New Renault Megane's in Grand form
After a long day of trudging across Europe and an even longer evening of basking in the delights of Warsaw, there are few things more daunting than having to slide into the driver’s seat of a car you’ve never met before for a voyage along the wrong side of the road.
However, any ounce of anxiety I had was instantly quenched as Renault’s new Megane Grand Coupe wrapped me in a cosy blanket of familiarity.
The new addition to the Renault’s fleet is a comfortable, refined drive, especially on long distances and over motorways.
The Megane Grand Coupe will arrive in Ireland with two engine options, a 110bhp and 130bhp model. Both will be diesel, with the 110 in the A2 (€180) band producing 95g of CO2/km, while the 130 produces 103g/km, putting it in the A3 grouping (€190).
Fuel consumption for the 110 is claimed to be 3.7 litres/100km, while the 130 is said to get 4l/100km.
The bigger horsepower version is the one to go for as the 110bhp feels just a little sluggish and laboured. The 130 is no barnstorming monster, but it does have the required power for its size, so you’ll have no issues merging on a motorway or overtaking a nuisance tractor on a regional road.
The back seats are big enough to transport a herd of cattle and the boot is also a bit of a behemoth.
This unassuming French saloon is 37mm longer than its hatchback sister at exactly 4.63m long and 1.81m wide and has a 520litre trunk.
The Grand Coupe, which will replace the Fluence, has a terrific centre-dash mounted TFT 7ins control centre with a colour screen, called the R-Link 2. This control centre manages the multimedia, radio, Multi-Sense, navigation, telephone and the driver’s aids.
The new Renault has a Multi-sense system from which you can select your driving mode – Neutral, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Perso.
The different modes fiddle with various aspects of your drive, including gear-shift times and overall responses. You can also control the firmness of the steering, modify cabin lighting and activate the massage function, if you have it.
The various driving settings also come with a choice of five interior lighting ambiences: sepia, red, blue, purple and green.
The Grand Coupe will be available in nine colours, including eight metallic options: Pearl White, Platinum, Mink, Cosmos Blue, Titanium, Flame Red, Pearl Black, Dune Beige and one non-metallic finish, Glacier White.
The seats, which use dual density foam and the same frames as the Espace and Talisman, are tremendously comfortable and are terrific at cushioning a weary backside along bumpy Polish roads.
There is a wealth of storage inside the Grand Coupe’s cabin, with three litres of space in the central armrest, enough room for a 1.5 litre bottle in the door pocket and a gigantic seven litres of space in the glove box.
The Megane also has a foot activated ‘Easy Trunk Access’ system for opening your boot. You simply swipe your shoe under the back end of the car and the boot pops open for your convenience.
Renaults are known for their safety record and the Grand Coupe does the mark proud in this respect, with the following fitted as standard: two front airbags, two lateral thorax/shoulder airbags for the front, two curtain airbags, anti-whiplash front and rear head rests, anti-submarining system for front and rear seats, rear Isofix anchorage for i-Size child seats and all seat belts are equipped with pretensioners and load limiters.
The Grand Coupe is very comfortable and whisper-quiet inside the spacious cabin, which is full of light and space, especially if you have the panoramic sliding glass roof.
The new Megane Grand Coupe will be available to order at Renault Ireland’s 27 dealerships from November. Pricing is yet to be announced but reports indicate that it will be somewhere between €21,000 and €25,000.