Test drive : Mégane Collection 2012 in all its glory
It made its first outing on Twitter last January 5. A few weeks ago, we took it out for a test drive on the mean streets of Sevilla and on the Monteblanco racetrack. Today, we tell you all about Mégane Collection 2012 and what we really think of it.
As the Renault brand best-selling model (after Clio), with sales exceeding 235,000 units worldwide in 2011 and 730,000 units since its launch at the end of 2008, Mégane stands out as one of the most reliable cars in its segment (ADAC, L'Automobile Magazine, etc.)
Style and equipments
As was the case for Scénic Collection 2012 before it, Mégane Collection 2012 does not bear Renault's new front-end identity, already available on New Twingo and ZOE. At first glance, the new styling details of this new Mégane are hardly noticeable, as she looks a lot like her older sister. That being said, we did appreciate its new lighting signature, thanks to new LED daytime running lights as well as a more assertive bumper finished with gloss black and chrome hightlights. All in all, this Mégane 2012 adopts a more modern look.
The GT and GT-Line versions are distinguished by special boomerang-shaped LED lights, upholstery topstitched in red, a sports steering wheel with thumb grips, and Renault Sport monogrammed door treads and dashboard trim strip
Interior-wise comes new upholstery, like this ravishing two-tone leather/Alcantara pack available in three colour combinations (shown here in Cool Grey):
The range of wheels has also been entirely refreshed. If you want to find out more about them, visit our page on Instagram.
In terms of equipments, we wanted to highlight the fact the Bose version becomes an equipment level in its own right, and can come with a « high-tech » pack which includes a rear-view camera, and features the Visio-System. This system, which uses a camera within the interior mirror mount on the windscreen, enhances night-time vision and ensures driver alertness by automatically switching between dipped and main beam headlamps and by sounding a warning (above 70 km/hr) should the vehicle stray out of lane.
Actually, what makes Mégane Collection 2012 most exciting is what's hiding under its bonnet. Indeed, it is the first car to offer 3 new Energy engines: brand new Energy TCe 115, first petrol engine of the family; Diesel engine Energy dCi 110, thanks to which it becomes the most economical car in its class; and Diesel engine Energy dCi 130, both already available on Scénic since a few months.
Relying on downsizing and Renault expertise in F1 (to find out more on Energy engines, just click here), these engines offer the best driving comfort, allow for savings on gas expenses, as well as when buying the car, while keeping CO2 emissions to a minimum.
The Energy dCi 130 powerplant, which we had already tested out on Scénic, happens to be a real gem of performance. Packing the Stop&Start technology and deceleration/braking energy recovery, it offers driving comfort and technologies never seen before on power units at this level of the market. It is ideal for urban driving, especially in traffic. It is impressive in terms of acoustics (it's oh so quiet!) which is quite surprising for a diesel engine. For long trips and hardcore drivers, it is one of the best Renault engines on the market.
The Energy TCe 115 engine is ultra silent and is vibration-free thanks to low inertia. Just like the Energy dCi 130, it offers the Stop&Start technology for great comfort when cruising, as it develops 115 horses and a torque of 190 Nm from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm. It allows for a flexible driving in a city setting, and sees a consumption between 5 and 6 litres/100 km. Just for the sake of comparing it to another engine, the Energy dCi 110 engine throws in more torque (240 Nm at 1,750 rpm) and offers performance and driving comfort that are more interesting consumption-wise. However, the price tag is the real difference, and the choice will depend on the Mégane Collection 2012 owner's usage of his/her car.
One fierce Mégane R.S.
Last but not least, we caught up with the fierce Mégane R.S. Collection 2012 and pilot Manu Guigou on the Monteblanco race track. Main new feature on this new version, is that it offers, on the entry equipment level, an « R.S. Dynamic Management » system, which help deploy 265 horses and a torque of 360 Nm, just like the Mégane R.S. Trophy. In normal mode, one uses 250 horses and 340 Nm.
Come on board this Mégane R.S. Collection 2012, on the Monteblanco race track, with Manu Guigou sitting behind the wheel: