Renault Megane Sport Tourer Ambleside
Renault Megane Sport Tourer
The boot has been put into the Renault Mégane! This is the Sport Tourer estate version of the French family hatch – a spacious carrier that promises to be one of the best models in the line-up for buyers who don’t need a full-blown MPV like the Scenic.
With a smartly integrated extended rear end, roof bars and striking tail-lights, the Sport Tourer sits well with the rest of the Mégane line-up.
Open the tailgate and you’re greeted by a generous 520-litre boot. Fold the rear seats and this increases to 1,600 litres.
That’s not quite as big as the Tardis-like Peugeot 308 SW, but it’s better than a Ford Focus Estate. Handily, the rear seats drop down at the touch of a button, and there’s a clever flap that bridges the gap between the boot floor and rear seatbases to ensure the load area is flat.
Factor in a sturdy cover to keep valuables from prying eyes, a fold-flat front passenger seat plus a low loading lip, and the Sport Tourer ticks all the right boxes.
Room in the back is good, too, with three tall adults able to sit in comfort. Up front, a lot of attention has been paid to material quality, with classy plastics used throughout.
Standard equipment on this Dynamique model includes air-con, cruise control and a trip computer. Our car also had the excellent £450 optional TomTom Carminat sat-nav. It works well, and warns of speed cameras with a beep as you approach.
The driving experience doesn’t major on fun – the steering has strange weighting, is short on feel and seems to self-centre quite sharply. But apart from that, the Mégane is relaxing to drive, with a comfortable ride and a punchy 128bhp 1.9-litre dCi turbo.
There’s some clatter on start-up, but once warm the diesel is smooth, and its 300Nm torque output translates into strong acceleration. Yet the car returns 55.4mpg combined and emits only 134g/km of CO2. It adds up to a decent all-rounder that will swallow anything the average family will throw at it.
Rival: Ford Focus Estate
Another no-nonsense estate, the Focus is more fun to drive than the Renault. Yet it isn’t as spacious, and costs £1,300 more in 2.0 TDCi Zetec trim.
Author: Sam Hardy