It’s clear that long-term tests are becoming something of a trend among auto critics, and it isn’t hard to see the appeal. Instead of having to judge a vehicle over a matter of hours during very select conditions, the car is experienced just like you’d experience it yourself.
Dawn Grant of Auto Express has been finding out about the new Renault Megage. So, how has it been faring?
First impressions count, even for a long-term test drive, and the new Renault Megane clearly passed muster. As Grant admitted, “from the moment my eyes landed on our Flame Red Renault Megane’s curvaceous shape, I knew our relationship was going to get off on the right foot.”
The vehicle is certainly a significant leap forward, and that goes far beyond sharpened styling. The refined 108bhp 1.5 dCi diesel attracts more than its fair share of attention, but what reviewers and drivers alike are increasingly interested in is the line’s vast collection of technology.
In the Dynamique S Nav trim taken by Auto Express – which we should note is certainly not a standard model – the lion’s share of that technology is operated through a tablet-style 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen. It’s a setup that works well, and there’s no denying that an 8.7-inch touchscreen is fabulously generous for a vehicle in this class. Beyond the very conspicuous touchscreen, it’s the Renault’s driver assistance safety features that are most noteworthy, with amenities including hands-free parking, 360-degree sensors, blind-spot warning, adaptive cruise control with safe-distance warning, and autonomous emergency braking.
Grant tested most of that equipment on a private track. A parking space was set up to try the self-parking feature. You can select from parallel parking or parking in a bay, so there’s plenty of options. The vehicle will scan for gaps, tell you to select the right gear, and begin to manoeuvre for you, which is reportedly “a weird sensation”. A few false starts were reported, but the Megane managed to slip into place neatly.
The adaptive cruise system and speed limiter were tested on the M1. It was Grant’s first time using such systems, and the downside seems to be the sharpness of deceleration when someone cuts in front. That said, the overall verdict was “pretty relaxing”.
All in all, the new Megane’s spacious, stylish, and tech-packed family hatchback seems to be hitting all the right notes.Back to news listing