What is it?
A Mégane estate you should actually pay attention to. Not that you’d know it by looking at it; you need to look closely to distinguish this revised Mégane Sport Tourer inside and out from before its facelift. And chassis changes are non-existent, too.
Instead, it’s what’s under the bonnet of the revised range that’s really noteworthy in the load-lugging Mégane. Three new engines are offered: a turbocharged 1.2 TCe petrol, a heavily updated version of the familiar 1.5 dCi diesel and an all-new 1.6 dCi tested here.
This new engine, which replaces the 1.9 dCi, has 128bhp and 236lb ft, with a claimed combined fuel economy of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 104g/km. This combination of figures, Renault claims, makes the engine the most powerful and frugal of its size.
What is it like?
The engine? Well, that’s really rather good. Its full 236lb ft of torque being available from 2000rpm makes the Mégane feel brisker than its 0-62mph of 10.1sec suggests.
In-gear performance is also impressive. Overtaking is always straightforward, even without changing down from sixth gear at motorway speeds. Refinement is excellent, too; the engine is smooth and quiet, particularly once it has settled into a longer run.
As for economy, we managed just shy of 60mpg on a 300-mile test route. That’s of course short of the official claimed figure of 70.6mpg, but decent nonetheless, given that it was driven in heavy Friday afternoon/evening traffic for the first half of the route.
So it’s a shame the rest of the Mégane estate’s dynamic package isn’t as impressive as the engine. Our test car came in GT Line trim, which gets a more focused, firmer chassis set-up.
This may sound like a good match for the brisk performance, but remember this is still a Mégane estate. The car is just too firm and restless to be comfortable, and the GT Line model is at odds with the Mégane estate’s overall brief as comfortable and spacious family transport.
Should I buy one?
This particular version of the just facelifted Mégane range has a deeply impressive engine trapped inside a so-so car.
The GT Line is a nice addition to the three-door and five-door Mégane hatchback ranges in creating different-from-the-norm warm hatches, but in the more practical Sport Tourer it brings too many compromises that rivals like the Ford Focus estate and Volkswagen Golf estate do not suffer from.
The engine would work better in the more mainstream Dynamique trim, but even then it would still be left in a car without the dynamic poise of the segment’s two standout performers. It isn’t cheap, either.
Renault Mégane Sport Tourer GT Line TomTom dCi 130 Stop & Start
Price: £22,600 0-62mph: 10.1sec Top speed: 124mph Economy: 70.6mpg CO2: 104g/km Kerb weight: 1320kg Engine: 4cyl, 1598cc, turbodiesel Power: 128bhp at 4000rpm Torque: 236lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox: 6spd manual