A history lesson…
With the new Megane just starting to gain some momentum in the UK, the model that’s just been replaced will be sitting there feeling all sorry for itself, but it shouldn’t because it’s been one of the finest French exports in many a decade. The Megane made from 2002-2008 – aka, the one with the arse – was a true revelation for the French company.
Like all the good things in life, people didn’t get it. It was released in 2002 and nobody wanted one, nobody thought it was good looking, but after a year or so, we came around to the Megane’s bootilicious body and we finally got hooked.
New models were brought in to keep the Megane fresh, like the incredible Megane 225 Sport, which featured RenaultSport motorsport technology and was highly praised within the industry for being a true hot-hatch.
Bang for your buck
As the Megane is always up against the Focus and Golf, it has to be good. More than that, it has be to bloody marvellous. What it lacks in driveability – which the Focus has – it more than makes up for in comfort and safety, and what it lacks in quality – which the Golf has – it again makes us for in being extremely stylish.
The Megane is not perfect. It’s far from it, actually, but what it does do well is be a viable alternative to the aforementioned rivals. It has everything the Focus and Golf has, but focuses more of style and safety than build quality and driving dynamics.
What you’ll pay
You’ll pay anything between £2-4k for a good, low-mileage runner with all the screws firmly in place. The Megane has kept its value quite well but with the new model now taking over proceedings, the oldie will come down in demand.
What to check
The Megane is a safety-focused car, so make sure none of the airbags have been deployed at any point, make sure all the electronics work as they should and that the paintwork is in good order. Other than that, we’ve heard no horror stories as yet.
A new clutch for a Megane will be about £150 and a full exhaust system will cost you around £220. Brake pads are about £40, which shows Renault’s low pricing for new parts.
How it drives
Well, if you opt for the RenaultSport Megane, you’ll get one of the finest hot-hatches available; with plenty of grip, bags of power – 225bhp to be exact – and a sporty interior, but if you don’t want a hard driving ride and a trip to the petrol station every five minutes, the diesels and lower-capacity petrols are just as interesting.
As previously said, the Megane doesn’t drive like the Focus, but it’s not too far off. It does weigh quite a bit more than its rivals, but that’s purely down to the safety stuff on-board and that large rear-end. It’s a good, solid drive with enough competency and grip to at least leave you entertained after a hard day at work.
The boot is super impressive, the interior should hold up for a few years yet and it will get plenty of likes from friends and neighbours for its design and style.