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Five things you need to know about the new Renault Megane

The all-new, fourth generation of Renault's family hatch is here. This is why it matters

  1. It’s the latest in a quite long line

    The Megane nameplate is older than Focus and Qashqai, two of the better sellers in the family hatchback market. This all-new version represents the fourth generation of Renault’s Golf-fighter: the first one arrived twenty years ago now, and while most of the UK tends to prefer Fords, Vauxhalls and crossover alternatives, the importance of the Megane should not be underestimated.

    Spin-offs from the humble Megane have included the pioneer of the small people-carrier, the Scenic, and Nürburgring-whipping hot hatches of the highest quality (Renaultsport R26.R). Some legacy.

  2. There’ll be quick ones

    You’d expect nothing less, given Renault’s love of a good hot hatch, but then nothing is sacred. Happily, though, the Megane will launch with a Renaultsport-fettled GT version right from the off, while a full-on RS is surely on the horizon.

    What we don’t know is whether the RS will follow the five-door, automatic-only route of its littler Clio sibling. Seeing as the new Focus RS comes only with back doors, we’re not too worried about the former.

    But given the current Megane RS – recently refreshed, no less – remains a high watermark in hot hatch history, we hope the decision makers see fit to stick closely to its mechanical formula.

  3. It's a bit bigger than before

    In a move that goes against recent downsizing trends, the new Megane is actually a little bigger than before, with a 28mm longer wheelbase and wider tracks.

    The fact it’s spun from the same platform as the Kadjar crossover (and its Nissan Qashqai cousin) is part of the explanation. But so is the fact the C-segment, in which the Megane fights its battles, remains hugely popular in mainland Europe, swelling as customers choose high-spec hatchbacks over out-of-fashion saloons. They’ll appreciate the extra room inside.

  4. There will be plenty of tech

    We’re yet to see the new Megane’s interior – it will be revealed alongside engine line-ups and tech details at next week’s Frankfurt motor show – but we do know there’ll be a big screen to swipe and lovely buttons to press.

    The dashboards of the new Espace (pictured) and Talisman, with their enlarged smartphone-style vertical screens, are a clear hint of what to expect in the Megane. Got to keep those saloon car downsizers happy…

  5. It looks quite nice

    Okay, so we’ve crossed the line between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ a little, but try telling us that this isn’t the best looking Megane yet. The first was boringly conventional, the second big-bummed and bold, the third just a bit “meh”.

    Megane MkIV treads a different path to its predecessors, looking more mature but with some quite eye-catching touches. The elaborate lighting is a particular highlight.

    It does much to dry our tears from being denied the Talisman, with clear design links between Renault’s big saloon and this much more depreciation-proof hatch. We look forward to having a proper prod around it in Frankfurt next week.

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