When you’re looking for style, performance and economy, you’re always going to be in a trade off situation. Rarely can you come across a car that adequately combines all three, but lately French manufacturer Renault have been performing a fairly respectable job of doing just that. This has been highlighted with the new Mégane GT Line.
First off I must make a slight admission. As most of my friends will know, I tend to be constantly rushing around from one thing to the next and it was during one of my usual hectic Mondays that I’d had to change cars at the last minute as my previously reserved car had accidentally been double booked with another journo. No big deal, these things can happen, so instead I was told that I’d be collecting a Mégane coupe GT Line. A quick walk around the car to check over for any marks (usual procedure) and before long I was off. Typically, rushing off to my next appointment I tried to familiarise myself with the car’s bells & whistles on the road. First impressions were that it felt good on the road, and then I noticed it! The low red line – this is a diesel!! Well done Mr. Renault engineer, you had me fooled for a few miles!
Visually the current Mégane coupe looks well, it’s not overly sporty in it’s appearance but it had a nice presence. Opening the long doors gives good access to the cabin though I could see the door length being an annoyance if you’re a regular car park user. Ease into the sports seats and you instantly feel them hugging your sides. It sets the tone, or rather expectation that this is going to be a swift drive. This is one area of our trade off.
Performance from the GT Line’s engine isn’t scintillating, but for everyday use I think most people will find it more than adequate. The diesel engine has enough torque and pulls well from low revs, especially at motorway speeds. The cabin is well insulated from noise, in fact it’s only really when the windows are down can you really hear that it’s a diesel. Tyre noise is minimal and not a squeak or rattle could be heard when driving. Getting back to that trade off, and economy is definatly one of the Mégane’s trump cards. Setting off on Monday morning the car’s trip computer told me I had an estimated range of just under 900kms, and despite a week of driving in all manor of trips, I haven’t even used half the tank.
Spec wise there really wasn’t anything lacking. My car had Renault’s keyless entry and ignition, electric mirrors, parking sensors and built in TomTom sat nav. Integrated into this is the Bluetooth system which I did find to be not the most intuitive of systems to use. I did have to consult the manual but lets face it, you’ll probably only need to pair your phone up the one time! All that said, ‘in the current climate’ and in the cold light of day, any car that has decent looks and a bit of street cred that’ll do serious mileage (4.4L/100kms) on a single tank simply has to be given some serious consideration. Add to that a huge amount of boot space and rear seats that are actually useable and power from a 1.5 diesel that falls into Tax Band A meaning just €104 road tax per year shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Basic price OTR: €24,500
Price as tested: €25,200
Road Tax band: € 104 per year