Less mundane than the standard model, softer than the Renaultsport – is the new Renault Megane Sport GT 220 the sweet spot in the range?
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The Renault Megane has been with us for a few years now and, despite critics falling in love with the Renaultsport Megane’s hardcore charms, few have been as enthused by the standard car. The company is aiming to change that, however, with the introduction of the GT 220 warm hatch. Actually, warm hatch sounds like damning it with faint praise. But, with 220hp, the GT 220 is actually lagging behind rivals like the Ford Focus ST and Vauxhall Astra VXR. This means the GT 220 wades into battle with Kia’s Cee’d GT and Skoda’s Octavia vRS.
1. It stings like a bee
It doesn’t quite have the 275hp of the full-fat Renaultsport model but the basic 2.0-litre turbo petrol is shared between the two hatches. In the GT 220 it spits out 220hp with 251lb ft of torque from as low as 2,400rpm. This is enough to catapult the GT 220 to 62mph from rest in 7.6 seconds – 1.8 slower than the fastest Renaultsport. It goes on to 149mph and returns 38.7mpg at the pumps with CO2 emissions of 169g/km.
2. It floats like a butterfly, too
Renaultsport’s engineers didn’t just lend it an engine then sod off to a patisserie, they’ve worked their magic across the whole car. It gets new dampers based on those from the Renaultsport, its steering has been retuned for better responses and it gets enlarged brake discs and an upgraded brake pump.
3. It has the tech you expect
To help it push you around corners, it has all manner of abbreviations – ASR anti-skid regulation keeps you pointing straight and ULC understeer logic control stops the front wheels from pushing wide. The optional Visio system includes lane assistance and main beam assistance that dips the main headlight beam when it detects other motorists.
4. It’s going to come in all bodystyles
The Renaultsport might be a strict three-door but, for this more mainstream model, it’ll come in a choice of five-door hatchback (£23,245), three-door coupe (£24,230) and – the petrolhead’s favourite – a practical five-door estate (£24,245). This means it can directly rival practical performance stars like the Skoda Octavia vRS estate.
5. It has all the toys you’d ever want
As standard it gets climate and cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, LED running lights, sat-nav, Bluetooth, USB input, a reversing camera and an uprated sound system. There is the option to fit the Visio driver information pack and carbon grey leather can be specified but, for us, we’d save our cash and enjoy the plentiful standard equipment.
You’re Megane me jealous!
Check out our reviews of the cars the Megane GT 220 needs to beat – the Skoda Octavia vRS and the Kia Cee’d GT. Then head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next new car.