The Turbo Megane has always been seen as a worthy adversary to that of the other big hot hatches. Admittedly, Renault did go one up in the handling department with their Redbull and Trophy RS range, but for everyday driving to work and back, you need something a little bit more sensible.
This is where the GT line comes in. It’s a lot more comfortable and a bit of the RS DNA has been lost due to the major change in the chassis, however, leaving it a pretty competent car that would get the day to day things done.
The interior is nearly identical to that of the RS range, only minus the race orientated RS monitor. The infotainment system is very easy to use and is operated either via the joystick on the center console or via touch screen. I found the screen just a tad far to reach, so opted to use the stick which worked pretty easily. The only negative I’ve always had with the Megane range is the bass response from the speakers. They are a little lacking compared to the German and Japanese counterparts. However, all things considered, they still sound good. Setting up the Bluetooth is probably one of the less complicated systems available and you can have your phone synced in under 30seconds.
At the heart of this GT220 is a 160KW engine with 340Nm. It’s been slightly detuned from the mammoth 185kw in the RS, but it sounds nearly identical and pulls hard everywhere. It is so docile around town you would need to really mash the throttle to bring the car into boost and to notice there is something a little bit more special about this car. The negative thing with all this power is obviously with enthusiastic driving; your wallet will ultimately pay the price. We averaged around 9.5l/100km, which included a fair bit of performance testing, but also happy to report high 6l/100km should you drive it with economy in mind. Like they say, it’s always the heavy right foot that gets you into trouble.
The two tone interior looks great. I’m normally not a fan of four door Renaults, but this car looks pretty good. The new RS front makes it seem intimidating, especially with its daylight running lamps. The rear end is basically unchanged from the previous model, however.
As you can imagine, the GT220 is the top of the range of the GT line and comes with everything you need; from cruise control with a speed limiter to one touch windows and folding mirrors.
The GT line features 6 airbags with ABS, Electronic Stability Control with disconnectable anti-slip regulation. What this means is that if you had your steering turned at a certain angle and had to depress the throttle on a slippery surface, the Megane would automatically detect that something is wrong and regulate the throttle for optimum traction, ultimately keeping the occupants safe. There are also Isofix attachments as standard on the rear seats.
The Megane is a great alternative to your average hatch and can be ordered in Normal (81kw), Mild (97kw) and Spicy (162kw)
The GT220 retails for R329 000 for more info, Renault.co.za