Wednesday, December 11
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Our Rating

8.1 Awesome

The Megane RS Cup packs a heck load of features at a tempting price point. The Cup option adds performance upgrades over the standard and Sport trims which liven up the Megane RS. The handling is precise, throttle responsive and exhaust exciting in a nimble package with awesome interiors.

  • Engine & Drivetrain 8.5
  • Performance 9
  • Fuel Economy 7
  • Interior 8
  • Gadgets & Technology 7.5
  • Safety 7.5
  • Ride & Comfort 8.5
  • Practicality 8
  • Affordability 8
  • Behind the Wheel 9
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 8
Rating system explained

Engine

The Megane RS is powered by Renault’s new 1.8-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, putting out 205kW of power and 390Nm of torque.

The model tested sends power to the front wheels via a 6-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox which comes from Germany’s Getrag, as well as the mechanical LSD.

The Megane RS is down compared to competitors who have a 2.0-litre engine and put slightly more power, but acceleration is similar to its rivals such as the Civic Type R.

The exhaust livens up in Sport/Race mode as it pops and snaps, and has a mean little groan as it accelerates. Contrastingly, chuck it into comfort mode and enjoy your quiet, peaceful commute.

5 modes for the Megane RS: comfort, neutral, sport, race and personal (which you can modify).

Performance

The Meg can do 0-100 in 5.8 seconds as claimed by Renault. Peak power kicks in at 6000rpm, with peak torque coming in at 2400rpm.

The Cup gets revised springs, dampers and bump stops, while a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle adds traction by shuffling torque between the front wheels.

The standard 4Control all-wheel steering system helps low-speed manoeuvrability by turning the rear wheels by up to 2.7 degrees in the opposite direction to the fronts below 60km/h, which cuts the distance of the turning circle, and turns the rear wheels up to 1.0 degrees in the same direction as the fronts above 60km/h.

The RS Mode button chucks the car straight into Sport mode which is where the Meg truly livens. Sport mode opens the exhaust to exert loud pops and farts as you overrun and let off the throttle. Changing gears at high revs also lets off a loud pop that makes you smile for miles!

The Cup chassis sure is firmer and it enhances the handling like a charm. Sure it can get a tad impractical (and I mean just a tad) around city, but it’s no hassle at all.

The LSD and 4Control help steer the car into corners with precision and definition, something that cannot be said about many other competitors.

Straight line acceleration is around the same ball park as competitors and packs a punch in every day city driving as it low key throws you back unexpectedly given how quick the EDC gearbox changes gears.

The Megane RS has been known by many as a track weapon/daily combo, and I have no doubt that this one is the same.

Fuel Economy

Renault’s claim is 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle for fuel consumption.

Over our drive with the Megane RS (of over 1000km), we tested in varying conditions.

In pure city driving, expect it to hike up to 14L/100km or so.

Our elongated mixed use test involved around 70% motorway driving and 30% city driving and was able to hit around 8.5-9.0L/100km.

A 50/50 split test between motorway and urban driving returned around 10-11L/100km.

Higher than Renault’s claims, as with all manufacturers. Expect around the 400km mark from the 50L tank, which takes 98RON premium unleaded.

Interior & Technology

Inside the Megane RS are a wide range of features and luxury feels to the little hatch that will add to the comfort levels on long commutes.

Front passengers are seated in tightly gripped Alcantara-trimmed sports seats with heating and red stitching, along with lumbar adjustment for the driver.

Despite not having electronic controls, there is a good amount of adjustment in the seats and the steering wheel to help find a good driving position, while the decent bolstering and suppleness of the seats themselves mean you won’t get a sore bum during longer stints on the road. Leave that to the Trophy and its Recaro race seats.

The changeable LED ambient lighting is a sweet finish for the Megane RS, particularly when vibrant colours like purple or red are chosen.

There is also plenty of carbon-fibre-look leatherette trim on the door inserts to channel that inner racer inside of you begging for full carbon fibre.

The portrait-oriented 8.7-inch R-Link touchscreen infotainment system is so prominently asking for attention in the middle of the car.

