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Renault’s base Megane lands sub-$20k

Express yourself: The 1.2-litre Renault Megane Expression features idle-stop, helping keep fuel economy down to 5.6L/100km.

Drive-away pricing, new 1.2-litre engine for Renault’s base model Megane Expression

Renault logo14 Oct 2013

RENAULT’S entry level, manual-only Megane Expression has arrived in Australia with a $19,990 drive-away price, undercutting all of its European rivals as well as some Japanese and Korean competitors.

The sub-$20k starting price is limited to November 15, when the standard recommended retail price of $20,990 plus-on road costs kicks in.

Renault’s new starting point pitches the Megane closer to non-Euro rivals such as the Kia Cerato S and Toyota Corolla that both start from $19,990, and the Hyundai i30 Active that is priced from $20,990 plus on-road costs.

It also undercuts fellow European, the Volkswagen Golf, which starts at $21,490.

The launch of the new entry variant comes three months after Renault introduced the rest of its revised Megane range, including a new wagon bodystyle and a GT-line mid-spec variant.

Power comes from a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine producing 97kW and 205Nm from 2000rpm, but is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox only – something bound the limit sales in a segment dominated by automatics.

However, Renault says buyers can still opt for the same variant with a bigger 2.0-litre unit matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission for $21,990 drive-away ($22,990 plus ORC) over the same period.

Thanks to its diminutive size, the Expression’s 1.2-litre turbocharged four-pot engine with idle-stop is the most frugal petrol unit in the range, with fuel economy figures of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle (equating to 132g/km of CO2).

This easily beats the 7.8L/100km fuel numbers of the 103kW/195Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit from the higher-spec Megane variants, but can’t match the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel’s figure of 4.4L/100km.

Completing the 0-100km/h dash in the Megane Expression takes 10.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds slower than the slightly more powerful 2.0-litre version.

As previously reported, standard equipment in the Expression includes Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary jack, cruise control, a speed limiter, cloth seats and 16-inch steel wheels.

Managing director of Renault Australia Justin Hocevar said the French car-maker was confident the new base model will be well received by buyers in Australia’s super-competitive small car segment.

“We have been very heartened by the response to the new range of Megane models we launched in Australia in August, and we are expecting the new entry model to be very popular,” he said.

“Renault has long been the home of fun, frugal and feature-rich vehicles for customers across Europe. We are determined to emulate these characteristics in Australia through an active product programme that brings our very rewarding cars within the reach of the largest sectors of the car buying public.”

Renault has sold 840 Megane hatch and wagon models this year, representing growth of 9.9 per cent.

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