Automotive

Renault's Megane Grand Coupe is the latest step in a French revolution

Renault's Megane Grand Coupe i...
The Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a handsome addition to Renault's compact family
The Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a handsome addition to Renault's compact family
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The Grand Coupe is, in reality, a sedan
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The Grand Coupe is, in reality, a sedan
The Megane Grand Coupe has the same c-shaped headlamps as the hatchback
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The Megane Grand Coupe has the same c-shaped headlamps as the hatchback
The center of the cabin is the R-Link2 touchscreen
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The center of the cabin is the R-Link2 touchscreen
The sloping rear glass is designed to make the car look like a coupe
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The sloping rear glass is designed to make the car look like a coupe
Renault has gone all-out on the exterior styling 
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Renault has gone all-out on the exterior styling 
The c-shaped headlamps are a cue being used across the Renault Megane range 
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The c-shaped headlamps are a cue being used across the Renault Megane range 
The Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a handsome addition to Renault's compact family
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The Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a handsome addition to Renault's compact family
The face is far more attractive than the VW Jetta's boring front end
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The face is far more attractive than the VW Jetta's boring front end
The broad taillights make the rear of the car look wider
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The broad taillights make the rear of the car look wider
Renault wants the Grand Coupe to drag people away from the Jetta 
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Renault wants the Grand Coupe to drag people away from the Jetta 
You can have a panoramic sunroof on the Megane Grand Coupe 
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You can have a panoramic sunroof on the Megane Grand Coupe 
Renault is offering a range of petrol and diesel engines 
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Renault is offering a range of petrol and diesel engines 
The Megane Grand Coupe has an 8.7-inch touchscreen in the center console
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The Megane Grand Coupe has an 8.7-inch touchscreen in the center console
Renault has fitted a TFT screen and central touchscreen to the cabin
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Renault has fitted a TFT screen and central touchscreen to the cabin
Some of the details on the Megane GT
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Some of the details on the Megane GT
The Megane Hatch has a longer wheelbase, but looks smaller than before
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The Megane Hatch has a longer wheelbase, but looks smaller than before
The back of the car has a silver diffuser and two exhaust pipes
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The back of the car has a silver diffuser and two exhaust pipes
The chrome detailing on the Megane GT fits with its higher-end spec feeling
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The chrome detailing on the Megane GT fits with its higher-end spec feeling
Even lower-spec Meganes look good
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Even lower-spec Meganes look good
The GT's grille is a bit wider than the standard car's
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The GT's grille is a bit wider than the standard car's
The Megane launched in Frankfurt
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The Megane launched in Frankfurt
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The Megane Estate is handsome and spacious
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The Megane Estate is handsome and spacious
Three petrol and three diesel engines will be available on the Megane Estate
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Three petrol and three diesel engines will be available on the Megane Estate
The Megane Estate looks like a Megane Hatch has been extended 
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The Megane Estate looks like a Megane Hatch has been extended 
The two Megane Estate variants side-by-side
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The two Megane Estate variants side-by-side
The Megane GT Estate has been tuned by RenaultSport
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The Megane GT Estate has been tuned by RenaultSport
The Megane GT Estate is a bit sporty, but not a full RS
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The Megane GT Estate is a bit sporty, but not a full RS
The Megane GT Estate gets on the move
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The Megane GT Estate gets on the move
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Renault has spent some time in the wilderness, but the French manufacturer is well-and-truly on the comeback path. The revival started with the Clio, and continues with the new Megane. As you can see, it looks good in sedan form, but what lies beneath the skin is arguably more impressive.

We'll get to the good looks later on, but we're going to start with the interior. After all, it's what's on the inside that counts, isn't it? Renault wants to woo buyers from the ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf and Mazda 3 with a classy, high-tech interior. At the middle of the center console is a vertically-oriented R-Link2 touchscreen, operated with the full range of swipes, pokes and prods we've grown accustomed to on our phones.

There's also a 7-inch TFT instrument cluster in front of the driver, working in tandem with the central screen to feed crucial information to the driver on the move. It might not be on the same level as the Tesla Model S, but it's certainly a step up from the segment norm.

The center of the cabin is the R-Link2 touchscreen
The center of the cabin is the R-Link2 touchscreen

When it comes time to fling the new Megane into a set of corners, there's a whole host of changes to keep it stable and secure. Compared to the previous generation car, the track is 47 mm (1.85 in) wider at the front and 39 mm (1.54 in) wider at the rear. Even though the exterior looks more compact than the third-generation car, the wheelbase is also 28 mm (1.1 in) longer than before.

Range-topping GT models will even get four-wheel steering, in an attempt to give it the handling chops to face off with the Golf GTI. As well as improving the turning circle at low speeds, Renault says the system provides a pointier turn-in on tight roads and increased stability in a set of sweepers.

Power will come from a range of small turbocharged engines, with outputs ranging from 90 to 205 horsepower (67 - 153 kW). Three diesels with 90, 110 and 130 hp (67, 82 and 97 kW) are available, while the petrol range kicks off with 100 hp and 130 hp (75 and 97 kW) variants of Renault's TCe motor, with a 205 hp (153 kW) GT model sitting atop the tree.

The Megane GT Estate has been tuned by RenaultSport
The Megane GT Estate has been tuned by RenaultSport

That power is put to the ground through six- or seven-speed versions of the brand's dual-clutch gearbox, with no manual option. We're not sure whether that means the RS will also do without a stick shifter, but we're hoping Renault will keep the three-pedal dream alive for another generation.

The new Megane will be available as a hatch, wagon or sedan in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Pricing will start at £16,600 (US$22,000), but expect to pay a healthy premium if your heart is set on a GT with a few option boxes ticked.

Source: Renault

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