WHEN it comes to sourcing a quiet, spacious and comfortable family car at a sensible price you would be hard pressed to better the latest Megane Sport Tourer from Renault.
Not only does the new model have the looks and flair to shame many estate cars from premier manufacturers it also matches them for refinement.
With a price of £24,500 - for the middle of the range Iconic spec model driven here - this is a car which is more than a match for vehicles costing £10,000 more.
The Megane range recently underwent a facelift - not to mention a small reduction in the starting price - to add a bit more sparkle to an already popular and appealing line up.
Changes included subtle styling tweaks like new look daytime running lights, a new LED lighting set up at the back and full LED headlights.
And on the inside there's new style seating as well as a 7-inch centre set touch screen and a 10-inch TFT display immediately in front of the driver.
It's powered by a 1.4-litre, 140 bhp petrol engine which is smooth, punchy yet frugal. It's one of those engines which punches well above its weight so when you need to push on it delivers and always feels much larger than it is.
Mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox which is seamless in its changes this is a car which drives so well compared to its rivals it now feels under priced.
The Megane and Megane Tourer have been among Renault's best sellers for years but the latest versions takes the model to a whole new plane.
Press the Multi Sense button and you are offered a choice of driving modes including eco, normal and sport.
In eco and normal there's a digital and analogue speedometer readout in front of the driver but in sport the analogue sector morphs into a rev counter while at the same time the steering is firmed up and the engine and gearbox become more responsive..
The Sport Tourer is a well equipped car with features which make it easy to live with including satellite navigation, lane departure warning, hill start assist to stop you rolling backwards, cruise control with speed limiter and traffic sign recognition.
Variable power steering makes it an easy car to park too, but if you get too close to adjacent vehicles parking sensors soon alert you with a somewhat over loud warning system.
Sports style front seats with comfy side bolsters make sure you are held well in place on tight bends and are particularly good for long journeys.
Other little niceties include a choice of ambient lighting colours with eight hues to select from.
On the road the Megane Sport Tourer is impressively quiet even at high speed and lives up to its Sport name on fast bends and corners with very little body roll.
For a lot of people estates are all about space and the Tourer will swallow up 563 litres of luggage with the rear seatbacks in place and a very generous 1,543 litres with them lowered.