Compared to other hatchbacks in the industry today, the Renault Mégane can be considered a neophyte, having only been around since 1995. In fact, if Renault hadn’t thought of developing a model to succeed the popular Renault 19, the Mégane probably wouldn’t exist today. Yet here we are, 20 years and four generations later, the all-new 2016 Mégane has arrived, ushering in a new era for the steadily improving hatchback.

The fourth-generation Mégane made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It shares the same mid-sized car platform as the 2015 Nissan Pulsar, but unlike its rather mundane-looking cousin, the new Mégane looks about as sharp as any hatchback in the market today. That’s largely attributed to the car receiving Renault’s new design DNA, a characteristic it shares with the 2016 Renault Talisman, the French automaker’s equally exquisite new mid-size luxury sedan. Gone are the days when the mere sight of the Mégane lulled people to sleep. No one’s going to have that problem with the Mégane because this is the Mégane we’ve all been waiting for.

Now that it’s here, the Mégane’s future looks brighter than it’s ever been in the last 20 years. If the hatchback rides as good as it looks, there’s no telling what heights this model can reach, especially when the RS versions come roaring into our lives down the road.

Updated 09/22/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Renault Mégane.

Exterior

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The Renault Mégane is all-grown up now and finally exhibiting the styling characteristics of a proper (hot) hatchback. The new model looks sportier and much more refined than any of the three generations before it, thanks in part to it being lower by 1.8 inches in the front and wider by 1.53 inches at the back than the third generation model. This gives the Mégane a tighter and more purposeful appearance that its predecessors simply lacked.

The creases on the hood and the chrome trims on the grille and the front bumper further strengthens the character of the front fascia.

The front profile of the Mégane also adopts the same design language as the Renault Talisman, right down to the distinctive, C-shaped LED lighting signature and the new Renault front grille. The creases on the hood, the chrome trims on the grille, and the front bumper further strengthens the character of the front fascia.

The use of chrome extends further into the side panels of the car, specifically on the belt line, side badges, and door handles. At the back, the Mégane also received new LED taillights, both of which extend closer to the middle, stopping just short of Renault’s unmistakable logo.

Renault hasn’t announced the available color options for the new Mégane, but the French automaker did announce that a sportier version of the model, called the Mégane GT, will feature Renault’s new “Iron Blue” paint finish and touches of Dark Metal throughout the body of the hatchback. 18-inch aluminum wheels and chrome dual exhausts will also be part of the Mégane GT’s catalog.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,359 MM (178.70 Inches)
Height 1,447 MM (56.96 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,669 MM (105.07 Inches)
Track front/rear 1,591/1,586 MM (62.63/62.44 Inches)

Interior

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The hatchback’s interior received the same treatment as the 2016 Renault Talisman, featuring a huge touchscreen display that occupies a large chunk of the center console. The display and the integrated buttons, switches, and knobs are responsible for a majority of the functions found inside the cabin, including in-car apps like Coyote alerts and Michelin apps that can be used to locate hotels and restaurants in the surrounding areas.

The display and the integrated buttons, switches, and knobs are responsible for a majority of the functions found inside the cabin.

Most of the soft-touch materials and the chrome trim seen on the Talisman are also be part of the Mégane’s interior, although the sedan’s fancy seats have been replaced with more mundane units.

On the tech side, the Megane is packed with Renault’s latest, including a full-color head-up display, a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster. Both features, along with the portrait-format, 8.7-inch touchscreen, are described by Renault as class first features "traditionally reserved for vehicles in higher segments."

Though the entry-level model is only a slightly improved version of the current car, the more expensive trim levels will feature full-grain Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel and chrome detailing on the center stack, air vents, and switch surrounds.

Also, the expensive models are equipped with plush velour and Alcantara heated seats with lumbar adjustment. The driver seat also incorporates a massage function. The optional Bose audio system features nine speakers, subwoofer, and a digital amplified for high-quality sound.

Drivetrain

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The new Megane is available with six small-displacement, three- and four-cylinder engines at launch. There are three diesels developing 90, 110, and 130 horsepower, and three gasoline units rated at 100, 130, and 205 horses. All versions come with a six-speed manual as standard, but the 110-horsepower diesel and the 130-horsepower gas model will get optional six-speed and seven-speed automatics, respectively. The dual-clutch gearbox is standard in the GT model.

In 2016, Renault will roll out a 165-horsepower diesel mill linked to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. A "Hybrid Assist" version will also be launched, but not before 2017. The French claim this hatchback will need only three liters of fuel to run 100 km and will emit just 76 grams of CO2 per km.

Safety

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The Megane’s comprehensive suite of technologies include numerous safety features, such as adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking, lane departure, safe distance and speed limit warnings, traffic sign recognition, and blind spot monitoring. A reverse camera, hands-free parking, and front, rear, and side parking aids are also available.

Prices

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Pricing for the new Renault Mégane should be revealed a little after its Frankfurt debut, but a look at how much the current Mégane costs should paint a picture as to how the new model will be priced.