The Renault’s touchscreen does the job adequately and works fine when operating with Apple CarPlay. New iOS updates allow for multiple apps to be open on CarPlay, which works perfectly with the portrait display as it shows the maps on the top half and your music playing on the bottom half of the screen, nice touch.

The 10-speaker Bose sound system is crisp whilst still adding a huge kick of bass that doesn’t muffle at its peak. We have tested the bass and treble on full and it has just enhanced the experience without overdoing it.

The dash is also great with a huge digital instrument cluster right in the middle that changes colour and style with an F1 style option as well (love this).

The Megane offers a decent 434L of boot volume with the rear seats in place, expanding to 1247L with the second row folded. For comparison, a Volkswagen Golf GTI offers 380L/1270L. I was able to fit a 32 inch TV in the boot with no issues.

There’s no spare wheel in the RS, just a tyre repair kit to help patch up punctures to get you to the nearest tyre shop (weight saving).

The interior of the Megane RS is simple yet sophisticated, savvy and luxurious, and adds elements of raceyness which anyone driving this car would always look out for.

Safety

The Megane arrives from France with:
– six airbags
– stability and traction controls
– reversing camera and 360 degree sensors
– forward AEB
– lane-departure warning
– lane keeping assist
– and blind-spot monitoring.

These systems work well for everyday commutes to help keep drivers safe. Blind spot monitor is great to see becoming standard in all modern cars.

One thing to note about the lane-departure warning is the sound it makes. It isn’t a beep or a whine, it’s a deep-toned noise that you can hear as it lowers the sound of your music playing. At first, I thought it was the engine or another car on the road till I realised it was the lane-departure warning.

The Megane RS also gets a 5-Star ANCAP Safety Rating.

Ride & Comfort

The Megane RS Cup version can be on the firmer side around town, but that doesn’t bother me, or anyone buying this car I would assume, given the benefits of the stiffness that are afforded to drivers.

The performance tech in this car make it a handling machine, particularly for a front wheel drive car. It points straight into the corners and brakes like a charm with the Brembo brakes, assisted by its slim figure.

After driving it as a daily for several weeks, we can confirm that it would have no issues stacking up to the city life, potholes, slim roads etc.

The handling is where the Megane RS truly shines. In Sport/Race mode, the throttle livens up and makes acceleration much more responsive, minimising turbo lag and adding to the charm of this sweet little race car.

The Megane RS is perhaps one of the most exciting front wheel drive hatchbacks around corners as it sucks them up with no dramas.

Warranty & Servicing

The Megane RS is covered by Renault Australia’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with one year of complimentary roadside assistance and three years of capped-price servicing.

Maintenance intervals are 12 months or 20,000km, whichever comes first, with the first three visits asking for $799, $399 and $399 respectively – totalling $1597 for the first 3 years/20,000km.

Further charges come from items like:
– air filters ($49 every 20,000km/24 months)
– pollen filters ($63 every 20,000km/24 months)
– accessory belt ($306 every 60,000km/48 months)

Add 98RON fuel as another added cost.

Pricing

Renault Megane SPECS PRICE
RS 280 1.8LPULP6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO
$47,490
RS 280 1.8LPULP6 SP MAN
$44,990
R.S. CUP 1.8LPULP6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO
$51,990
R.S. CUP 1.8LPULP6 SP MAN
$48,990
R.S. SPORT 1.8LPULP6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO
$50,490
R.S. SPORT 1.8LPULP6 SP MAN
$45,990

Overall

The Megane RS offers provides the opportunity to own something that can tame itself and behave in everyday life, but can wake up and frighten you at the switch of a button.

The interior is comfortable and luxurious and packed with plenty of features that will keep you satisfied. Safety features are also plentiful.

Servicing is capped and warranty is long, which helps bring the ownership costs down. The Cup option also adds extra features that help bring out the animal in this car.

The inner race car can be channeled at any time with this and that excites me.

ALL our videos of the Megane RS:

Full Review:

Exhaust video whilst driving:

Windy road test drive:

Walkthrough review:

Tech review:

POV urban test drive:

Exhaust modes:

Exterior & interior:

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