About 2 months ago, we first drove the latest Megane 4 at the local national launch. While my initial impressions remained the same, I never really had spent a lot of time with the middle of the range GT Line variant and in hindsight; I should of, because you can really tell how good a car is by driving its cheaper models.
The GT line is powered by the 1.2 turbo petrol engine mated to a slick 6 speeder, that also does duty in the likes of the Kadjar so I’m familiar with it, just not in this chassis. The 1.2 makes a very healthy 97kw and peak torque of 205nm at a rather low 2000Rpm. While the GT Line won’t blow the socks off your feet in the performance department, it’s not exactly a donkey either. With a top speed of 197km/h and a 0-100kph time of 10.6 seconds it’s an adequate open road cruiser, with plenty of interior space.
The interior which looks like it’s been borrowed straight from the more performance orientated GT; features Alcantara bucket like suede heated seats with lumbar support. They are also 6 way adjustable and feel nice and snug, I’ve had many friends compliment the car alone just on them, so they are pretty good looking seats. The leather wrapped steering wheel with blue stitching theme is something that I’d need to get used to and unfortunately, there is no other color stitching option is available. This does, however, give the interior a sporty feeling, but the color can be a concern. The new 8.7 inch LCD multimedia screen is basically the central HUB of the car. Everything from your climate control to your eco-coaching happens there. It’s very intuitive, but can be a little hard to find your way around, especially if you technologically challenged. Thankfully, I’m not so I got the gist of it really quickly.
With their multisense setup, you can also personalize the vehicle to your taste, with various color options and vehicle performance settings to tailor how the vehicle should respond in certain situations. This makes a huge difference in overall performance of the vehicle. I found that in its eco mode, though extremely frugal on the go-go juice, performance was lethargic except when you flat foot it to overtake, then it will override the settings and give you maximum power. Playing around with the menu’s just makes for an overall nicer driving experience and in the end, you know where you’ve customized what; So it’s basically like an 8.7-inch phone, in the dash. Things like Bluetooth, navigation and a clever eco-coaching system are all standard, as well as the 4x35w Arkamys 3D sound speaker setup. Our model was also fitted with optional hands-free parking and blind spot detectors.
While the GT Line still looks sporty with its 17-inch alloy wheels, the ride is soft and plush. It’s a bit of a mixed bag of chips really because I like the overall package, just wished the damping was a little stiffer. The 47l tank gives around a 550km range before you see the light, but that can also be stretched out to around 650-700km. In everyday driving conditions we matched the urban figures that Renault Claimed at 6.8l/100km, but if you keep you open road speeds to about 100kph, that figure will drastically drop to mid 5l/100km. Impressive if you consider the 1200kg kerb weight it has to pull.
In this segment, you expect a vehicle to have a 5-star safety score and the Megane does not disappoint. With driver, passenger, curtain and rear airbags, its no wonder. The electronic controls are also all there with ABS, EBD, EBA, ESP and ASR keeping you on terra-firma.
The new Megane offers great value for money and while this GT Line is placed bang smack in the middle of their lineup, it has all the bells whistles of the GT model, except for the LED headlights. It’s going to be a difficult choice.
For more info on pricing and specifications, head on over to Renault South Africa