The current Mégane starts at £16,750 for the entry-level Expression+ trim. That’s about $25,770 based on current exchange rates. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range Mégane GT Nav 220 starts at £23,250, or about $35,760 when converted into USD. Expect the base model of the new Mégane to be slightly higher than its predecessor, possibly starting at around £18,500, or close to $28,500.

Competition

2015 Ford Focus

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The new Renault Megane will be entering a hatchback segment that’s the strongest it’s ever been in years. There are plenty of worthy competitors in this segment, but none might be as popular today as the Ford Focus.

Regarded for its professional looks, efficient engines, and affordable prices, the Focus has become one of the best-selling cars in the world. That’s especially true in Europe where the model has made a sales killing on the strength of more and more people gravitating towards cheap and efficient hatchbacks.

The 2015 Focus might lose its “best-looking hatchback” title once the new Megane hits the market, but don’t bet on the Ford conceding everything else to the Renault. The Focus still has a lot going for it, including its incredible 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower while also achieving at least 40 mpg.

With a base price of £15,995 in the UK ($16,810 here in the US), the Focus is also cheaper than the Mégane. That is a huge advantage in this segment considering that most of the car owners here are more concerned about getting bang for their buck than everything else.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

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Renault hit a home run with the new Mégane. Granted, my reaction is based purely on the hatchback’s design, but boy, oh boy, the new Mégane is a real head-turner! It looks incredible the first time you see it, and unlike some models, the appeal doesn’t wear off the more you look at it. Moreover, the interior looks as good as the exterior and judging by the amount of high-tech features and the upholstery available with high-end version, the Mégane has climbed yet another step up the premium ladder. The engine variety is also impressive, and with more versions under way, we are looking at one of the best-looking and well-rounded hatchbacks to come out in quite some time.

  • Leave it
    • Entry-level model not that spectacular on the inside
    • Could be significantly more expensive than its predecessor
    • Tough competition from Ford and Volkswagen

Updated History

Updated 09/17/2015: The new Renault Megane made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Press Release

The dynamic-looking, high-quality, All-New Mégane – loaded with technology features from higher-segment cars – is Renault’s star attraction at this year’s IAA in Frankfurt. Alongside a range of highly-efficient petrol and diesel engines, it will be available from launch as a GT created in association with Renaultsport. A ‘Hybrid Assist’ diesel will be added in 2017. The new Mégane goes on sale in mainland Europe early next year with UK deliveries anticipated in the summer

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“The new Mégane plays an integral part in Renault’s design renewal strategy,” says Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design. “Its dynamic lines project both sensuality and status, while its assertive proportions provide it with a well-planted stance on the road and its sculpted forms and strong shoulders hint at the brand’s Latin roots. It features a distinctive lighting signature both front and rear, by day as well as by night, and its elegant interior exudes an unmistakeable cockpit feel.”

The new Mégane is based on Renault’s Common Module Family (CMF) vehicle architecture, which makes it possible to offer high-tech features normally available only in cars from higher segments. A number are segment firsts, including a full colour head-up display, a 7-inch colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrument display, a portrait-format 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen and 4Control four-wheel steering for the GT.

The six highly-efficient engines that will be available at launch have power outputs ranging from 90 to 205hp, with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 85.6mpg and 86g/km for the ENERGY dCi 110.

Dynamic styling with a distinctive lighting signature

The new Mégane’s dynamic stance is founded on well-balanced proportions. It is 64mm longer (4,359mm) and 25mm lower (1,447mm) than the third-generation Mégane, and has a 28mm longer wheelbase (2,669mm), which is greater than that of rival models. The front and rear track widths have been widened by 47mm and 39mm respectively to 1,591mm and 1,586mm, while the rear overhang has been shortened compared. Wheel sizes of up to 18 inches will be available.

At the front, Renault’s corporate identity is evident in the large, upright diamond logo and broad grille. This is accentuated by daytime running lights incorporating LED technology to provide a distinctive C-shaped signature that extends down to the bumper. Higher-end versions feature full-LED lighting modules for both dipped and main beams. This Pure Vision LED technology delivers a significant improvement in night-time vision compared with halogen lighting.

Thanks to its strongly sculpted shoulders, the new Mégane radiates the sensuality embedded in Renault design. Taut and precise lines along the lower part of the body and bonnet align towards the front to enhance the dynamic poise of the car. Chrome trim at the front and around the side windows, badges and door handles emphasises the quality of the new Mégane.

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There are air scoops either side at the front, deflectors at the rear and motorised flaps which automatically close to reduce drag, making the new Mégane an extremely aerodynamically efficient car and contributing towards its low fuel consumption and emissions.

The rear light units, also all-LED, feature tail lights that are permanently illuminated. This novel horizontal signature helps to accentuate the car’s width. Thanks to new Edge Light technology, it provides a slender 3D brush stroke effect that emits a purple-hued red light.

Elegant, cockpit-style interior

The new Mégane has a cockpit-style interior with a suiteof high-tech features clustered around the driver to create an enveloping L-shape. They include a number of class firsts: a full colour head-up display, traditionally reserved for vehicles in higher segments; a 7-inch colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrument display; and a portrait-format 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen as an alternative to the landscape 7-inch screen.

