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Car reviews - Renault - Megane - Diesel sedan range


Renault’s first diesel sedan is big on economy, pace and features but small on price

16 Aug 2007

UNTIL now, Renault could only sit back and watch as all of its European rivals (and Mazda) exploit the strong growth of diesel passenger car sales in Australia. However, the French seem to have learnt from the others’ mistakes, because the new Megane dCi sedan is big on features, small on price and – vitally – comes with an automatic option. That it looks good and barely sounds or drives like a diesel are further feathers in the Renault’s cap. So not only should the VW Golf and Jetta TDis feel threatened, but petrol-powered sedan competitors as diverse as the Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Subaru Liberty, Honda Civic hybrid and Holden Commodore might feel the Megane dCi’s pinch as well.

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Model release date: 1 August 2007 to 1 October 2010

Previous model

Renault 12

Released: 1970
Ended: 1980
Family Tree: Megane

WHY this ancient front-wheel drive small car that Renault still built in Turkey until 1999 and in Romania as a Dacia until the Logan replaced it in 2005? Why not, we say, since the 12 was the last mainstream-popular Renault small car in Australia, and was built in Melbourne until production ceased in late 1980. The 12 wooed buyers with its incredibly comfy and spacious interior, great fuel economy, eager little 1.2 or 1.4-litre engines and robust bodies. Two styles were offered – a gawky four-door sedan and a still-pretty four-door wagon. Transmission choices were limited to a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic. The 12 1.4 from 1976 brought more power, more features and a modernised fascia front and rear. Its 1978 Virage replacement was an extension of this, as European cars marched upmarket due to skyrocketing European currencies. Did you know the 12 utility is still built in Romania, and that Ford offered the 12 as the rebodied Corcel and then Del Ray from 1968 to 1996?

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