Renault has refreshed its popular Megane marquee, with the fourth-generation landing in Kenya during the last quarter of 2017. The Megane' represents Renault's attempt to take on the mid-size saloon category, dominated by Far East brands, and of course European ones as well. Redesigned from the ground up, Renault promises to lure customers looking for real value for money with the Megane.
The front profile of the Megane is inspired from the brand's design renaissance, seen on the Kadjar and Koleos. The focal point is the prominent Renault diamond shaped badge set vertically against a gloss black background. The model's bold lines and curvy surfaces ensure a more dynamic, aggressive stance while chrome strips on either side of the badge underscore its status-enhancing look. The bumper is now bolder with large lower air intakes that broaden towards the base. The fog lights are set against a gloss black surround and give the front a premium touch, while the wheel arch openings provide the new Renault Megane with an even more dynamic allure.
The instrument panel incorporates a large LCD screen with main functions that include a digital speed display, fuel and engine temperature function. The dash is built from high quality plastics, with a rough-touch finish to top it all up. On the centre console, Renault has incorporated a massive 'tablet style' multi-touch colour display that controls functions like a functioning satellite navigation system, vehicle dynamics control, audio and the dual-zone climate control system. The Megane seats five adults in relative comfort, with ample leg and headroom for all occupants. One thing that impressed me was how supportive the seats were. Despite having fabric upholstery, the quality of the material, thickness of the foam plus the contrast stitching is simply outstanding. Renault has stuffed the Megane with tons of gadgetry like rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamp adjustment, climate control and a thumping audio system to enhance the cabin experience.
Under the bonnet lies a tiny but potent 1.6-litre engine which produces 84kW at 5,500 rpm and power is delivered to the front paws courtesy of a five speed manual transmission, capable of accelerating from zero to 100km.h in sub 10 seconds before reaching a top speed of 185km/h. The smooth shifting automatic gearbox allows you to exploit the full potential of the engine while enabling you to attain a fuel consumption figure of 6.3-litres/100km.
A quick drive to Naivasha revealed how flexible the Megane is. The engine managed to cope with the altitude difference, due to its innovative inlet manifold design. When you floor it, it gathers speed progressively without shuddering during downshifts. The steering feel is neutral and beefs up nicely at higher speeds, while the independent front and rear suspension system keeps all wheels planted and vehicle sure footed.
The Megane has a mix of active and passive safety systems that help mitigate accidents and injuries to the occupants. ABS braking, EBA+ EBD, while Electronic Stability Control (ESP) complete the active safety package. Passive safety features include front driver/passenger airbags, side bags and curtain units, as well as anti-whiplash height-adjustable front headrests come standard.
If you are in the market for the perfect mid-size saloon, then the Megane is worth consideing. With prices starting from Sh. 3.6 million (VAT inclusive) for the standard E2 model to 4.2 Million for the top spec E3 , check out the bargain of the year.