By Patrick James on 2016-11-05 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Renault Megane GT
Nav 205 Auto EDC
THINK of sporting Renaults and the superhot Renaultsport models spring to mind.
But the new Megane GT, if not so hot, still has plenty of grunt to offer.
The fourth generation Megane is good looking car in its standard guise, but in GT livery looks like a real firecracker. It drives like one as well.
A family hatchback, it competes alongside the likes of Focus, Golf, Astra and Peugeot 308 the new model has that little bit of an X Factor and offers high end technology.
So it has been blinged up for the GT, not in a gaudy, boy-racer kind of way, but with the kind of additions which let people know they have a hot hatch in their rear-view mirror.
The basic model itself is quite a looker, being longer and lower than its predecessor and features distinctive swooping profile and striking light signatures which include full LED headlights with auto dip function and daytime LEDs.
At the rear the permanently lit LEDs feature what Renault calls Edge Light technology. The GT adds the badging, chrome trim, body coloured sport bumpers, honeycomb grille and air scoop, plus sporty twin chrome exhausts and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
The interior is classy and upmarket with Alcantara seats featuring go faster stripes, chrome finish to doors, steering wheel and gearshift, blue stitching and ambient lighting, so there's no getting away from the GT theme.
Centrepiece is nine-inch touch control screen which controls major functions and is intuitive and easy to ease.
It houses sat nav, connectivity and infotainment systems plus a seven inch TFT display screen. Drivers can also personalise the driving experience using the Multi-Sense system which can be used to modify the accelerator pedal and engine response, engine sound, steering weight, interior, lighting ambience through a choice of five colours and the speed of the automatic gear changes.
A head-up display allows you to keep you eye on the road and on your speed at the same time, while the rest of the cabin offers goodies like radar drive assist and parking camera and parking assist.
The sports seats in the front hug both occupants, while two are seated with comfort in the rear, the third less comfortably and the soft touch finish and general fit and finish give an upmarket feel to the vehicle.
It it a feisty beast. The 200-odd bhp petrol engine rockets the car to 60mph from a standing start in just over seven seconds.
It's not just quick, pulling power, or torque is excellent throughout the range and the car keeps pulling. If you want to be smart off the mark, try the launch control which allows you to left-foot the brake while flooring the accelerator and then releasing the brake for a blistering start.
The seven-speed ‘Efficient Dual Clutch' transmission slips effortlessly through the gears, while for more fun, slip into the sport mode on the drive selector and use the paddles for a more entertaining drive.
There are five drive mode option from economy through to and sport. Switching changes the digital display on the dial, turning red in sport mode. In this mode you can give it the full beans and the uprated suspension and4Controlfour-wheel steering means the car feel likes it's on rails when cornering hard.
At speeds of less than 50mph in Sport mode and 37mph in other modes the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions for greater manoeuvrability. At higher speeds the front and rear wheels steer in the same direction, making cornering so much easier.
Hatchback are practical cars and this five door is no exception with decent boot space of 384 litres which increases to 1,247 with the rear seats folded.
Other goodies include adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, lane departure warning, hands free parking and parking sensors.
Well, equipped, stylish, packed with safety kit and a hoot to drive this Megan ticks most of the boxes.
Renault Megane GT Nav 205 Auto EDC
Mechanical: 205ps, 1,618cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 146mph
0-62mph: 7.1 seconds
Combined MPG: 47.1
Insurance Group: 27
C02 emissions: 134g/km
Bik rating: 23%
Warranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles
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