by Daniel DeGasperi

A revised Renault Megane range has launched locally, headlined by the addition of a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a sporty GT-Line grade, and a wagon bodystyle.

The $20,990 Megane Expression replaces the previous Dynamique as the entry point to the range. Although $2000 less expensive, gone from the equipment list are front fog lights and keyless auto entry, while 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers replace the previous alloys. Six airbags, stability control, cruise control and electrically-foldable door mirrors remain standard.

The carry-over 103kW 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine now mates exclusively with the $2000-optional automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), the standard six-speed manual version having been replaced by a new 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the Clio and Captur.

Renault Megane 5

Full specifications for that engine are yet to be finalised – the entry-level manual is still a few weeks from going on sale – but in those other Renault models the engine produces 88kW at 4900rpm, and 190Nm at 2000rpm. Curiously, however, the engine is available only with a  dual-clutch auto in Clio and Captur, yet for the time being is manual-exclusive in the Megane. Renault Australia says it expects to add a dual-clutch automatic to the range next year.

A new sports-style mid-range model, the Megane GT-Line, starts at $26,490 for the 2.0-litre automatic or $28,990 for the 81kW 1.5-litre diesel and six-speed dual-clutch auto. Renault says demand for manuals in mid-level models is low, according to its research, so opted for an auto-only line-up above the base grade.

Extra standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, sports seats from the Megane RS, satellite navigation, keyless auto entry, leather steering wheel and gearknob, rear parking sensors, electric parking brake, LED daytime running lights and auto headlights and wipers.

Renault Megane 5

In addition to sports styling tweaks and badging, the GT-Line also gets a sports chassis, a roll centre reduced by 30mm, and centre of gravity lowered by 112mm. Renault Sport retuned the springs and dampers, with calibration derived from the Megane RS 265 Sport chassis that isn’t currently offered in Australia.

A $3500 Premium Pack is available on GT-Line, adding grey leather trim, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a rear armrest with cupholders, front parking sensors, rear camera, and ‘Visio’ – Renault’s auto-dip headlight and lane departure warning system.

The carry-over Megane Privilege is also available for the same $29,990 (petrol) or $32,490 (diesel) as the GT-Line Premium. It gets the same equipment, but with black leather seats, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, rear-seat air vents, the standard chassis and luxury-oriented styling.

Renault Megane 3

Renault has also introduced the Megane wagon line-up, starting at $26,490 for the entry level Dynamique 2.0-litre petrol auto. Compared with the entry hatchback, the Expression, the wagon-backed Dynamique gets 16-inch alloys, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, and a leather steering wheel and gearknob.

The Megane wagon is also available in GT-Line and GT-Line Premium (but not Privilege) specification, in petrol or diesel, for $1500 over the respective hatchback price.

Added as a limited edition flagship is the Renault Megane GT220 sport wagon for $36,990, or $41,990 for the Premium Pack. It includes a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, detuned from the Megane RS hot hatch to 162kW and 340Nm, in addition to 18-inch alloys, RS Monitor and RS-tuned Sport chassis.

Renault Megane GT220

Australia-bound production of the Renault Megane hatchback range moves from Turkey to Spain, as the GT-Line models are only produced in the latter factory. Renault Australia says it wanted to have sports-tuned models in the Renault Megane line-up from an early stage, and admits that it had a plan to bring them to Australia earlier.

Despite many manufacturers launching sub-$20,000 entry models, such as the $18,990 Nissan Pulsar, $19,490 Holden Cruze and $19,990 Toyota Corolla – the former two which get standard alloys over the Megane – Renault argues they are not direct rivals.

The company insists the Megane is a more ‘premium’ offering – despite the lower equipment level – which undercuts other European manufactured competition such as the ($500 dearer) Volkswagen Golf 90TSI and ($3000 more expensive) Opel Astra.

  • $29896495

    I can’t imagine why you’d bother – to much money

    • DAVIDZ

      Buy a Corolla, you will thank me when this goes all pear shape and at trade in time

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, the 3cyl engine is an improvement over the sub par 2.0 but the main problem with the megane has been the below average steering and suspension and the high pricing for not much equipment, the interior is not premium it is way below the golfs, hopefully the gt pack fixes the handling issues

      • tin

        what 3 cylinder engine?

