REVIEW: Renault Megane PH2

Flame red Renault Megane.

How can you get from Dublin to Athlone and back and still have more range available in the car after the return journey. No, we are not talking electric cars here where you can charge the battery on route.

Well it happened to me last week. When I passed the Red Cow roundabout the range in my Renault Megan PH2 with an almost full tank of diesel said 880km. Thanks to some careful and ‘cagey driving’ the range said 980km when I get back to the Red Cow.

I had no intention of doing this test, but as I headed out past Lucan I was worried about the speed cameras and noticed that by keeping my foot light on the accelerator I could see the range climbing up. So I continued to drive reasonably slow, around 90km/h and when I got home I had gained 100km in the gorgeous new Megane.

So that was a good start to my time in the Flame Red-coloured Megane which has recently had a mild revamp. I have often heard that red is the best colour car to have when you are trading in and I think a Flame Red coloured car would keep its colour for a few years.

The last time I drove the Megane it came in Volcanic Orange, so Renault certainly choose bright colours for their test cars.

The Renault Megane has been on sale in Ireland since 1995 and has proven itself to be a family-car favourite ever since. The current car is in its fourth generation; it was launched in 2016 and last week I drove the facelifted version.

In the motor trade a refresh is always needed to help sales, especially in the family car market where there the competition is very keen.

The Megane now comes with new on-board technology and extra standard equipment, along with some modifications to the exterior styling. It’s really impressive car when viewed from the front.

Inside the dash, as usual in most new Renault cars, is dominated by a huge screen, which looks like an i-pad.

The revised Megane features soft-touch materials and easy to read dials like the rotary dials now used for the dual-zone climate control system.

Overall black is the predominant interior colour, but a touch of red stitching on the seats gave a lift to the dark décor. The front seats had a ‘lip’ and you need to be careful getting in and out as you could possibly hit your head off the roof if not careful.

My manual test car came with a diesel 1.5-litre engine producing 113 brake horse power. So there was plenty of power when required. There is a large boot, but sadly no spare wheel. So once again the best advice if buying new is to haggle for a spare.

I love the way Renault cars lock as you walk away from them. Then once the fob is in your pocket or bag the car will open automatically once you approach it.

Prices start at €24,290, while my top of the range RS line model will cost you €33,594.

So there you have it, a gorgeous motor that won’t cost you very much money to fuel, especially if you drive carefully.