Renault Mégane Coupe (2009-2014) review - elegant coupe let down by soggy dynamics

Three-door Megane coupe undercuts VW's Scirocco

Evo rating
Price
from £18,145
  • Handsome and refined cruiser
  • Not a very involving drive

With the new Mégane Coupe, Renault has ditched the challenging bustle-back look of the old three-door Mégane and opted for something more conventionally stylish. And it works too. The Alfa Romeo-esque Coupe has an elegant profile and great road presence, from its deeply sculpted bonnet to its muscular rear haunches. The interior is similarly appealing, with soft-touch surfaces and first-rate fit and finish (not something you could always say of previous Méganes). The seats are well bolstered and comfortable, though you wouldn’t want to be stuck in the back for a long journey.

But what you really want to know is how it drives. We tried the 178bhp petrol turbo, for which Renault claims a 0-62mph time of 7.8sec and a top speed of 142mph. Unfortunately it feels slower than the figures suggest. At 1320kg, it’s no lightweight, but it’s the way the power is delivered that disappoints. There’s just none of the urge you’d expect as the turbo spools up, and once the power peaks at 5500rpm, thrust tails off in an almost diesel-like fashion.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

It’s a great motorway cruiser, with relatively high gearing – 27mph per 1000rpm in top. The ride is good, too, with fine small-bump absorption and good body control over fast dips and crests. But Renault claims that this new Mégane is a more sporting drive than the car it replaces (compared with its five-door sibling, the Coupe sits some 12mm lower and has uprated spring and damper rates). The company has also done a fair bit of work to sharpen up the new car’s electric power steering – a variable-assistance set-up, light at parking speeds and weightier as you go faster.

The first thing you notice on high-speed sweepers is just how accurate and precise the steering is, with no need to constantly adjust through the corner. In tighter turns the steering feeds back a useful amount of information about grip levels and surface conditions. When it weights up at speed, it does so in a way that feels natural, and there’s a pleasingly balanced feel to the chassis at high speed.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s just not terribly involving. Lift off mid-corner and the line will tighten a smidgen, but there’s little in the way of throttle adjustability. This is a hugely capable car, no question, but just not huge fun. It’ll need a back-to-back drive to be sure, but we’d guess the VW Scirocco, the Coupe’s chief rival, is the better drive.

The Mégane’s good value though. Prices start at £14,745, while this 2.0 TCe Dynamique costs £18,145 and comes with a fine specification, including sat-nav, Bluetooth and a high-end sound system. The rumoured Renaultsport version should be well worth waiting for.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/4-series/201608/2020-bmw-4-series-revealed-new-coupe-range-topped-by-369bhp-m440i
BMW 4 Series

2020 BMW 4-series revealed – new coupe range topped by 369bhp M440i

The new 4-series Coupe is bigger, faster and sportier, but that’s not what people are talking about
2 Jun 2020
Visit/features/17660/the-best-four-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best four-cylinder engines ever

We've gathered a selection of our very favourite four-pots ever produced
27 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911-targa/202681/2020-porsche-911-targa-4s-heritage-design-edition-revealed
Porsche 911 Targa

2020 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design edition revealed

Porsche reveals new 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design edition chock-full of retro touches
1 Jun 2020
Visit/chevrolet/202690/c8-chevrolet-corvette-uk-prices-and-specifications-revealedchevrolets-new-mid
Chevrolet

C8 Chevrolet Corvette UK prices and specifications revealed

Chevrolet’s new mid-engined C8 Corvette is an American supercar for less
3 Jun 2020