1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - The Melting Snowman

Thinking of trading in our 2004 Scenic 1.9dci as we no longer need the space.

We have been reasonably happy with the car, a few rattles and electrical problems aside.

We are looking at a demonstrator Megane two door with the 1.6 petrol engine.

Any views on economy, reliability of the engine, ease of service etc?

Many thanks

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - BobbyG
Can't comment on car specifics, but depending what you use the car for, you may find the 2 doors a pain especially in supermarket car parks.

Typically 2 door cars have bigger, heavier doors and you need to stretch for the seatbelt.

Even if I don't need 4/5 doors, I would never personally get a 2/3 door car.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Avant
I don't think that's a change I'd make. The 1.6 Megane will be both slower and less economical than your diesel Scenic, and not that much shorter. Also make sure that you can live with the ugly-duckling rump (that's subjective of course) and the appalling rear visibility (which isn't subjective).

As always with petrol v. diesel, it depends on what your annual mileage is.

If you definitely want a smaller car, maybe try some of the opposition (Focus, Astra, Golf etc) in case you prefer any of those to a Megane.

Reliability? I had 7 big Renaults in a row, all very reliable, but that was between 1980 and 2001, and they have gone off a bit since then, as many people on this forum will testify. Some say they've got a bit better recently, others say they haven't.

I'd second Bobby's comments about the doors.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - bimmer-driver
I've read on here that the Renault 1.6 16v engine is a complete nightmare of a design and should be avoided at all costs/
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Altea Ego
I've read on here that the Renault 1.6 16v engine is a complete nightmare of
a design and should be avoided at all costs/

really? I havent.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - DP
We were considering this engine in the Scenic before opting for the diesel. My research led me to believe it was basically a good engine apart from a problem with the dephaser pulley (the gubbins for the variable inlet cam timing). This only seems to affect some engines and is well known / easily fixed by the trade.

It's a willing, free revving engine, but not enough in the heavy Grand Scenic. In the lighter Mgane, it's probably a decent drive.

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Peter S
We've had three Megane IIs with the 1.6 VVT engine, a 3 door hatch, a five door hatch and a CC. The first was one of the very early cars and was faultless for the year or so and 14k miles it did in our ownership. It averaged 36mpg. We replaced it with a 5 door version, which unfortunately was written off before it got to 4k miles, but again it was trouble free during its brief life, and its economy was indistinguishable from that of the 3 door. The final one was kept the longest - a '54 reg that has only just been replaced. The CC was quite a bit heavier than the hatches, and only averaged 33 mpg over the three years/40k miles it covered.

In terms of reliability,all were trouble free for this first year; the CC was kept for 3 years and did suffer from a coil pack failure after 30k miles or so, but this was the only failure. The car was cheap to service/maintain; just 2 services (18k and 36k miles) and a set of tyres in 40k miles, plus front pads and disks.

None of them used any oil, not even the CC which was the only one that ever needed servicing (ours were all on 2 year/18k mile service intervals, though I believe newer ones need a service every 12k miles?)

We would have had another, but as we'd had three in a row, and the Megane must be due for replacement fairly soon, we decided to have a change. We seriously considered the new Clio (again, the 1.6 VVT), which is not much smaller than a Megane from what I could see, but in the end went for an A3.


1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Snakey
I just got rid of my 55 1.6 Megane for a Vauxhall.

Good Points:
1) Reasonable economy, between 35-37mpg
2) Stunning looks (if you like it!)
3) Comfy

Bad Points
1) Poor build - in 6 months I had the car in the dealers around 12 times and the dealers are fairly poor at resolving the problems
2) Very noisy engine - especially at 70mph, tedious booming noise grates on you
3) Inherent faults (camshaft dephaser pulley, Steering rack etc) seem to affect all cars

When my gearbox started to whine at 50 mph and the dealer claimed this was 'normal' I decided to give up and get rid of it.

Check out www.meganeownersclub.co.uk for a list of peoples common issues.

Love the look of them, but woudln't touch them, or Renault (or any French car for that matter) again!
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - TheOilBurner
More fuel for the fire:

I had a 2005 Megane 2.0 for about 3 weeks before deciding to get rid. I hated it and kicked myself for not spotting its faults in the test drive.

A sample of some of the faults that I found in the first *two* weeks:

Coil packs started to fail, killing the engine just after pulling off from lights etc.
Air-con failed, leaving climate control desperately trying to cool the car by blowing hot air at me!
Bootlid inner trim came off in my hand, once it came off the once it practically flapped around after that.
Engine boom at 70mph was driving me mad. It was fine at 60 or 80, but 70 was awful.
Brakes squealed like a stuck pig.
Auto lights were way too slow to come on.
Keyless entry was a bit temperamental.
Clutch became so heavy in traffic it actually started to cause me lower leg pains and aches.
Speaker grille on one side would not fit properly no matter what I did. Rattled like a good un.
Gear stick would physically move around several cms whilst accelerating, very disconcerting.

Good points:
Errm, it looked nice and had a decent spec level (Privilege model).

Amazingly, there were several other faults too but I won't mention them because the dealer fixed those before I bought it.
All this on a 1 year old car with 10,000 miles on it!

Do yourself a favour - DON'T BUY A MEGANE II, my experiences are far from unique...

Edited by TheOilBurner on 17/01/2008 at 10:15

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - DP
My previous employer ran a fleet of 05 reg 1.5 dCi 106's and 1.9dCi Megane II's for 3 yrs and 100,000 miles and reported no major increase in fault count over the previous Focuses.

I had a 1.5dCi for four months before I left for pastures new, and not a single thing went wrong with it in the 11 and a bit thousand miles I put on it. And I wasn't gentle with it.

I have since bought a Scenic (Megane II based) with my own money and am delighted with it.


