Review: Renault Megane (2002 – 2008)

Rating:

Bold styling, a decent drive and good value for money. Estate version has a roomy cargo bay. Excellent crash test rating.

The hatchback's load bay isn't big. Electrical, mechanical and build quality problems are common.

Recently Added To This Review

6 July 2014

Timing belt failed on 60k mile 2002 Megane. (It had never been replaced in 12 years.) Read more

21 March 2014

Engine main support bolt failed in 70,000 mile 2004 (10 year old) Megane. Read more

3 September 2012

Report of transmission failure of 4+ year old 48k mile RenaultSport Megane 2.0 dCI 175. Renault contributed 75% of the cost of the repair. Read more

Renault Megane (2002 – 2008): At A Glance

What does a Renault Megane (2002 – 2008) cost?

List Price from £19,390
Buy new from £16,575
Contract hire from £188.23 per month
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What's the Renault Megane (2002 – 2008) like to drive?

We have to thank the bravery of BMW and Renault. Just as car styling was becoming samey and safe, along came Chris Bangle and Patrick le Quemant. Their designs have polarised opinion, but at least they got people talking and no one can accuse either of them of building boring Euro boxes.

However, youll find no bustle bottom poking out of the back of the Renault Megane Sport Tourer. Instead, and unlike the Laguna Sport Tourer, its squared off as a station wagon should be and offers an impressive 1,600 litres of loadspace.

That makes it quite a big car. At 4,500mm its longer than the average family hatchback-derived wagon, though not quite as long as a 4,804mm Mondeo estate.

This length and strong self-centring variable ratio steering give it a very secure feeling on straight roads; better than the Megane hatchback. But in the rain the front-end can get a bit unruly, seemingly wanting to unstick itself and forcing a slower pace through the twisties than normal. It could all balance itself out with a load in the back, of course, but I didnt try that. And Renault does offer an optional understeer reducer as part of its £750 handling option pack.

The 136bhp 2.0 litre VVTi version I drove had plenty of power, fed through a six-speed box giving about 23.5 mph per 1,000 rpm in 6th. Prices arent crazy either because its quite a lot of car for list prices from £12,613 to £16,813, off which you should be able to chip £2,000 - £3,000 in todays market.

Obviously the reason to buy this car is as a traditional estate car load-lugger (otherwise youd buy the hatchback, the sport saloon, the coupe cabriolet or the Scenic). So, though the luggage space is big and well-shaped it was disappointing to find the back seats fiddly to fold, difficult to fold flat, and the loadspace carpet very cheap looking. Really it needs to be coated in tough, ribbed plastic.

But the car is undeniably good value for money. The 1.5 diesel is very economical. The 1.9 DCI 120 goes very well indeed and is the obvious engine of choice. The 2.0 136bhp petrol model I had is quick enough to satisfy the driver in most people. With the Megane range, Renault seems to have covered every niche in the medium family car market, which is probably why it is now one of Europes top sellers.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 16V 41–42 mpg 12.5–12.7 s 164–165 g/km
1.5 dCi 106 60 mpg 11.1–11.2 s 120–124 g/km
1.5 dCi 86 60–64 mpg 12.7–12.8 s 117–124 g/km
1.6 16V VVT 41 mpg 10.9 s 164 g/km
1.6 VVT 42 mpg 11.1 s 163 g/km
1.9 dCi 50–51 mpg 9.0–9.1 s 149 g/km
2.0 16V VVT 35 mpg 9.2 s 191 g/km
2.0 dCi 150 51–52 mpg 8.7 s 144–146 g/km
2.0 T 37 mpg 8.3 s 184 g/km
2.0 VVT 35 mpg 9.4 s 191 g/km
Renaultsport 225 33 mpg 6.5 s 200 g/km
Renaultsport 230 R26 33 mpg 6.0–6.3 s 199–200 g/km
Renaultsport dCi 175 44 mpg 8.3 s 172 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Megane (2002 – 2008)

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

92%

Real MPG

24–70 mpg

MPGs submitted

277

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 (2002 – 2008)?

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

Fitting a Renault Megane Heater Resistor (3R68K 1R71K R41K)

Is there a special method for refitting the Heater Resistor (3R68K 1R71K R41K) in a Renault Megane without having to completely remove the dashboard? The positioning / design of the resistor connector has meant that the part is seemingly impossible to re-attach to the dashboard without it breaking in an attempt to mount it. Any help would be most appreciated.
Don't ever mess about with a heater resistor. If it has failed, the reason is usually that the motor has failed, so replacing it without replacing the failed motor may well lead to a Zafira-like electrical fire.
Answered by Honest John
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What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 33%
  • 4 star 17%
  • 3 star 33%
  • 2 star 17%
  • 1 star

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