The GT will lose its spot at the top of the Megane line-up when the new RS arrives in SA. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The GT will lose its spot at the top of the Megane line-up when the new RS arrives in SA. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

You will have read in a previous issue of Motor News about the forthcoming froth-at-the-mouth Renault Megane RS, which looks promising as it will be made available only in five-door form.

It essentially builds on the essentials of the Megane GT, which is just a rung below and is an everyday performance hatch with just the right amount of power and sportiness and a comfortable disposition.

Slipping into those form-hugging seats after a long day has a soothing, almost therapeutic, feeling. It is like those trusty shoes you hope you can wear to every event.

We have become more familiar with the tablet-like infotainment system. Picture: QUICKPIC
We have become more familiar with the tablet-like infotainment system. Picture: QUICKPIC

We have spent considerable time behind the wheel of our team’s long-term Megane GT and things are still ticking over quite nicely. We have also found a way of circumventing the horrendous lurching of the gearbox during peak-hour, first-gear lugging situations.

The trick is to get the wheels rolling and then come off the throttle once the engine starts ticking over the 1,200r/min mark, instead of any throttle inputs. The result is the vehicle maintains the momentum of those relatively slow speeds and all you have to do is control your braking. It might not be an ideal situation but it certainly makes for a much more pleasant drive under these conditions.

I truly hope Renault will look into factoring a crawling first gear into the transmission to remedy the situation.

Outside of that anomaly, the gearbox is now feeling even more well-oiled, while our fuel consumption hovers at 8.1l/100km.

While the GT-Line variant, which fits just below our GT model, missed its spot as a finalist in the 2018 Wesbank/South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Car of the Year competition, I have come across a few of these models over the past weeks during my travels.

The Megane GT is a well-designed product offering something different to the German rivals. Picture: LERATO MATEBESE
The Megane GT is a well-designed product offering something different to the German rivals. Picture: LERATO MATEBESE

It remains a great package, which editor Mark Smyth deemed to be on a par with the perennial Volkswagen Golf on some aspects in his 2016 road test. In all fairness, the Megane continues to be the surprise package in the segment and you need only go into a Renault dealership to have, at the very least, a closer look at the product.

I particularly like the unconventional cabin layout, particularly the tablet-like infotainment screen, which has become more intuitive to use in recent weeks due, I guess, to familiarity.

Storage nooks and crannies are sufficient collectively, however the glove box storage is slightly compromised. It is rather narrow, which means my and my wife’s wallets cannot cohabit that space. As a result, I prefer using the centre console for my bits and bobs.

Despite continuing to put on the mileage, the vehicle remains mechanically sound. Seeing the fuel consumption tumbling down ever so slightly is also quite assuring that the engine has broken in nicely over the previous months.

As a daily, easy-to-drive and comfortable hatchback, the Megane GT continues to tick all the boxes.

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