Test Drive – Renault Megane GT Line image

The Renault Megane GT Line manages to combine what’s best from the two worlds, the impressive chassis of the Megane RS and the economical dCi 130 engine.

Engine and Transmission

As we mention above, the Renault Megane GT Line is powered by a 1.6 liter dCi engine, which is producing a total output of 130 HP, with a peak torque of 320 Nm. The unit is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which, along with the stop/start system, is helping the fuel consumption. The Megane GT Line will sometimes make you forget you’re driving a diesel car thanks to its upgraded chassis, but, as we all know, diesel engines aren’t big fans of high revs, so you may have to change gear while trying to pass a car on the open road. The 1.6 liter dCi engine has made its way onto the current Megane quite late, but it will also be used by Renault on the future generation of the model.

Fuel Consumption

Renault says that the average fuel consumption of the Megane GT Line stands at just 4.0 liters / 100 km. And we can’t argue with that because, in best driving conditions, the trip computer will indicate even less. For example, at a constant speed of 80 – 90 km/h, in sixth gear, the fuel consumption will stand at just over 3.0 liters / 100 km. At a normal driving speed of 120 km/h, on the highway, with the cruise control on, the dual-zone climate control blowing all over the cabin and the radio on, we’ve seen a figure of 5.6 liters / 100 km, which is more than acceptable.

In the urban environment, the start/stop system is doing is job just like it should and it’s helping the fuel consumption. For example, with the stop/start deactivated and with a sporty driving style, we couldn’t get past 8.5 L / 100 km. With the stop/start activated and with a normal driving style, the average fuel consumption will drop to approximately 7 L / 100 km in the city, making this a good car for everyday use.

The Ride

The Renault Megane GT Line feels just brilliant on the road. The model is riding on the same chassis as the Megane RS (Renaultsport) and this is easily one of the best chassis in the segment, even if I must admit, I can’t wait to drive the new Golf GTI. The steering is precise and the low driving position is allowing the driver to feel the wheels on the asphalt. A little training before and you won’t have to push the brake pedal every time you see a curve up ahead, even if this might well be in the 90 degrees area. Keep in mind that under steer may appear when you won’t expect it, considering the fact that this is a front-wheel drive car.

If you want more out of the chassis, you can always turn the Traction Control off and experience some sliding and some eventual under steer. The front seats offer great side support and the transmission, which is also used on some other models made by Renault or Nissan, is doing its job pretty good, even if I would have preferred an automatic.

Interior Design

The Renault Megane GT Line is a nice place to sit in. You have beige / black leather seats, leather surfaces on the doors, all buttons can be reached easily by the driver and the steering wheel feels good in both hands. Again, I would have liked the new EDC with paddle shifters, but this is probably reserved for the new Megane RS. The satellite navigation system can be easily operated through a joystick fitted near the center armrest, just like in some other Renault models, and it’s signed by TomTom.

You have a Bose premium sound system which does its job just like it should, a dual-zone climate control for when your passenger won’t agree with you on the temperature in the cabin and heated front seats for when winter will come. The rear legroom isn’t enough and this will be a constant reminder. In the front, there is only one cup holder, so the passenger will have to finish his/her drink quite fast. There isn’t a support for the mobile phone and I’m not a big fan of aftermarket replicas.

When it rains, the rearview camera will get very wet and it might be impossible of using it unless you will get out of the car and wipe it. This is where the passenger comes in handy. The rain sensors aren’t doing their job great and you will see them wiping the window when its dry and not wiping it at all when you simply can’t see anything, so this is a useless optional.

Likes / Dislikes

A big like goes to the chassis, which is simply brilliant. You have to drive it to see how good it is so if you’re looking for a new C-segment hatchback, make sure to take a spin in the Megane GT Line before checking out the competition. The engine is good too and it’s providing enough torque and a great fuel economy. The six-speed manual gearbox is good too but, again, I would have preferred an automatic. Maybe Renault will offer one on the future Megane GT Line generation.

The exterior design of the model is attractive, the blue color reminds me of the old Alpine models and honestly I would have liked some white stripes on its body to pay a tribute to the old brand. The TomTom navi does its job like it should, the cabin is sound proof, you get a Lane Departure Warning system which can be deactivated, a Traction Control button, adaptive and auto-leveling xenon headlights, sports front seats with heaters, a start/stop system and a great low driving position.

The dislikes go to the rear legroom, to the dashboard design, which feels cheap and has common elements with other models in the lineup, the lack of cup holders in the front, where only one can be found, the lack of a phone support, the rearview camera which gets very wet when it’s raining, the useless rain-sensing wipers and the manual transmission, which won’t let you enjoy the chassis. When you eventually get to enjoy it, the diesel engine will cut your revs, so make sure you check out the dashboard before trying to overtake another vehicle. The cheapest version of the Renault Megane GT Line starts at 21,700 euros, VAT included, but the model we tested was priced at just under 26,000 euros.