Comes with a GT-spec model and four-wheel steering

The fourth-generation Renault Megane 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 Japanese cousin, the French hatchback is quite exciting to look at thanks to the brand’s new design DNA, which debuted on the Talisman midsize sedan. The new Megane also received a new GT version, which is not as powerful as the RS, but features a sportier body kit and a dual-clutch gearbox. With the entire hatchback lineup already in dealerships, Renault has introduced the Megane Estate at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Essentially a longer version of the hatch with extra legroom for rear-seat passengers and a bigger trunk, the Megane Estate will look to give wagon versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus a run for their money. With a dynamic, elegant design, fuel-efficient engines, technology usually found in higher segments, and a sporty GT variant, the new Megane Estate is a significant departure from it predecessor. But does it have what it takes to take the iconic Golf Variant down in Europe? Read our review to find out.

Updated 03/07/2016: We added a series of new images plus full specifications details on the new Renault Megane Estate.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Megane Estate.

Exterior

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Having already seen the Megane hatchback, we knew what to expect from the wagon since the shorter model debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Not surprisingly, the two are almost identical from nose toward the C-pillar. The most noticeable difference is the longer rear overhang, which allows for a rear quarter window and a bigger trunk. Naturally, the roof was equipped with long rails for extra hauling capability during long trips.

The tailgate is larger and incorporates the license plate recess, which on the hatch was placed in the bumper.

The rear section also received a makeover below the new taillights. The tailgate is larger and incorporates the license plate recess, which on the hatch was placed in the bumper. The Estate’s bumper is also slimmer and features a crossover-like belly pan. Although the rear section is a bit boxier than the hatchback’s, the wagon retains the sporty design of its smaller sibling.

The really big news here is that the Renault Estate also received the GT package and all the appearance goodies that come with it. Additions include side scoops for the front lower air intake, side mirrors finished in metallic paint, special 18-inch wheels, and the Iron Blue exterior.

Interior

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Inside, the Megane Estate is also identical to the hatchback, save for the bigger trunk section. Equipped with the same Talisman-inspired features, it comes with a large touchscreen display atop the center console, big A/C vents on the dashboard, a sporty three-spoke steering wheel, and a significantly improved fit and finish compared to the previous model.

Convenience features include a full-color heads-up display, a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster, and either a seven-inch landscape or 8.7-inch portrait-format touchscreen. Needless to say, you won’t find most of these features on many vehicle in this class.

Soft-touch materials have become the norm in the new Megane. The entry-level model is far from fancy, but the more expensive trim levels come with full-grain Nappa leather and chrome detailing. Heated, Alcantara-wrapped seats with lumbar adjustment are offered in the range-topping model, along with an optional Bose audio system with nine speakers and a subwoofer.

The GT model also has bolstered seats in one of three upholstery options. You can pick between fabric, Alcantara with blue stripes, and Alcantara with black stripes.

Drivetrain

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Engine options are the same as those available in the Megane hatch, meaning the Estate comes with six small-displacement, three- and four-cylinder engines at launch. There are diesels generating 90, 110, and 130 PS (89, 108, and 128 horsepower), and three gasoline units rated at 100, 130, and 205 PS (99, 128, and 202 horses). All powerplants mate to a six-speed manual as standard, but the 110-PS diesel and the 130-PS gas model get optional six-speed and seven-speed automatics, respectively.

In 2016, Renault will roll out a 165-PS (163-horsepower) diesel mill linked to a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. A "Hybrid Assist" version will also be launched for the hatch in 2017 and it’s safe to assume that the wagon will get it as well.

Finally, the Estate GT uses a four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 205 PS (202 horses). The dual-clutch gearbox is standard equipment and comes with launch control. The sportier wagon also uses the hatchback’s four-wheel steering system (4Control). A first for a wagon in this segment, the 4Control system permits a degree of rear-wheel steering that adds dynamism on twisty roads. Renault says it combines high-speed stability with low-speed maneuverability, thus making the compact wagon more enjoyable to drive. Developed by Renault Sport, the system monitors and adjusts rear steering angle 100 times every second.

Safety

2016 Renault Megane Estate High Resolution Interior Exterior AutoShow
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The previous Megane wasn’t the safest vehicle out there, getting only three stars in Euro NCAP testing. This may change with the fourth-generation model, which includes numerous safety features such as adaptive cruise control, 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. All of the above have been announced for the hatch, but will most likely be offered with the Estate as well.

