Instead of being sporty, the Megane Sport Tourer is one of the most relaxing to drive in class
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.
I’d recommend the 1.5-litre diesel as the pick of the range, unless you plan to carry a lot of luggage
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.