Edited by DP on 17/01/2008 at 10:23

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - TheOilBurner
Welcome to the Renault Lottery DP! :)

Funny though, my employer also runs a fleet of Renaults (mostly Lagunas but also some Meganes). I cannot describe how hated these cars are within the company. I attracted a lot of stick from my colleagues when I bought a Megane, I can tell you.

It's not unusual to hear of someone coming in late (or not at all) because their gearbox had failed, or turbo has eaten itself etc, etc. For example, one guy with a Laguna had over a dozen (yes a dozen!) visits to the dealer to try and fix a gear change problem. He got through 3 new gearboxes and 2 clutches before the problem was finally sorted, after several months of faffing about by the hopeless dealers. The Meganes have been no better.

Needless to say, Renaults are now off the list and we'll be buying VWs in the future. It'll be interesting to see how they compare over the long run.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - DP
I think the dealer has a lot to do with it. My main Renault dealer is a small family run concern and they are first class. They treat the car like their own, and the one thing I asked them to take a look at (wind noise from sunroof) was put right first go and has stayed fixed. Servicing was also very thorough and the explanation of the bill and the work done was personal and very comprehensive.

I've had the Scenic for a year and we've put 12,000 miles on it. In that time it's needed a service and has had two faults - a passenger window regulator which I still haven't fixed, and its currently got one or more glowplugs down. The latter is to be expected on any diesel engine with nearly 50k on the clock. Otherwise it drives impeccably, has never let us down, and is by far and away the most comfortable, supple riding and relaxing long distance car I've ever owned.

It will be getting a slightly late mid-interval oil change this weekend, but hasn't used a drop since it was serviced just under 10k ago. The keyless entry, auto parking brake and all the other things people complain about have worked flawlessly, and continue to do so.

It's a shame to hear about your bad experience, and that of your company, but it makes me chuckle to think the company are going to VW expecting significantly better. They're nice cars, but modern VWs suffer from the same design faults, build shortcomings and patchy dealer ability as everyone else. The "if only everything in life was as reliable" days are long gone.

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Alby Back
I suppose we all form our views based on a combination of personal experience and hearsay. If we have a good experience with a car brand we are of course naturally disposed to spend our hard earned with that brand again or to recommend that to others. Conversely a bad experience leads to the opposite reaction. I freely admit to being anti Renault because of a particularly bad car combined with an unhelpful dealer and while my rational side accepts that I may have just been unlucky, my heart tells me that I just do not want to "risk" that again. I suspect that in many cases where customers have a grievance against any product that their loyalty could have been preserved by an attentive and customer service oriented dealer. A situation where a dealer / brand accepts responsibility for a problem and rectifies it quickly and courteously is soon forgotten. A similar scenario which drags on and causes great inconvenience and or cost to the customer can colour their judgement for life.

The reality is that all automotive brands will from time to time have problem products. It is how they respond to those problems that secures the loyalty.

1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Snakey
I think if you get a good one (good luck with that) they're fine. The car itself is a good modern design.

However - its your hard-earned and the risk of expensive failure/repairs is much higher than a comparable Ford/Vauxhall/Maxda/Vw etc - just based on the knowledge available on this and other forums.

Personally my biggest issue was with the dealers and Renault customer services. I had to fight to get them to acknowledge a problem, and was told regularly things like 'they all do that' or 'we couldn't replicate the problem' which is rubbish. I even took the mechanic into the car park to demonstrate the fault they couldn't find ( a severe misfire when cold) , and he said, amazingly - 'Oh yeah, my dads got one of these and it does that as well - he sits with the engine running for 5 minutes before driving off'

So in a nutshell, you're taking a bigger risk with your money with a Megane.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - TheOilBurner
It's a shame to hear about your bad experience and that of your company but
it makes me chuckle to think the company are going to VW expecting significantly better.
They're nice cars but modern VWs suffer from the same design faults build shortcomings and
patchy dealer ability as everyone else. The "if only everything in life was as reliable"
days are long gone.

Yep, it made chuckle a bit. Frying pan->Fire? ;)

At least everyone will now feel nice and cozy staring at blue backlit dials whilst waiting for the AA man...
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - Snakey
I have absolutely no brand loyalty, having owned just about every mainstream manufacturer's cars in the past.

But I will say, the Megane is the most modern and newest car I have owned to date and I've had the most problems/failures in the lowest mileage by far (20k when I sold up)

Simple example - the dashboard creaks and rattles when cold, the air vents rattled and the speaker mouting creaked continuously. Comapare that to my wifes 'poverty' level Polo of the same age but twice the mileage and the VW is rattle free, breakdown free and has no outstanding issues.

I don't think the VW is any better than a similaraged Fiesta - just that Renault are 5-7 years behind Ford and the others!
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - honeybear
Avoid in my opinion, ours goes in April as it is 3 years old and we dont really have a good word to say about it, faults are;

Trim falls off interior and exterior
Poor fuel economy
Electric windows faulty
Coil pack reliability
Tyre wear is poor
1.6 auto box is too clunky on changing
1.6 engine gutless
Wheel bearing wear on front
Squeaks and rattles
Dash warning lights come on when SWMBO moves the seat to drive.

This car has 25K on the clock

Heated seats are quite nice !
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - The Melting Snowman
Oh. I was rather hoping that it would be a rosier picture. Never mind, we have other options to look at, one of which is the Modus. Seems to be doing quite well in the ownership surveys.
1.6 VVt - ownership opinions - ChicksFan
Oh dear! We were just thinking of changing our Peugeot 206cc for a year old Megane CC and were wondering whether to go for the 1.6 petrol or the 1.5 diesel. Then we read this lot.

Has rather put us off. The Pug has been perfect with no problems at all and is just 3 years old. Would we be better to keep that for a while longer?



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