Ian Lamming enjoys a hint of F1 in Renault’s latest estate?
IT LOOKS like an estate car but Renault calls it a sports tourer.
The first thing to notice is the size of the badge on its nose, it’s huge, so this particular model is very proud to be a Renault.
Then on the GT Line you notice the front blade, running the width of the lower bumper, which has much more than a hint of F1about it – on an estate car? Really? Oh yes!
This particular ST is the E-TECH Plug-in hybrid and when you look at the statistics it should rank among the ordinary. There’s a modest 1.6 litre petrol engine under the bonnet that only develops 90HP.
But this combines with a 9.3kWh battery, two electric motors and multi-mode clutchless gearbox, offering a combined 160hp. What is more important still are the torque figures – a truer reflection of the car’s ‘pulling power’. The petrol provides 144Nm and the electric motor delivers 205Nm, making the New Mégane Plug-in Hybrid the most powerful model in the regular range.
It also always starts off in electric mode and it acts and thinks like an F1 car off the grid – whoosh! It absolutely flies. Hybrid will go 30 miles on pure electric without the need to plug it in or work with the petrol engine. It’s so quiet and seamless it’s hard to know what is doing what, when and why, it’s just creamy smooth all the way.
The Plug-in Hybrid model is also capable of impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, with just 30g/km of CO2 emitted and claimed fuel economy of 217.3mpg, which translates to an easy 50+ in day to day running. Also impressive is the fact that it comes with a free home charging wallbox – I’ve never come across that before – to speed up rapid recharging.
The Mégane GT Line opts for sporty. I’ve already mentioned the F1 skirt but there’s also dark chrome door mirrors, more muscular front and rear bumpers with silver rear diffuser, excellent sport seats, exclusive GT Line cloth upholstery, chrome door sills, extra tinted rear and tailgate windows, 17 inch Monthlery diamond-cut alloy wheels and 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with R-LINK2 Navigation.
New Mégane comes with full LED headlamps and revised daytime running lights at the front, plus new LED lighting signature at the rear.
At the front the C-shaped lights now incorporate the turn indicators and at the back there is a new LED light strip reaching across the rear of the car towards the Renault badge.
Inside is comfy all round. The sports seats and ergonomics are spot on, the graphics on the virtual dash are clear and attractive and the load bay is square and accessible. Thankfully there’s space under the floor to store the various cabling.
There’s an exhaustive list of standard equipment, including front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high/low beam, electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors, handsfree keycard with welcome and walk-away function,
automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Apple CarPlay/Android, so it wants for nothing.
Mégane is a car you can be proud of, it’s a car that reflects Renault’s F1 heritage and it’s a car that definitely merits its sports tourer name.
Renault Mégane Sport Tourer RS Line E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
Engine: 1.6 petrol plug-in hybrid
0-62mph: 9.8 secs
Top speed: 111mph
Combined MPG: 217.3
Transmission: six-speed automatic
CO2 g/km: 30