31.8.2010Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet review
Ask people what features they want in a car and they want everything. So Renault has done its best to deliver with a four-seater that's also a convertible, and a coupe thanks to a folding metal roof, that achieves nearly 50mpg. Servicing is recommended every 18,000 miles/two years. Oil condition monitoring on dCi FAP engines protects against excessive wear and may advise longer or shorter service intervals. Boot shrinks from 417 to only 211 litres with roof down.
Review by Russell Bray for WhatGreenCar.com
Turbocharged four-cylinder 1870cc diesel engine delivers brisk to relaxed progress on the usual diesel wave of torque. With so much pushing power you can be lazy and miss out gears to reach your cruising pace. Horsepower is only 130bhp at 3750rpm but torque is 221 lbs ft from only 1750rpm, and that's what counts. Considering the extra 160kg weight of the folding metal roof and body strengthening the Megane CC is livelier than expected. Top speed roof up (for better aerodynamics) was 127mph. Acceleration from rest to 62mph takes 10.6 seconds.
The variable electrically assisted power steering is much improved and the Coupe Cabriolet feels more agile, predictable and enjoyable on a twisty road than its predecessor. Roof down the car's structure isn't as stiff and though it's no jelly you do feel shimmers and shakes. The Megane doesn't tend to run wide at corners, at least in the dry, but an electronic system brakes the inside wheel to reduce understeer when necessary. GT models are fitted with a sportier Renaultsport tuned chassis.
Rather sleek for a potential four-seater cabriolet. Beauty is the in the eye of the beholder but I much prefer the looks of the new Megane CC. Look out of a bedroom window as night falls and the black roof pillars blend away so that the satin-chrome windscreen frame and rear deck trim shows the car's sleeker lines. Karmann builds the roof separately but it seals well with little wind noise. The Megane 'sits' well on the road and an extra 125mm helps disguise the bulk of the roof-housing rear end. Length 4485mm. Width 1811mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Easy living with proximity detecting keycard that lets you get in, press the starter button and drive off without taking the card out of your pocket. At destination, engine stop puts on handbrake and as you walk away the car locks itself. Opening or closing the roof takes 21 seconds and must be done with the car stationary. Steering is light, clutch smooth but rather too much travel in the brake pedal. Front seats well shaped. Glass screen between rear head restraints reduces wind buffeting with roof down. With blind open glass roof makes cabin bright enough for sunglasses most of the time.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
A lot of town and slow speed driving saw 36.2mpg, partly showing how low mileage diesel engines tend not to deliver good economy. Improved to 44mpg with long journeys and restraint of cruise control on motorways. Official combined figure is 48.7mpg. This equates to a fuel cost of 11.3p per mile. Insurance group 23. Warranty three years/60,000 miles.
Not getting lost and so covering extra miles, and avoiding known hold-up spots is a good start, so having TomTom satellite navigation as standard should be recognised. Improved seven-hole fuel injectors instead of six saves fuel and reduces exhaust emissions. All engines meet Euro V emissions standard and all diesels are fitted with FAP particulate filters to trap exhaust particles. Gear change up indicator encourages low revs and better fuel economy. WhatGreenCar rating of 43.
Dynamique TomTom specification includes TomTom satellite navigation, 17in diameter alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, leather trimmed steering wheel, radio with CD player, Bluetooth and auxiliary input, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, front fog lights. Option list includes 18in wheels (£305 extra), dual zone climate control (£410), heated front seats with electric adjustment for driver's (£305), leather upholstery (£920), technology pack with automatic parking brake, tyre pressure monitoring and rear parking sensors (£650), B-Xenon headlights with washers (£665).
Model tested: Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet 1.9dCi 130 Dynamique TomTom
Body-style: Four-seater Coupe Cabriolet with glass/metal folding roof
Engine/CO2: 1.9 litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel 130bhp @3750rpm, 133 lbs ft @2000rpm / 154 gCO2/km
Trim grades: Dynamique TomTom, GT
On-road price: From £21,595. Price as tested £24,985
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS