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Renault - Megane

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Renault Megane (X84 Megane Phase II)

X84 Megane Phase II

Make: Renault

Model: Megane

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Nov 2010

Renault logo1 Jul 2006

By THE GOAUTO TEAM

IT takes a keen eye to spot the new headlights, grille, bumpers, tail-lights and cabin trim, but the French added extra safety thanks to standard stability control, and better value to back up the individual looks and improved dynamics brought on by a revised electric power steering system.

The base Authentique manual five-door hatch is powered by a 1.6-litre, twin-cam, 16-valve four-cylinder K4M engine producing 83kW of power at 6000rpm and 152Nm of torque at 4200rpm. The auto 1.6 vanished.

The automatic Expression hatchback uses a 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder F4R engine offering 98kW at 5500rpm and 191Nm at 3750, and driving the front wheels via a four-speed automatic gearbox only.

The F4R is also found in the ritzier Dynamique five-door hatchback – in six-speed manual and four-speed automatic guises – as well as the Megane four-door sedan, sold in Expression six-speed manual, Expression four-speed automatic and Privilege four-speed automatic variants.

Gone is the slow-selling Dynamique LX Sport three-door hatchback, although this body configuration now clothes the Megane RS (the new name for the old Megane Sport).

Offering two less doors than before makes the 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve turbo-charged four-cylinder engine (delivering 165kW at 5500rpm and 300Nm at 3000rpm) $2000 more affordable.

Similarly, the old Megane Sport moniker has also made way for RS in the continuing five-door turbo variants, which carries over the Cup version brandishing bigger wheels, firmer and lower suspension, and sportier trim. The old Sport LX has vanished.

For 2007 RENAULT has taken an axe to the price of its Megane sedan range in response to slow sales.

Now priced from $24,990 (down from $28,490), the base-variant six-speed manual Megane Expression sedan is $3500 cheaper than before, allegedly making it Australia's best equipped European sedan under $25,000.

The four-speed auto Expression sedan is now also $3500 less expensive at $27,490 (previously $30,990), while the flagship auto-only Megane Privilege sedan is priced $1800 lower at $33,190 (was $35,990).

Standard across the Megane sedan range is climate-control air-conditioning, a single in-dash CD player with remote controls, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control with speed-limiter, power windows/mirrors, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, air-chilled glove box, 16-inch steel wheels with covers, side and rear sunshades, trip computer, outside temperature gauge, front foglights and a "see me home" headlight function.

Renault says the price cuts will "substantially" increase sales of its booted Megane.

In the middle of 2007, Renault expanded the Megane range by introducing the dCi turbo-diesel sedan as well as the R26 version of the Renaultsport RS hot-hatch.

The former uses a 96kW/300Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit to record 5.8L/100km for the six-speed manual version (6.8 for the four-speed auto), while the latter employs the Cup chassis and a slightly more powerful 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine (168kW/310Nm) to create a VW Golf GTI-busting tear-about.

In the middle of 2007, Renault expanded the Megane range by introducing the dCi turbo-diesel sedan as well as the R26 version of the Renaultsport RS hot-hatch.

The former uses a 96kW/300Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit to record 5.8L/100km for the six-speed manual version (6.8 for the four-speed auto), while the latter employs the Cup chassis and a slightly more powerful 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine (168kW/310Nm) to create a VW Golf GTI-busting tear-about.

In October 2008 Renault released its first overly sporty diesel model.

The $39,990 Megane II Renault Sport (RS) dCi 175 slots between the $37,490 RS 225 three-door petrol and the five-door RS 225, undercutting the latter by $4000.

Only 40 cars are coming into the country to gauge public reaction.

The RS dCi 175 represents only the fourth sports-orientated diesel-powered hatch after the Alfa Romeo 147 JTD M-jet, BMW 120d and recently released Volkswagen Golf GT Sport TDI.

Under the bonnet is a high-performance of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel, which delivers 127kW of power at 3750rpm and 360Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

Driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, the dCi 175’s standstill-to-100km/h dash-time of 8.3 seconds is around 1.8 seconds slower than its RS 225 sibling.

However, thanks to efficiency enhancing features like a variable-geometry turbocharger and Piezoelectric injectors, the RS dCi 175 does a distinctly strong impression of an economy car.

Renault has also revealed that the Australian-bound RS dCi 175 can return a combined cycle fuel consumption average of 6.3L/100km and a carbon dioxide emissions result of 165 grams per kilometre.

As the Renault Sport involvement suggests, it uses a variation of the Cup sports chassis developed for the turbo-petrol models – although the flavour is more road-going than race track-orietnated.

It comprises a 20mm-diameter front anti-roll bar and independent steering-axis front suspension, but spring and damper settings have been tuned specifically to accommodate the 80kg-heavier diesel engine application.

The RS 225’s programmed-deflection flexible beam rear suspension is also employed, but the electronically-variable power steering system is tuned specifically for the RS diesel’s unique weight distribution.

Brakes are by Brembo, with 312x28mm ventilated front discs and 300x11mm solid rears, with four-piston callipers up front, while the European NCAP five-star safety-rated Megane’s ESP electronic stability control system is also part of the dCi’s standard equipment listing.

Differences between the petrol and diesel Megane RS include non-drilled front disc brakes for the latter car, non-colour-coded markings for the Brembo calipers, and no rear lip spoiler.

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