Car reviews - Renault - Megane - range
Renault hopes its revised Megane will be more visible in the crowded small-car segment
6 Jul 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
RENAULT is trying again with the Megane, this time in facelifted Phase II mode. The late ’03 original was swamped by a newer wave of small cars from Japan (Mazda3) and Europe (VW Golf, Holden Astra, Ford Focus), so this time the French have included extra safety and value to back up the individual looks and improved dynamics. And while critics should cut Renault some slack for being a newcomer to the cutthroat small-car segment in Australia, the Megane is a good-enough small-car contender to warrant much wider attention than the previous model could achieve.
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RENAULT had big expectations for the second-generation Megane in Australia, but sales have been slow for no real good reason. No matter what model you are talking about – 83kW 1.6-litre, 98kW 2.0-litre or 165kW 2.0-litre turbo – the Megane offers a safe, stylish and comfortable small-car package, bolstered by a wide choice of body shapes. About the only reservations concern the automatic’s annoying habit of ‘hunting’ through the gears, as well as the odd electric steering’s lightness.
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