions and the odd business trip, and spends far too much time salivating over future performance modifications, I’d certainly choose the Megane over the Golf GTI. I’ve owned a MK5 GTI which was very capable, however far too civilised for my liking. You never really felt you were driving a performance car as the engine emitted little sound, alongside the exhaust note. After owning a BMW 135i and now a Focus ST, the Megane Cup 265 will be my next aquisition second-hand after depreciation has done its worst. The Golf GTI is simply too vanilla and bland for those looking for a truly exciting driving experience: the Mage RS and Vauxhall VXR / Opel OPC’s fill that gap perfectly.