Special focus has been placed on the finish, quality of materials and harmony of the cabin. The soft-touch dashboard extends in a continuous sweep to the top door cappings. It also runs from the lower edge of the dashboard to the centre console. High-end versions feature a full-grain Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel with elegant chrome detailing, which is echoed on the instrument, air vent, console and switch surrounds.

A tall and broad centre console incorporates a fore/aft adjustable armrest. Higher-end versions focus attention on the console with two slender lines of glowing light, the hue of which can be personalised.

Sculpted seats provide optimum comfort and support with the help of dual density foam. Taking their inspiration from the worlds of interior furnishings and leather goods, the seat materials are warm and modern. Special attention has been paid to the detailing of the top stitching on the seats and door casings.

There are five upholstery grades, all in shades of black. High-end versions are available with plush velour developed with Alcantara, giving a powerful lustre and an intense black 3D effect. High-end versions come with heated seats and electric lumbar adjustment. The driver seat incorporates a massage function.

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The new Mégane’s boot capacity of 434 litres is the second largest in the compact car sector and is complemented by interior stowage space totalling 25 litres. Rear knee room of 175mm is a 20mm improvement over that of the third generation Mégane, while shoulder width (1,441mm at the front, 1,390mm in the rear) is amongst the segment’s best. The new Mégane consequently delivers the best of both worlds when it comes to rear passenger space and boot capacity.

BOSE audio systems ensure high quality sound. Engineers from BOSE worked in close co-operation with their counterparts at Renault to optimise the integration of the nine speakers, subwoofer and digital amplifier so that the sound is precise, balanced, tailor-engineered and crystal clear.

Technology from higher segments

The use of the CMF modular architecture permits the new Mégane to offer features more usually associated with larger and more expensive cars, and is drawn from the new Espace and Talisman. This comprehensive suite of technologies is unique in the segment and includes the head-up display, TFT instrument display and portrait-style 8.7-inch screen, plus Multi-Sense technology and 4Control.

The retractable colour head-up display enhances safety by reducing the amount of time the driver needs to look away from the road to take in the most important information – speed, navigation instructions and driving aids.

There is a comprehensive selection of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), controlled through the R-Link 2 tablet. They include adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking; lane departure, safe distance and speed limit warnings, the latter linked to traffic sign recognition; and blind spot monitoring. A reversing camera, automatic switching between main and dipped headlight beams, hands-free parking and front, rear and side parking aids are also available.

Higher-specification models feature R-Link 2 complete with an 8.7-inch portrait-format display as an alternative the landscape-style 7-inch screen. The portrait display screen employs capacitive ‘pinch & zoom’ technology for easier use, much like that of a smartphone or tablet computer.

R-Link 2 includes voice recognition for safe operation of the navigation, telephone, apps and radio. Its three customisable home pages allow swift access to the most frequently used functions. A connectivity package, including a 12-month subscription to TomTom LIVE services and access to the R-Link Store, expands its scope.

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The content of the 7-inch colour TFT instrument display can be customised, depending on the selected driving mode. The dashboard displays not only fundamental data like speed, but also numerous other information relating to navigation or driving aids.

Renault’s innovative Multi-Sense technology allows users to personalise their driving experience by modifying accelerator pedal and engine response, adjusting the speed of the gearshifts performed by the Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic transmission and controlling the massage function of the seats and the cabin lighting environment. The Multi-Sense button on the centre console provides instant access to these functions.

The system offers a choice of five different driving modes – Sport, Normal, Comfort, Perso and Eco. On the GT version, Eco is replaced by an R.S. Drive mode.

Five different interior lighting ambiances are available: red, green, blue, purple and brown. The illumination covers the centre console, as well as the front and rear doors of high-end versions, and is linked to the display colour on the TFT screen and the portrait-format multimedia display.

Engines from 90 to 205hp, with outstanding efficiency

The new Mégane will be available with six highly-efficient engines from launch – three ENERGY dCi diesels delivering 90, 110 or 130hp, and three TCe petrol units with outputs of 100, 130 or 205hp. The EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission will be offered with the dCi 110 (six-speed) and the TCe 130 (seven-speed) engines. The seven-speed EDC is standard with the TCe 205 unit in the GT.

The core of the range will be the ENERGY dCi 110 diesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox. This version of the new Mégane emits just 86g of CO2 per kilometre and has NEDC combined fuel consumption of 85.6mpg, meaning it is ECO2-listed. Since June 2015 Renault has been using the ECO2 label to highlight the most economical engine in each model range.

In 2016 the diesel ENERGY dCi 165 engine, linked to six-speed EDC dual clutch automatic transmission, will also become available in the GT.

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A ‘Hybrid Assist’ diesel will be added early in 2017. With a targeted NEDC cycle figure below 3 litres/100km (94.1mpg) and CO2 emissions of 76g/km, subject to confirmation, this will position the new Mégane as the market leader for low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It achieves this by capturing energy under deceleration and braking, and then boosting acceleration under certain conditions, especially at low engine speeds, to combine driving pleasure with extreme economy.

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