        • Zaccy16

          Sorry typo, I mean 4cyl 1.2

  • ;y

    $26,490 for the cheapest wagon?

    My parents are looking to spend about $20K on a small wagon. They expect to pay about $1000-$1500 for the extra wagon space over a hatch. Yet this wagon is $5500 extra?
    They have no interest in auto/alloys/foglights etc that one is forced to get with the cheapest “dynamique” spec. If Renault offer a manual “expression” wagon for about $22Krrp they might have got this sale.

    • Darryl

      There isn’t much. Hyundai i30 or for something a bit left field (maybe a bit small), Skoda have been advertising during the Tour de France the Yeti at $21990 drive away.

      • Observer

        Even the i30 is $22,990 plus on roads for a wagon. And it is a 1.6L Manual…

      • Nathan

        One word: Cruze.

        • Zaccy16

          one word, crud!

        • Observer

          Sure, but that starts at $25,790 plus on roads also. It also has the old 1.8L that dates back to the late 1980s in the Astra. With hubcaps too. And without 5yr warranty or a stylish exterior.

          Any other suggestions? Assist from the superseeded Octavia and Golf, I can’t see any other European wagons that are contending in the market. I guess there is the 308, but that is at $31,990…

      • Zaccy16

        thats a great deal for the very underrated yeti!

    • Zaccy16

      i good pick IMO is the underrated skoda fabia wagon, they are $20,990 for a manual and $23,000 for the dual clutch auto, they are very roomy and have the fuel efficient but torquey award winning 1.2 turbo 4cyl , i have that engine in my polo and it is great

  • JoeR_AUS

    A competitor to the Skoda range.

    Fills a niche, turbo engines and dual clutch trans…

  • Norm

    Was a time when Renault built interesting cars

  • LowRezFez

    Hmmm, a lower entry price for cars with questionable reliability and scary resale.

    • Modern Man

      suppose you should question reliability of something with a 5 year warranty. i guess VW reliabilty is great? It is called perception not reality. ALL manufacturers have some sort of issue to overcome at one point.

      • LowRezFez

        You are right, perception is different. As for VW I had 2 Golfs, both were terrible, they kept going wrong.

  • Paulw

    In Short I like this car!

    I have never been a fan of French cars, I am a business owner and buy a new/near new car every 4-6 months, which I drive for myself and then hand down to my staff. Other cars are bought which I never drive too. All up we have over 30 Vehicles. The fleet has Falcons, Commodores, Camrys, Hyundai i20, i30, Lancer, Barina, Corolla, Prius and Lexus/Landcruiser LX470 (mine)

    I recently did a family holiday of Europe and hired a Megane Diesel Wagon for 4 weeks.

    It cruised effortlessly at 160km/h on the autobahn in Germany. Cruising at 130km/h it averaged 5.6 l/100km truly amazing.

    That was with a family of four and a wagon full of luggage. When driving through Switzerland and numerous mountain roads.

    We averaged 4.9 l/100km. The speed limit was 110km/h and we averaged 93km/h. Driving through Paris for two hours in stop go traffic we got 6.9 l/100km.

    We covered 6000km and 7 countries. It never missed a beat.

    The wagon was spacious and functional. I recently drove a new E200 Mercedes I found the Megane dash layout and controls to be easier to use and more logical. The base model Megane Wagon had far more features than a Base Model Commodore, Falcon, Camry, or Corolla. If you are looking for a mid-size wagon, this is worth a look.

    Yes it is a little more expensive but the fuel savings will probably pay for the price difference and you will be doing the right thing for the environment.

    In normal driving the high torque of the diesel engine never made you feel like you were missing out on power.
    We got ours up to 195Km/h (on the speedometer) on a flat piece of Autobahn.
    After 4 weeks of driving the Megane Wagon we were sorry to see it go. The whole family loved it and we are actually considering buying one as the wife’s family runabout. But we would be looking at the automatic not the manual.
    If you are looking for a slightly upmarket mid size wagon that is EXTREMELY fuel efficient, have a look at this thing.
    Don’t judge it until you have driven it.
    Because like most on this blog I previously would have said why bother.