Renault Mégane RS review – performance and 0-60

Acceleration time is on-par for the class at 5.7sec, but the engine’s character stands out against others

Evo rating
Price
from £27,495
  • Willing and enthusiastic engine; EDC transmission not the weak link it could have been
  • Still lacks that last ounce of cohesion and engagement; feels like Renault’s moved on symbolically

Both RS models will reach 62mph from rest in 5.7sec, and top out at 161mph. The engine feels far stronger in the Mégane than it does in the Alpine, even more so than the 1.8-litre figure might lead you to believe. Not only is it powerful, it feels sophisticated too, with more character than a latest-gen EA888 from the VW stable and more enthusiasm than the Hyundai’s Theta unit.

With an initial pump of torque at low rpm, the Renault’s engine will quickly build steam and just keep on revving to its red line without any distinct reduction in momentum. As with all modern turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the red line is relatively low at 6250rpm.

Pop the Mégane into Race mode and the inoffensive engine noise is masked by a thrummy, synthetic din emitted by the speakers. Not only does this not sound very appealing, it’s barely like an engine noise at all. The Perso mode, where you can choose your own set-up, allows you to select the Race settings for everything but the engine noise, if you wish. Excellent.

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