Can’t afford a rip-roaring RenaultSport? Want something fun and sporty? I spent a week behind the wheel of an attractive Renault Mégane GT Line coupé and it fills the gap well.
Renault Megane GTLine introductionRenault has come a long way from its humble, simple hatchback roots and is actually making some rather impressive vehicles along with Nissan, of which it has a large stake in. Forget the fearsome RenaultSport brand for one moment. What is there to satisfy the need for speed for a basic Renault owner who wants the practicality of a Megáne but can’t afford the desirable Sports? A Clio Gordini is terrific and immense fun but just screams ‘boy racer’ and doesn’t really suit someone over the age of 35. Enter Renault’s GT Line range. Think of it as a mini brand to bridge the gap between the standard Renault vehicles and the RS models.
Renault Megane GTLine designThere are many differences between this GT Line and the standard 1.4T coupé. For starters, this coupé sits lower to the ground; has a subtle body-kit as well as rather attractive bigger wheels as well as a subtle GTLine badge that sits on the rear. In coupé guise, the GTLine treatment works a real treat and it is a vehicle that turns heads. The five-door Mégane also looks aggressive and purposeful especially in the signature blue colour.
Renault Megane GTLine specification and featuresThe sporty theme is carried on throughout the interior of the car too. Sporty leather seats that are very supportive and comfortable are fitted as standard. The dashboard is dominated by a large rev counter with a built-in shift light. This rev counter appears to have been lifted straight from the Mégane RS which is a very nice touch.
Standard specification is rather impressive. For the money, you’re getting a rather large amount of kit. TomTom HD Live satellite navigation, leather seats, climate control and USB/Bluetooth connectivity on the car audio system. It’s very safe too and has the highest score ever achieved on the Euro NCAP safety ratings.
Renault Megane GTLine powerplantEngine-wise, the Megáne comes fitted with a neat 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 96kW and 190Nm on tap. It has adequate performance and actually sounds rather good. The market is currently flooded with a whole range of small capacity turbocharged motors and, while most people freak when they see that they’re paying over R200,000 for “just a 1.4”, they haven’t realised that these tiny engines offer the same performance as an old-school 2-litre with vastly reduced fuel consumption figures. That said the Megáne’s engine does feel a little down on power when compared to its rivals.
Renault Megane GTLine handlingThe GT Line doesn’t just look sporty, on the road it feels a lot sharper especially on tight and twisty roads. Grip levels are impressive and you get a sense that RenaultSport has had a say in the development of this range. The ride height has been dropped, the sway bars adjusted for reduced body roll and, with the addition of special shock absorbers the coupé is able to tackle the twistiest of roads with relative ease.
Renault Megane GTLine conclusion and priceWould I buy one? Yes, I would. For your R259,900 you’re getting a well-specced, good looking coupé that offers reasonable performance and fuel economy. It handles damn well and feels upmarket too.
We like: · Reasonably priced stylish hatchback · Top features which are fitted standard · Pleasant drive
We don’t like: · Rear legroom is cramped · Satnav infotainment system isn't user friendly · Could do with a touch more power.
Renault Megane GTLine 1.4T Coupe specifications
Engine: 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, petrol Power: 96 kW @ 5 500 rpm Torque: 190 N.m @ 2 250 rpm Transmission: six-speed manual Wheels: 17-inch 0-100 km/h: 9.6 seconds (claimed) Fuel economy: 6.6l/100km (claimed combined cycle)