Review: Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016)

Rating:

Usefully large boot with underfloor storage. Comfortable and easy to drive. Impressive TCe petrol engines. Good value for money.

Focus Estate is better to drive.

Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016): At A Glance

In a world dominated by SUVs you'd be forgiven for thinking that smaller estates like the Megane Sport Tourer have had their day. And while it's true they're not as popular with UK buyers as they are in the rest of Europe, they're in demand enough that the likes of Volkswagen, Ford and Kia all sell an estate version of their family hatchbacks.

It's a neatly designed wagon that's easy on the eye, but what stands out is its value for money. Prices start from around £19,000 and even entry-level models at this price are well equipped. Also, that's less than a Kia Ceed Sportswagon.

There were originally six engines in the range, starting with a 130PS 1.2 TCe petrol while the sporty GT version has 205PS from a 1.6-litre engine. This gets a four-wheel steering system called 4Control, designed to make the car feel more agile, whether on a twisting road or in tight urban traffic.

The cheapest diesel was the 1.5-litre dCi 110. The diesels make sense for big mileage drivers and the 1.5-litre unit is impressively quiet as well as economical and was also available with the EDC automatic gearbox.

In 2019, the Megane Sport Tourer range was simplified with just two engines now available - the TCe 140 or the dCi 115 - both with either a six-speed manual or six-speed EDC automatic. The TCe makes the most sense for the vast majority of drivers plus it is quiet and more than quick enough.

Bootspace remains the same as the old Megane estate - 580 litres. That's not the biggest around but it's very useable with no load lip and extra storage under the boot floor. The load length has been improved over the previous model and there is also a flip up section to prevent items falling over and rolling around in the back.

The quality of the interior impresses. True there are some harder plastics lower down, but the dash and door tops have soft touch materials while the steering wheel and gear lever are a big step up in quality compared to the previous Megane.

Reasonably priced with a solid build quality, the Megane Sport Tourer is easy to recommend if you're after a versatile estate that's still compact and easy to park. There are a few niggles, the infotainment system could be better while the high clutch pedal isn't great, but overall the Renault is a comfortable and easy to live with family hauler.

What does a Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016) cost?

List Price from £18,295
Buy new from £14,461
Contract hire from £187.24 per month

Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4626 mm
Width 2058 mm
Height 1457 mm
Wheelbase 2669–2712 mm

Full specifications

While the Megane's boot standard capacity of 580 litres may not be the biggest around (the Kia Ceed boasts 625 litres), the Renault has a few tricks up its sleeve to make that space useful.

For starters the load area has vertical sides with no intrusions, so it's easy to pack the boot full and know you are actually able to use that space. Storage bins are hidden in the boot sides too - handy for those cans of de-icer.

The boot floor is in line with the rear bumper so there's no load lip to worry about - it means you can slide heavy items out rather then straining your back to lift them. And under the boot floor there's more extra storage, plus a hinged section that flips up means you can separate the boot into two sections and stop things moving about.

Features such as handles in the boot to drop the rear seats make using the Megane Sport Tourer on a daily basis very easy. So yes, it may not have the best boot capacity, but it utilises that space well. It's worth noting that the boot is longer than the previous Megane Sport Tourer.

For those sat in the back, the problem becomes one of rear legroom. With a tall driver (or passenger) in the front and the seat pushed back, there's limited space. It's no better or worse than any other estate of this size, but it's worth noting if you're regularly going to be carrying taller passengers in the back.

The quality of the interior impresses. True there are some harder plastics lower down, but the dash and door tops have soft touch materials while the steering wheel and gear lever are a big step up in quality compared to the previous Megane.

It's neatly designed too with a coherent layout that gets all the basics right. The driving position is good, the instruments are easy to read and all the main controls, such as the air con, are simple to use. Go for all but the entry level model and the traditional instrument dials are replaced with a customisable screen which has a nice clear digital speed display in the middle.

There are a few criticisms though. The radio controls on the back of the steering wheel could be forgiven for feeling dated but the high clutch and spongy gear lever feel are more annoying. The former soon gets tiring in traffic, especially if you're tall, while the odd feel of the gear shift doesn't inspire confidence for a smooth drive.

The Renault infotainment system isn't the best either. It's far from intuitive, which isn't that much of an issue once you get used to it, but it's not especially attractive and some functions, such as changing the driving modes, seem overly complicated. On the plus side, newer versions come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, handy as you can bypass the Renault navigation system which looks pretty terrible.

Standard equipment from launch (2016):

Expression+ trim includes LED daytime running lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, all-round electric windows, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio with fingertip controls, an AUX input, a two-way adjustable steering column, height adjustable driver and passenger seat, Bluetooth connectivity and a 12-volt front socket.

Dynamique adds automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, Renault’s Visio active safety system providing lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high/low beam headlamps, electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors, handsfree keycard, automatic dual zone climate control, Arkamys 3D Sound DAB radio and seven-inch touchscreen R-Link2 multimedia system including satellite navigation.

Dynamique S has an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen housing the R-Link2 multimedia system, 17-inch diamond-cut alloys, rear parking camera with front and rear parking sensors and extra tinted windows to the rear and tailgate.

Signature features 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, full LED headlights, black leather upholstery with Nappa leather steering wheel and electrochrome rearview mirror.

GT-Line provides a more sporty and dynamic appearance with exterior and interior enhancements. Based on the Dynamique specification it adds a wider, lower air intake with a honeycomb-pattern mesh, flanked by lateral scoops to the front. Dark metal 17-inch alloy wheels and door mirror housings match the finish on the front air scoops and rear diffuser.

