Renault Megane – “Renewing” the brand

Renault has just “renewed” the Megane range.

Apparently they are not calling it a new model although there is enough features including some new looks, a new petrol engine and a new dual clutch gearbox for many car companies to call it thus.

Still, the interesting thing I find is that many new features reflect where motoring is in 2014 rather than in the past.

Things like clever safety features, connectivity and fuel efficiency are prominent in the list Renault makes for the new model.

Let’s find out the details by talking to Brent Davison from the Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury.

  • The Megane has a new bumper, new grilles and a new tailgate and new daytime running lights wrapping around the front corners- Is a common family look important across the range?
  • Wagon is good looking.  Not just boxy functionality.
  • Reversing camera is standard.
  • The Renault Visio System, available on Premium specifications,- lane departure warning and automatic highbeam control (When local natural or street lighting is poor and when no other vehicles are detected, it automatically activates high-beam headlights at speeds of more than 45 km/h. The driver does not have to remember to switch back to dipped beam, which delivers the benefit of full-beam lighting for up to five times longer than is the case without the system. Better visibility is gained (100 metres instead of 30 metres) and consequently collision risks are reduced).
  • Renault R-Link technology groups all the multimedia functions, including navigation, radio, telephony with Bluetooth® and audio streaming.  Functions are controlled via a large seven-inch (18 cm) touchscreen that is simple and intuitive to use. Some functions can be easily activated using voice commands (nine languages available), and the system can also be controlled using a joystick on the centre console.
  • 5 Year warranty.  They claim that reliability is very good so they have to back it up.
  • On the sporty models.  Includes a set of functions for live display and vehicle data acquisition. The all-inclusive and fun-to-use system – the only one of its kind on the market – displays figures from 15 sensors, torque and power curves, and a CG diagram of longitudinal and lateral accelerations. By downloading the plan of the circuit from a USB key, drivers even get access to an automatic timer to monitor their progress on a lap-by-lap basis!
  • One dial shows you the pressure you are putting on the brakes.  Interesting to see how hard you are pressing.  Raises the issues about people who don’t hit the brake hard enough.
  • Drivers can save their data on a USB key and make full use of them with R.S. Replay software, available for PC and Mac.  They can “replay” their best track performances, displaying the position of their car on the circuit, power, engine revs, steering wheel angle and pedal travel. All this data can be shared with the Renault Sport community on the new website.
  • We should mention the new engine.  Focus is on reduced (28%) fuel consumption.   Now rated at 5.6 l/100km
  • Diesel is 4.6 l/100.   I found it a bit bland
  • Turbo engine.  Much sharper performance
  • Price?
    • Automatic dual clutch $2,500
    • Diesel $2,500 (plus $2,500 for an automatic)
    • The Wagon Dynamic is $3,500 over the auto hatch
    • GT is quiet expensive

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