Car Review: Renault Megane RS

(Location: Renault Leng Kee Showroom)

Renault did a small launch in their Leng Kee showroom recently. I have not done a test drive on French cars for quite a while. Since this is a performance hot hatch which falls nicely into my patch of love for cars, it's obviously a good candidate to test.


First impression, not bad for a hot hatch on exterior looks (looks are always subjective by the way). The racing Orange that came with the test car really looks good in person. The rear comes with a central exhaust that looks very decent (at least it's not fake) and the lines along the body gives the car a very sporty feel.


I think Renault should have provided a cover in the engine bay as it looks a little bare but that's alright.

The interiors however, doesn't feel as good as what the outside looks. While I understand that it's still a hot hatch focusing on performance, Renault could do more by putting better interiors by replacing some of the panels with leather rather than hard plastic to differentiate themselves from the compeititors.

Although some panels and hand rest comes with carbon fibre, i can't help but feel that it's a little overdone. The steering does have the essential thickness for a good gripe during sporty drive though.

The interiors also feel rather bare other than the sporty seats with standard in car entertainment system which is rather basic for the car. The car comes with sports mode that allows the car to go into a more responsive throttle response which I will take about later in the article. Steering comes with multi-function controls that offers convenience to control the usual in-car entertainment functions as well as phone connectivity options etc.

The boot is sufficently spaced for a hatch and it's good enough for a small family for grocery shopping etc.

The seats are in fabric by default but again, as a sports hatch, it's good as it gives friction to keep the passengers in place during spirited drive and the rear seats as well as the front seats is more than sufficient (I'm 1.7m tall and I can fit in nicely without feeling too tight in the space.




Good call for Renault to include Brembo brakes as default. During the test-drive, the brakes gives a very good linear brake feel and doesn't feel spongy which is good for a performance car.

During the test-drive, the general feel is the car is punchy in acceleration and responsive especially when you put it into Sports Mode. I didn't have a chance to do WOT but as a whole, it gives enough power for sure even when you want to drive spiritedly.

During cornering, the 4-wheel steering system by Renault seems to help as I can feel the gripe rather well, making the car feels planted on the road. I'm not too sure if the car comes with a LSD but if not, the 4-wheel steering really lives up to its name.

One observation during the test-drive is that there is a "gong" sound that came out from EDC it seems. According to sales, it's not from the EDC but I can almost repeat the symptom by accelerating the car fast and braking it harder than usual. Not sure if this is a test car thing or it's a production car standard but it doesn't feel good with that sound. It's certainly not from the brembo brake as well.

Specifications
Engine Capacity: 1.8L Turbo-Charged In-line 4 cyclinder
Bhp: 276bhp
Torque: 380Nm
0-100km/h: 5.8s
Top Speed: 255km/h
Transmission: 6-speed EDC Dual Clutch
Drive Type: Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)
Curb Weight: 1430kg
Length: 4.36m
Width: 1.87m
Height: 1.42m
Fuel Type: Petrol
Fuel Tank: 50L
Fuel Consumption: 14.3km/L

The Good

  • Punchy Engine.
  • Sporty feel in general for a hot hatch.
  • Acceleration is decent.
  • Cornering aka handling is good but could have a lesser body roll.
  • Steering is pretty accurate.

The Not-so-Good

  • Dual clutch doesn't feel as capable.
  • Interiors should be better built.
  • Better entertainment system onboard.
  • Exhaust note can be louder.

Ratings
Torque & Acceleration (aka backside feel)
4V out of 5

Handling
4V out of 5

Interior
3V out of 5

Exterior Look
3.5V out of 5

Practicality
3.5V out of 5

Models
Standard 1.8L turbo RS only

Retail Price
SGD$165,000 onwards with COE