From 2018: 

Play versions have a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and USB and AUX ports, 16-inch ‘Dakota’ alloy wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, Hands Free keycard, height and lumbar adjustable driver and passenger seats, Bluetooth, auto-adaptive airbags for driver and front passenger, cruise control, ESP, front fog lights, heated rear screen, Hill Start Assist, LED daytime running lights, central rear armrest with cupholder, front centre armrest with storage, 60:40 split folding rear seats.

Iconic has 17-inch ‘Florida’ diamond-cut alloy wheels, Multi-Sense system providing driving mode selector and ambient lighting choices, R-LINK2 multimedia system with seven-inch touchscreen with TomTom LIVE sat-nav and Western European mapping, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, electronic parking brake, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high/low beam, electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors, seven-inch TFT screen in place of traditional speedometer and Arkamys 3D sound with 4x35W speakers. 

GT Line versions have dark chrome door mirrors, more muscular front and rear bumpers with silver rear diffuser, sport seats, exclusive GT Line cloth upholstery, chrome door sills, sport seats with integrated head rest, extra tinted rear and tailgate windows and 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with R-LINK2 Navigation.

Child seats that fit a Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016) like to drive?

With a well judged balance of ride and handling, the Megane Sport Tourer is easy to drive and comfortable in every driving. It may not be as sharp as a Focus Estate but unless you're throwing this into corners, you're unlikely to notice the difference.

The steering doesn't have much in the way of natural feel but it's reasonably well weighted and is responsive enough to give you confidence when tackling a bend, with decent levels of grip unless really pushed.

What's not so great is the spongy feel of the gear change, which is strange as the gear shift itself is positive, The Megane Sport Tourer also suffers from a high clutch pedal - a classic Renault trait. It's not awful, but if you're sitting in traffic a lot, you'll soon find it annoying. It's why we'd suggest the EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox if you'll be driving in town mostly.

While the Megane Sport Tourer is far from being 'sporty' higher spec models do come with  selectable driving modes which alter the throttle, steering and - with an automatic - the gear change timings. There's an individual setting so you can have your own set up, but as with most of these systems, you are best leaving it in standard mode for the majority of the time.

If you're doing big mileages, the 1.5 dCi is the engine to go for. With its small capacity and modest output (originally 110PS and later upped to 115PS) you’d expect to be a clattery stinker. Instead it puts many four-cylinder diesels to shame on the noise suppression front, including one or two found in premium cars.

It's economical too - you should be seeing more than 50mpg - and while not remotely quick on paper, the dCi engines are strong enough to haul the car to motorway speeds in fuss-free fashion.

If you want more power, the 1.6 dCi is equally as good and although not as quiet, it delivers strong performance. The 130PS version is more than quick enough thanks to strong torque and makes the GT version with 165PS seem a little superfluous.  

Choose a petrol you'll be looking at the 1.2 TCe with either 130PS, or from 2019 140PS. It may seem small on paper, but the turbocharged engine gives the Megane more than enough power for both around town and the motorway.

Although a little noisy on start up, it settles down to a hush on the move, making the Megane smooth and easy to drive. It may not have the same zest or character as Volkswagen's TSI units, but it provides ample acceleration and is quiet at a steady 70mph.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 TCe 51–52 mpg - 124 g/km
1.2 TCe Automatic 50–52 mpg - 125 g/km
1.3 TCe 52 mpg - 130 g/km
1.3 TCe Automatic 52 mpg - 138 g/km
1.5 dCi 110 72–76 mpg - 101 g/km
1.5 dCi 110 Automatic 74 mpg - 99 g/km
1.5 dCi 115 76 mpg - 111 g/km
1.5 dCi 115 Automatic 74 mpg - 119 g/km
1.6 dCi 130 69–71 mpg - 106 g/km
1.6 dCi 165 Automatic 60 mpg 8.9 s 124 g/km
1.6 TCe Automatic 47 mpg - 134 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

73%

Real MPG

29–60 mpg

MPGs submitted

14

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Renault Megane Sport Tourer (2016)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is turbo cool down necessary for modern cars?

I've just acquired my first turbo car, a Renault Megane GT Sport and am somewhat unclear about the need for turbo cool down. My manual doesn't mention it and the dealer says its not necessary on modern cars. Am I correct in assuming that the turbo reacts to throttle demand, if so it feels like a 20 to 30 mph drive across town will hardly heat up the turbo enough to require a cool down. Similarly what about a steady motorway cruise at pretty much constant speed. It seems faintly ridiculous to sit with the engine at idle for two minutes after a gentle 10 minute drive at 30mph to the nearest Tesco. I'm really keen to look after my motor. Can you give me some meaningful advice?
Assuming this is a petrol engine (you didn't say), the turbo is cooled both by engine coolant running through a water jacket and by engine oil running through the turbo bearings. But a turbo can still become extremely hot after racing, after running at constant speed on a motorway, after a long ascent, or after towing and if you switch off immediately the oil in the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes and in the turbo itself can carbonise, contaminating the engine oil and restricting the oil flow through the turbo bearing. So best to let it idle for a minute or two in these circumstances. If the engine has stop/start and it switches off automatically, no need to worry. But if it continues to run, do not switch off. No need to worry about any of this after short, suburban journeys. The turbo won't get too hot.
Answered by Honest John
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