Renault Megane GT review

'Warm hatch' version of coupe Megane, 178bhp turbo 2-litre, 0-62mph in 7.8sec

Evo rating
Price
from £21,320
  • Rides and steers well
  • Doesn't sparkle like the Renaultsport version

Those with longer memories will recall the minor cult that was the ‘warm hatch’. In response to rising insurance and petrol costs in the early ’90s, a raft of sub-hot hatches came along offering sporty styling and a background flavour of performance. We’re talking Clio RSI, Citroën ZX Furio and Astra SRi.

In an economic climate not dissimilar to the early ’90s, it’s of little surprise that the warm hatch is back – say hello to the Renault Mégane Coupe GT TCe 180. The fact that Renaultsport has had a hand in its development – we’re huge fans of both the RS Mégane and Clio – means there’s reason to be optimistic about this car, too. It even looks good, individual and stylish, riding on its 18in, graphite-coloured ‘Jetow’ wheels.

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!

Inside, Renaultsport-spec seats are fitted with specific GT cloth and there are aluminium pedals, a Renaultsport wheel and polished carbon trim. Climate, cruise, TomTom satnav, and a hands-free keycard are standard.

It seems odd that a funky-looking three-door hatch with 178bhp should be considered a warm hatch, but thanks to the phenomenon of upsizing that’s what we’ve got here. With 0-62mph taking 7.8sec and a top speed nudging 140mph it’s on the hotter side of warm, and such is the amount of torque available at low rpm (221lb ft at 2250rpm), the GT makes a fine cruising and overtaking companion.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It steers with precision, but lacks a little of the weight and feedback of the full Renaultsport version, and it grips and contains body roll in a perfectly acceptable manner. The only unruliness comes from torque-steer, which is present under hard acceleration in the first three gears. The GT doesn’t try too hard to impress, which makes you wonder if this is one of those cars that reveals its talents slowly during the ownership experience rather than on a short test drive at a dealer.

It’s a likeable car, then, but it has one problem – its brilliant big brother. The full-on Renaultsport Mégane is a couple of grand dearer, but it is worth every extra penny.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1998cc, turbo
Max power178bhp @ 5500rpm
Max torque221lb ft @ 2250rpm
0-607.8sec (0-62mph, claimed)
Top speed139mph (claimed)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/gordon-murray-automotive-t50-revealed-the-real-mclaren-f1-successor
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 revealed – the real McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s T.50 is the pinnacle of supercar engineering on the eve of an electrified future
4 Aug 2020
Visit/features/202947/bmw-m3-gts-vs-mini-gp-vs-renault-sport-megane-r26r
Features

BMW M3 GTS vs Mini GP vs Renault Sport Mégane R26.R

You could spend £250,000 on a 700bhp hardcore machine, but is there just as much fun to be had – if not more – with less power and for less outlay?
1 Aug 2020
Visit/ford/202957/mountune-ford-focus-rs-m520-2020-review-less-hot-hatch-more-throwback-to-group-b
Ford Focus RS

Mountune Ford Focus RS M520 2020 review – less hot hatch, more Group B throwback

The idea of a 500-horse Focus won’t be for everyone, but for the rest it’s a glorious dose of internal combustion madness
31 Jul 2020
Visit/bmw/m2/202954/bmw-m2-cs-2020-review-plenty-to-worry-a-porsche-cayman-gt4
BMW M2

BMW M2 CS 2020 review – there's plenty to worry a Porsche Cayman GT4

The most enjoyable and rewarding M car to drive for quite some time. Potentially, a future classic.
31 Jul 2020