Prices

Pricing for the new Megane Estate is still a mystery, but given that the current model retails from £18,570 (about $26,290) in the U.K., the redesigned wagon should have a starting price between £19,000 and £20,000 (around $26,900 to $28,300).

Competition

Volkswagen Golf Estate

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Also known as Variant on certain markets, the Golf Estate is one of the best-selling wagons in Europe. Just like the Megane Estate, it’s a longer version of the hatchback with a larger trunk. Naturally, most features and drivetrains are shared with the smaller five-door. In most countries, the gasoline range begins with the 1.2-liter TSI that puts out 85 PS (84 horses), while the most powerful version (not including the GTI and R) comes with a 1.4-liter TSI rated at 150 PS (148 horsepower). As far as diesels go, the base model features a 90-PS (89-horsepower,) 1.6-liter TDI, while the range-topping trim has a 184-PS (181-horsepower,) 2.0-liter TDI under the hood. Transmission options include both manual and DSG gearboxes. All-wheel drive is optional. Unlike the Megane Estate, the Golf is available in a more crossover-like form as the Alltrack. Pricing starts from £18,950 (about $26,850).

Find out more about the Volkswagen Golf Estate here.

Ford Focus Estate

2015 Ford Focus High Resolution Exterior
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The Focus Estate is yet another popular compact wagon in Europe. Essentially an elongated Focus hatch, the Estate shares its drivetrain with the standard five-door. The gasoline lineup includes a 1.6-liter four-pot with either 85 or 105 PS (84 or 104 horsepower) and a 1.0-liter Ecoboost with 100 or 125 PS (99 or 123 horses). Diesel fans can order a 1.5-liter TDCi with either 95 or 120 PS (94 or 118 horsepower). Transmission options include a six-speed manual or a six-speed powershift for the oil burners and a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic for the gasoline range. Prices start from £17,095 (about $24,200), which makes the Focus Estate the most affordable of the bunch.

Read more about the Ford Focus Estate here.

Conclusion

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We don’t have access to any official details as of yet, but if the hatchback model is any indication, the Megane Estate will be a good-looking, well-equipped wagon. Judging by looks alone, the French compact is arguably the prettiest in its segment, but the Megane needs more than that to steal customers from the highly popular Golf and Focus. It remains to be seen whether that’s going to happen or not. In the meantime, all we can do is wait for the official specs and, more importantly, to find out how much cargo we can store in this wagon. Hopefully Renault added more rear legroom following previous complaints, and the four-wheel steering of the GT model will satisfy customers looking for a more exciting experience behind the wheel without an expensive RS badge.

  • Leave it
    • * Entry-level model not that spectacular on the inside
    • * Focus Estate is significantly more affordable

Press Release

The new MEGANE Estate GT bears Renault Sport’s hallmark DNA, both in its design and in the driving feeling it delivers thanks to its 4CONTROL system – a world first in the C-segment estate market.

Spacious and comfortable to accommodate five people, plus a modular interior and vast carrying space

The 2016 Geneva International Motor Show will see Renault reveal its new MEGANE Estate in the form of the range’s Estate GT version. Based on the new MEGANE, this all-new estate is both elegant and sporty. It boasts an intuitive, modular interior with a choice of boot arrangements, as well as the segment’s longest maximum load length..

The design of the new MEGANE Estate blends dynamism and style, enhanced by a chrome trim around the side windows and C-pillar. The roof line is enhanced by matte-finish anodised aluminium roof bars (Dark Metal Color on GT version). The car’s low stance and wide track increase the feeling of solidity on the road. The new MEGANE Estate features a distinctive C-shaped lighting signature at the front.

The new MEGANE Estate GT bears Renault Sport DNA: the front bumper underlines the model’s sporting credentials, while the honeycomb mesh of the radiator grilles is specific to the car and the wide lower air inlet is flanked by two air-scoops. At the rear, the new MEGANE ESTATE GT is fitted with a chromed exhaust tail pipe and a sculpted diffuser to reinforce its dynamic look.

Meanwhile, the new MEGANE Estate GT is the first C-segment estate to benefit from 4CONTROL technology. Specifically tailored to the new MEGANE Estate, 4CONTROL endows the car with precise, dynamic handling on twisty roads and generates genuine driving pleasure. Thanks to 4CONTROL, the new MEGANE Estate GT is exceptionally agile in built-up areas.

For further information about the new MEGANE Estate – and to take a closer look – make your way to Hall 4 at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show from Tuesday, March 1.

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