Renault Megane Sports Tourer review
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer is a definitive departure from the dated design of the old model, but what sets it out from rivals – such as the Ford Focus estate, Peugeot 308 SW and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer – is its huge portrait infotainment screen.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Renault Megane Sports Tourer
Sadly, it’s an option on this Renault – but one we would highly recommend. Its 8.7-inch width is large for this class, especially when you consider its portrait style, and the detailed graphics are matched by no rivals. Sadly, the rest of the interior’s design fails to stand out – solidly built though it is – and it’s a bit of a let down given the sharp-suited exterior.
It’s hard to complain about the space on offer, though. There’s room for four adults and the rear seats recline further back than in the Megane hatchback. But, given that this is the estate model, it’s the healthy 580-litre boot that will matter to most people – even if it’s outgunned by the 610-litre load bay in the Skoda Octavia estate. The Sport Tourer’s boot is full of useful features too: the floor height is adjustable, you get dividers to split up the space and hooks to keep your shopping upright.
Those hooks may prove more useful than you might imagine if you go for the warm GT model that has four-wheel steering and a quick shifting EDC twin-clutch gearbox. The rest of the range is more on the relaxed side, making the Megane Sport Tourer one of the most comfortable in class.
The GT model sports a 204hp 1.6-litre petrol engine that will be good for 0-62mph in close to seven seconds. Lower down the range you can choose between a nippy 130hp 1.2-litre petrol or two diesels – a 110hp 1.5-litre or a 130hp 1.6. Both the diesels can return fuel economy of around 70mpg.
Standard equipment on entry-level Expression+ models includes a Bluetooth phone connection, DAB digital radio, a height adjustable driver’s seat, air-conditioning, and four electric windows.
What it lacks in polish, the Megane Sport Tourer makes up for with stylish looks
If you’re in the market for a new mid-size estate car and you’re the sort of person that likes traditional things such as Shepherd’s pie you may be a bit befuddled by the Megane’s nontraditional dashboard layout and concept-car looks. You might think this is some sort of foie gras that will taste a bit funny and not fill you up at all.
However, the Renault Megane Sport Tourer isn’t a fancy French dish that’s only good to look at. Because it has things that are really important to get right in a family estate car such as a comfortable ride, one of the best touch-screen infotainment systems in class and a boot filled with practical features, the Sport Tourer is more like your traditional bangers and mash, but prepared by a Michelin star chef to look like something really special. So with all its talents, the Megane Sport Tourer is an even better proposition than its hatchback sibling and definitely should be near the top of your shortlist.
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer caters reasonably well for passengers and luggage, but it isn’t the largest car of its type and sacrifices some outright carrying capacity for its stylish looks
If style is as important to you as sheer space in an estate, then the Renault Megane Sport Tourer is well worth a look
There are no problems to be had with the passenger space in the Megane estate. Of course, the Sport Tourer has better rear headroom than the hatchback, but headroom was never really an issue in the first place. That said, it’s not class leading so if you or your passengers are particularly tall, the Skoda Octavia estate offers passenger space to rival cars from the class above.
The seats are comfortable and decently supportive, but again, don’t lead the class in any criteria. You get a choice between cloth and alcantara suede and the latter is available with contrasting red or blue accents to match the car’s exterior colour.
While there aren’t any really big storage areas, smaller places for valuables and phones alike are abundant in the Megane Sport Tourer. Most of those cubbies are lidded and big enough for today’s bigger smartphones so, unlike in a Ford Focus, there is actually a cubby big enough for your iPhone 7 Plus.
The Megane Sport Tourer looks really good for a car with practicality in mind and that may lead you to think it has a pitiful boot as a result of its stylish shape. And yes, the outright capacity of 580 litres is behind the class best, but the Megane Sport Tourer compensates with plenty of clever features so that you make the most of the available space. There are your usual curry hooks but as standard there’s also a dividable boot floor both in height and depth so you can have a flat load bay, or alternatively, use the separator to divide the boot in half so that items don’t roll around that much. As an option, you can also get a luggage net in there as well.
Instead of being sporty, the Megane Sport Tourer is one of the most relaxing to drive in class
I’d recommend the 1.5-litre diesel as the pick of the range, unless you plan to carry a lot of luggage
The Megane Sport Tourer engine choice is simple – there are two petrol engines and two diesels.
The cheapest on offer is a three-cylinder petrol called the TCe 130 with 130hp. It’s an eager and lively engine thanks to its turbocharger, but that also means official fuel economy figures of around 50mpg will be difficult to achieve with a car full of luggage or people – the 1.2-litre capacity struggles a bit with all the weight.
Only available on the mildly warm GT model is the four-cylinder 1.6-litre TCe 205. It’s a heavily turbocharged engine and as a result doesn’t quite feel as powerful as the figures suggest – you have to rev it out to extract maximum performance which is at odds with the relaxed nature of the rest of the car. In its defence, it’s more powerful than equivalent engines in the VW Golf and Ford Focus. However, the TCe 205 is also on par with the 1.6-litre in the Peugeot 308 SW THP 205 which, incidentally, has the same power output as the Renault.
The two diesel offerings are an even better proposition thanks to some impressive real-world economy figures, especially the 1.5-litre dCi 110. This is an engine that performs well in any Renault/Nissan/Dacia model it’s installed in and you’d be hard pushed to say it’s a diesel if you didn’t know beforehand. That’s because it’s quite petrol-like in it’s eagerness to rev and overall refinement. However, what it does do well just as any diesel is use comparatively less fuel than a similarly powerful petrol alternative, so if the 1.2-litre TCe 130 will struggle to best 50mpg, the 1.5-litre dCi can easily return around 60-65mpg in everyday driving.
The 1.6-litre dCi 130 is in essence more of the same so if you find the basic diesel struggling a bit, and admittedly it’s not a rocket ship, the dCi 130 should be as powerful as you need a family estate car to be. Fuel consumptions is also largely similar to the dCi 115, so the premium you need to pay for the dCi 130 is not the easiest to justify.
This is where which model you go for really matters because it affects how your Megane Sport Tourer will drive.
That sounds like a bit of a warning but actually you can only improve how the Megane drives by going up the model range. As standard, there is a definitive focus on comfort which is refreshing among rivals that seem to think family estate car buyers want to drive fast – such frivolous action can only result in your children covering your brand new seats in sick. So it’s good that the Megane Sport Tourer, despite the sport in the name, trades some cornering prowess for long distance comfort.
The Megane Sport Tourer is one of those cars that feels best at a steady 70mph cruise on the motorway. Obviously, that means it’s most suited to long distance driving and in towns with especially tight streets you’ll find the steering a bit lazy and not that accurate. Also around town you might find that some potholes really baffle the otherwise cosseting suspension and send a noticeable bang into the cabin. It’s quite disturbing because the rest of the time the Megane rides with impressive poise.
Go for the GT model and you get something that used to be reserved for cars such as the Porsche 911 – four-wheel steering. No, this doesn’t mean that the Megane Sport Tourer GT has the maneuverability of a shopping cart, but you can really feel how the car follows corners much better than a non-GT model and also stays more stable at high speeds on the motorway.
Inside, the Megane Sport Tourer does things quite differently from the norm in terms of layout, but it’s not as visually captivating as the exterior.