Mark Higgins’ first drive 2014 Renault Megane GT Line review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety and verdict.

In a nutshell The Renault Megane GT-Line has fast become the big seller in the Megane range thanks to its improved ride and handling and impressive specification.

Practical Motoring says The Renault Megane GT Line adds some verve to the Megane range and its sub-$30k price tag and impressive standard specification should see it appeal to small car buyers. Those nervous about buying French should be reassured by the long service interval and the capped price for the first three years.

MORE THAN 2500 Megane hatches have been sold in Australia since 2010, so the model is hardly what you’d call a raging success, but last year the Renault Sport GT Line was added in both hatch and wagon form, to increase appeal. And it does.

Setting it apart from the rest of the Megane range, the GT Line gets unique bumpers, a honeycomb grille and LED Daytime Running Lights. Its flanks are distinguished by a tapering roof and window line, a high hip line and large protective panels along the lower doors. Both the front and rear windscreens are sharply angled and with a lower chassis, the 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and 205/50-17 tyres neatly fill the guards.

Open the door and you’ll find comfortable, cosseting front sports seats and a nice-to-hold, leather-trimmed, height-and reach-adjustable steering wheel, with cruise control switches. Hidden behind the wheel are the audio volume controls. The chrome ringed analogue instrument cluster sits at an oblique angle and, if I’m honest, looks like an afterthought. And sunlight makes the multifunction display, (operated by toggles on the end of the wiper stalk) hard to read at times.

2014 Renault Megane GT-Line review

Sitting alongside the instrument binnacle is a seven-inch information screen, (first seen here in the Megane R.S. 265) for the sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, phone controls, vehicle settings and services. Operating the system is via the centre console mounted menu buttons and joystick which sits just behind behind the gearshift and adjacent to the electric park brake. The console also has a small storage cubby, a cupholder and silver trimmed climate control and audio system controls.

While those up front have a reasonable amount of leg, shoulder and headroom, the same can’t be said for those who ride in the back. Head and shoulder room, (for two) is okay but the legroom seems no bigger than the Clio and getting in and out isn’t easy. The boot holds 372 litres.

The Megane GT Line’s 1.2 litre direct-injection turbo four-cylinder knocks out 97kW (at 5500rpm) and 205Nm of torque (at 2000rpm). Getting to 100km/h takes 10.9 seconds. The only transmission available is the six-speed Efficient Dual-Clutch transmission, (sans shift paddles), which is occasionally a little hesitant under gentle throttle applications, but otherwise it matches the engine’s characteristics quite well. Claimed economy is 5.6L/100km. The accelerator travel is long and requires a decent shove to get moving, but once underway, acceleration is smooth.

2014 Renault Megane GT-Line review

The Megane GT Line gets stiffer springs and firmer dampers compared with the rest of the Megane range and a 30mm lower front roll centre. While it didn’t feel sporty, the ride was comfortable and unflustered and didn’t become upset over bumps or through dips. Despite gentle body roll when cornering, the Renault’s handling was quite neutral with adequate steering and brake feel. Like its looks, the Megane GT Line’s driving experience tends more towards luxury and was a comfortable and enjoyable companion around town and on the highway.

Where the Renault Megane GT Line sits near the front of the fiercely contested small car pack, is its standard kit that includes: Cloth sports seats, hands free entry and start, DRL’s, dual zone auto climate control with air quality sensor, bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, leather steering wheel and gear knob, cruise control with speed limiter, electric foldable door mirrors, height adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, unique GT Line chassis, auto headlights and windscreen wipers, electronic parking brake, front and rear parking sensors, tinted rear side windows and rear windscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, satnav with joystick control, hands free entry and start and hill start assist.

In terms of safety, Renault aimed for best in class with the Megane and included six airbags, two with twin-chamber thorax/groin airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, twin-stage dual-chamber adaptive front airbags, 
ABS and Emergency Brake Distribution with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Anti-Skid Regulation (ASR) and understeer control.

2014 Renault Megane GT Line

Price $26,990 (+ORC)
Warranty 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and 5 years roadside assist. All Megane’s have a 1-year servicing interval and are covered by Renault’s Capped Price servicing program. The first three services are capped at just $299 per service.
Engine 1.2 litre four-cylinder direct-injection turbo petrol (95RON)
Power/Torque 97kW/205Nm
Transmission EDC six speed (standard)

Body 4302mm (L); 1808mm (W); 1471mm (H)
Kerb Weight 1247kg

Thirst 5.6L/100km (combined)


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