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by Tim Beissmann

Next month’s launch of the all-new Renault Mégane hatch will signal the beginning of a major range transformation for the French marque in Australia.

The new hatch will be the first of five all-new models and one limited edition model to be launched between mid-September and the start of the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 15.

Following the Mégane hatch will be the Fluence small sedan, the Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet, the Mégane RenaultSport 250 Cup and Cup Trophée, the new Kangoo small van, and the highly anticipated Clio RenaultSport Gordini Limited Edition.

Marketed under the banner “It’s time to change”, Renault says the revised range will be better suited to the Australian market, with a strong emphasis on build quality, safety and style.

Bluetooth and MP3 compatibility will become standard across the Renault passenger range and integrated satellite navigation standard on all but entry-level models.

And if the new Mégane hatch is anything to go by, value is set to increase considerably, with the new base model starting at $22,990 ($2500 lower than the outgoing Mégane II Expression sedan).

The new Mégane hatch range will feature two models: Dynamique and Privilege.

The entry-level Dynamique is powered by a Euro V-compliant 2.0-litre engine which generates 102kW and 195Nm of torque. Teamed with a six-speed manual, it uses 8.2 litres/100km combined.

The Dynamique is also available with a continuously variable transmission, which it shares with the range-topping Privilege. Power for both models increases by one kilowatt to 103kW and fuel consumption decreases to 7.9 percent despite the setup being Euro VI-compliant only.

Safety matches most competitors with ESP, ABS, six airbags (driver, passenger, side and curtain) and front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiter.

Dynamique models get hands-free entry, ignition and automatic locking, cruise control with speed limiter, fog lights and electric windows, while the Privilege adds a leather interior, dual zone three-mode climate control, sunroof and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.

Renault says interior comfort and practicality is significantly improved from the old model, and claims the new Mégane boasts best-in-class front elbow room and the largest boot volume in its segment (368 litres). Revisions to the analogue and digital dashboard readouts and a focus on design and soundproofing to reduce cabin noise also contribute to an improved interior experience.

Renault is also appealing to the environmentally conscious, revealing that around 22kg of the vehicle’s plastics (or 12 percent) are sourced from recycling and 95 percent of the total vehicle is end-of-life recoverable by weight.

The all-new Renault Mégane hatch range will arrive in Australian showrooms in mid-September, with prices starting from $22,990 for the Mégane Dynamique manual, $24,990 for the Dynamique CVT and $29,990 for the range-topping Privilege CVT.




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