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  • Sweet, strong, cohesive drivetrain; sharp handling for a wagon; spacious and practical load area; decent level of standard equipment
  • Road and engine noise affects overall refinement; dated interior design; steering lacks crispness of RS; no rear-seat air vents; no auto availability

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review

The Renault Megane GT 220 Estate combines a high-performance engine up front with a highly practical rear load area to become the natural stepping stone between regular Megane models and the hardcore coupes.

Priced at $36,990 – see full specifications here – the only real competiton for the Renault Megane GT 220 Estate is the Volkswagen Golf 118TSI wagon below it and the Skoda Octavia RS wagon above it, while the Mazda 6 wagon and Holden Commodore Sportwagon are larger wild cards that each offer a high level of driving enjoyment.

Naturally, however, the Megane GT 220 Estate will also compete against many popular compact SUV models in the sub-$40K family-car buying space – including the company’s own Koleos – although Renault says it actually aims to lure prospective buyers of the Megane RS265 who can’t cop having only two doors.

In most ways, the Renault Megane GT 220 Estate feels exactly as you’d expect from a car pegged between the ordinary sub-$30K Megane hatchback models and the $40K-plus Megane RS265 coupe.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed manual drivetrain from the Megane RS perform almost as well as they do in the slinky coupe. Despite the Megane GT 220 Estate tipping the scales 90kg heavier than its coupe sibling, at 1474kg, and producing 33kW and 20Nm less power and torque respectively, the performance remains strong and induction noise endearing.

Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review

With162kW from 4750-6500rpm and 340Nm from 2750-4500rpm, the Megane GT 220 Estate feels gutsy both off the line and when overtaking. Front passengers are treated to a slightly noisy, thrashy soundtrack while rear riders get the same exhaust vworrrp prominent in the Megane RS – in refinement terms, in this family car application, it is for better or worse; we say better.

The alloy-topped gearlever connects to the same wonderfully slick gearbox, and both the brakes and clutch pedal work as naturally as they do in the Megane RS265.

While most family car buyers want an automatic transmission in this segment – and as with the RS265 one isn’t available – the manual drivetrain is both effortless and engaging.

The Megane GT 220 Estate is also the first Renault to include a stop-start system as standard, which helps reduce its fuel use to a claimed combined 7.3L/100km, compared with 11.3L/100km for the Megane RS265. Premium unleaded is required, however.

Renaultsport maestros know how to tune a chassis, as the RS265 demonstrates, but the ultra-taut set-up of its Sport and Cup cars isn’t evident here.

The spring and damper rates have been appropriately backed off so the Megane GT 220 Estate is far more friendly to the kidneys when pounding over speed humps and less sensitive to surface changes.

It is now comfortably firm, with a slight edginess over larger imperfections and restlessness over small surfaces that remain acceptable for a sporting-focused model. The hard thumping and clunking, and ultra-taut rebound control of the RS265 has been eased. There are corresponding reductions in cornering ability, of course.

Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review

Gone is the ability to flatten the throttle pedal early in a corner as you would in a Megane RS265. There’s no front limited slip differential in the Megane GT 220 Estate so the stability control interferes instead – impressively, though, only moderately.

There’s no Perfohub front steering set-up as in the Megane RS265, either. The design, which separates the steering hub from the strut, does a sterling job of reducing torque steer – where the steering is corrupted by the effects of lots of grunt going to the same wheels that do the turning.

In the Megane GT 220 Estate, however, torque steer is still reasonably well contained. More troubling is the slower rack and vagueness in the first movements off the centre position. Start winding on lock and the Renaultsport-tuned system offers decent feel and response, but it isn’t the equal of the Megane RS265 system.

Still, the wide 18-inch tyres grip well, and plenty of rewarding balance remains from the chassis. It’s possible to have more fun and go quicker in this car than in any compact SUV except maybe the Mazda CX-5. It certainly runs its Holden Commodore SV6 Sportwagon and Skoda Octavia RS wagon rivals close.

With wide tyres and a ride that remains on the firm side, however, refinement levels are average in the Megane GT 220 Estate. There’s plenty of both road and engine noise which link this small wagon closer to its hatchback sibling than family-friendly SUV and mid-sized cars competing in the same price bracket.

Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review

What drivers gain in sporting flavour, there’s a compromise in terms of both refinement and interior polish.

The dash design of the Megane GT 220 Estate is starting to feel its age, with some hard and mismatched plastics, although it is well equipped. The front seats are superbly bolstered, while the rear offers good legroom for outboard passengers. A lack of centre rear air vents is, however, disappointing.

Thanks to the Megane’s torsion beam rear suspension permitting a low loading lip, access to the 486-litre boot is easy, while a full-size spare wheel resides underfloor.

The cargo area itself is bigger than many compact SUV models – including the CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan and Subaru Forester – and expands to 1595L when the rear backrest is folded.

While the Renault Megane GT 220 Estate can’t hit the driving highs of its Megane RS265 coupe sibling, it perhaps offers a better balance of abilities.

