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Renault Megane loses its controversial bum, premium pricing and narrow appeal

29 Oct 2010

THE previous Megane hatch combined audacious styling with arguably premium pricing but never succeeded in mounting a sales challenge to rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf or Mazda3.

The new generation Megane has more mainstream lines, keener pricing and more standard equipment. Prices range from $22,990 for the six-speed manual Dynamique to $29,990 for the Privilege CVT.

Along with the Fluence sedan (which replaces the Megane four-door), this car forms the main thrust in Renault Australia’s third re-launch in 15 years.

At launch all variants employ a 2.0-litre petrol engine but a diesel is in the wings. Strong safety credentials, what Renault Australia calls ‘benchmark quality’, driver appeal, a high level of kit and sharp pricing make this Megane more competitive.

But for it to be successful in one of the fiercest segments in the market, new managing director Justin Hocevar’s big plans will have to fall into place.

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Model release date: 1 October 2010 to 1 June 2014

Previous model

Megane hatch

Released: July 2006
Ended: September 2010
Family Tree: Megane

LAUNCHED on the same day that Mark Latham gained his ill-fated leadership of the Australian Labor Party, the Megane hatch fared little better in the popularity stakes., , Its controversial design won acclaim from the few and was disliked by the majority. Impressive in many ways, it serves to show how much less expensive cars have become., , The entry-level Authentique 1.6 variant commanded $28,190, while the 2.0-litre Dynamique was priced at $34,190 - all but 50 per cent dearer than the new model. , , Initial annual sales ran at 900-plus, dropping to fewer than 150 by the time the perky-bottomed Megane reached the end of its disappointing run.

Get the full story: Renault hopes its revised Megane will be more visible in the crowded small-car segment

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