The new Megane RS is fun on the track but what is it like as a daily driver?
With a top speed of 250 km/h, next-level RS technology, and new generation engines and gearboxes, the new Renault Megane RS is at the top of the list of new and exciting hot hatches, but what’s it like as a daily driver? I’ve just spent a week going about my daily duties with it and was (very) pleasantly surprised…
Initially, I wasn’t expecting the new Megane RS to rock up at our offices, but due to a change in scheduling, it did. Oh, the stress of existence! Hot hatches aren’t quite suited to my lifestyle of non-stop traffic congestion, parking lots, and the very uneven road surfaces in my suburban neighbourhood – they tend to have me cringing at the wheel whenever I drive over so much as a twig. This is probably why my own car is a regular Megane, and not an RS.
But now that I’ve spent some time with the new Megane RS, my perception has completely changed, and that’s thanks to a number of things Renault has done to make it appeal to a broader range of customers:
Yes, it’s a small car with a powerful engine, but the new Megane RS is really one of the more comfortable hot hatch cabins I’ve been in. The front seats are super snug and supportive. I appreciated that the base of these bucket seats aren’t too hard or over-grown on the sides – I didn’t need to do any weird leg-lifting when I needed to get in and out of the car quickly.
It’s also comfortable to drive. Even while you’re in SPORT mode and the steering tightens and sharpens up (as it’s supposed to), it still cruises through the city and highways like a
bat out of hell sturdy, comfy little pocket rocket.
While there is a 6-speed manual gearbox available in the CUP version, the Lux’s EDC dual-clutch option might open more people up to considering it, and if you’re missing the control of a manual gearbox, the Megane RS’s paddle shifts are there for just that.
The new Renault Megane RS offers everything that the regular Megane does: from its R-Link connectivity functions to USB and Bluetooth. Function controls on the dash board are easy to use and don’t force you to keep your eyes off the road while operating them.
Specific engine response settings and gearbox shift patterns that reduce fuel consumption (5.3 litres) in the Megane RS – are more reasons to add to its list of ‘reasons to be a daily driver’.
It is also now standard as a 5 door (instead of 3), so if you plan on zipping around with your friends of family, you don’t have to stop the car and jump out in order to let others in!
For added safety and peace of mind on the road, intuitive and intelligent driving aids are easily configured using the R-LINK 2 interface, such as…
Well of course it can’t be boring – it is an RS after all. But for the sake of those who want to know more about its power and performance: the new Megane RS offer 205 kW of power and 390 Nm of torque from its new 1.8 litre turbopetrol engine, and can (according to Renault) sprint from 0 – 100 in just 5.8 seconds.
I chatted to Performance Car Awards Judge, Ernest Page, to see what he thought of the Megane RS Lux, knowing that he’s had quite a comprehensive test drive with it on track…
“It has more power than a GTI, it’s cheaper than a Type R and easier to live with too. On track, it’s fun and on a tight slalom it’s pretty much unbeatable – thanks to the 4Control system,” says Page.
While some hot hatches might not be the most ‘well-behaved’ vehicles, (when it comes to every-day driving), it turns out that the new Megane RS Lux is also versatile enough to live with on a daily basis.
The new Renault Megane RS Lux is priced from R549 900.
As with Renault’s entire product range, the Renault Megane models come standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty, a 3-year/45 000km service plan (with service intervals at 15 000km intervals on the core range and 10 000km on R.S. models) and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.