It remains enjoyable to drive, and offers plenty of practicality, although some refinement issues remain and the interior quality is average for the price. It also faces stiff competition both from the more subtle but slower Octavia RS, and indirect but similarly priced rivals like the Commodore (about to switch to VF) and Mazda 6, both of which are excellent cars to drive and fine value.

While it may not be the most polished wagon for less than $40,000, buyers who find the RS265 too hard and impractical but can’t bear to buy a compact SUV will still find a nicely engaging and spacious offering in the Renault Megane GT 220 Estate.


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Renault Megane GT 220 Estate Review
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  • Bedfordshire

    Why are the wheels different in the last photo?

    • Ren

      Dunno, but they certainly look better!

  • Golfschwein

    woo hoo, how excitement! And most unexpected.

    • ehmagerd

      Agreed. This and the RS265 are best in class and do leave the competition eating their dust.

      • pixxxels

        I wouldn’t say ‘eating dust’. The GTI, Focus ST and even the Astra OPC are all extremely good cars, each with their different strengths.

  • walkie86

    I want one!

    Have you driven a non-cup 265?

  • blahblahblah

    RS265 uses 8.2L/100km, not 11.3L/100km.

    • Zaccy16

      thats what i thought, maybe that is the city figure?

  • James

    Hopefully being a wagon will allow it to be P’s Approved.

  • $29896495

    Very attractive station wagon.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, interiors abit dated but as a whole package its a good car

      • W

        I bought it and it is cool. Interior maybe isn’t to fancy but I like simplicity. Quality of components is not Mercedes level but it is still very good. Pleasure of driving is gr8 though. Noise gives all the fun and feeling of the sport car. It is not problematic if you drive static 90mph on 6th gear. Bigger boot than in RS is also pretty darn useful.

  • JoeR_AUS

    Looking for a performance Family wagon, but no rear air vents might mean the target is two adults who lead an active life style and not the kids…

  • Exar Kun

    I want one badly! Would make a most excellent family car.

  • Ren

    Mazda CX-5 is faster and more fun? Really?

    • Zaccy16

      yep, that shows how good the cx5 is to drive!

      • r27driver

        you sir, have obviously never ever driven an RS product.

        I own an r27, and the amount of autographs i have to sign is almost ridiculous.

  • Cars

    Not sure why this is being compared to SUVs like the CX5……
    I reakon this will kill a lot of Skoda RS sales.

    No 0-100 times?

    • McAfee

      People might cross-shop this with SUVs, since there aren’t that many wagons in this segment and they do pretty much the same thing. Plus, SUVs are becoming better-driving cars, e.g. CX-5, Kuga, Tiguan.

    • TheRealThomas

      From Euro specs, 7.5secs form 0-100km/h.

  • amlohac

    Oh if only it was AWD, my dream wagon haha. Still one sweet car. I think Renault might be onto a winner

  • forreal

    What country did you drive this in? And where?

    • amlohac

      Assuming from the other reviews floating about, it was in France.

  • renard argente

    The RS265 is a great car BUT, for the majority of us – as shown by “Drive’s” straw poll
    “Would you buy a more practical, but softer, hot hatch? Yes79% No21%” – many of us NEED at least 5-doors. This car is a good strategic move Reggie.

    Hello Peugeot? Hope you put down your croissants & wine & build a 5-door Mk III 308, because THIS Reggie is VERY appealing even if not the full monty RS265 spec.

    Look out Octavia vRS.

    Look forward to inspecting & driving the 220, even in wagon livery.

    Trez bonza

    • pierre

      New Octavia models should help it position though

  • Steven

    Idiot – “no auto availability” is a plus, not a minus. It’s a perfromance car. Get a luxo-barge if you must have an auto.

    • Phil

      The only negative I can see is with no rear-seat air vents. No auto availability is ideal. Road and engine noise and interior design are peronal opinions only. Interior looks fine from the pics. Where do I sign?

  • jmm

    Just picked the GT220 up the other day. Loved the 265 but with 2 kids just couldn’t justify it. This is so much FUN to drive and my grin from driving this nears that when I took the 265 out. It reminds me of the handling of my 1st gen mini (on rails) and the get up of my old mkIV gti.

    • Jake

      I’m with you jmm. I picked up my GT220 and so much fun to drive – so I get to have a practical family car whilst also having some fun.

Renault Megane Specs

2.0L MULTI POINT F/INJ - CONTINUOUS VARIABLE - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 2D CABRIOLET
Car Details
Make
RENAULT
Model
MEGANE
Series
E95
Year
2013
Body Type
2D CABRIOLET
Seats
4
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
195Nm @  3750rpm
Max. Power
103kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
66.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
82.7x93mm
Compression Ratio
10.2
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
CONTINUOUS VARIABLE
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
60
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1550
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1437mm
Length
4485mm
Width
1811mm
Ground Clearance
141mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11
Front Rim Size
7.0x17
Rear Rim Size
7.0x17
Front Tyres
205/50 R17
Rear Tyres
205/50 R17
Wheel Base
2609
Front Track
1546
Rear Track
1547
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Sunroof
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Exterior
Electric Top, Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
10-K-14
Country of Origin
FRANCE