Would you pay under $15,000 (AUD) for a car that had a reputation as being one of the finest handling front wheel drive cars ever, a Nürburgring lap smasher, with voluptuous bodywork in coupe form? Well, I know my answer is a definite yes! That car, the Renault Megane RS, is an absolute steal right now and will probably stay that way for a while longer.
The 3rd generation Megane RS launched in 2010 was a huge hit. Over the following 6 or so years the engine power increased from 250ps (184 kW; 247 bhp) to 265 (195 kW;261 hp) to 275 (202 kW; 271 bhp) with various different changes and colour options. 0-100kph times were about 6 seconds but it was the handling which really shone.
Along with the usual Cup, Sport, Trophée, and ‘+’ variants over the years, in Australia we’ve had to make sense of quite a few limited editions such as:
2011 Monaco Grand Prix Limited Edition
2012 Australian GP Edition
2012 Trophy 8:08
2012 Cup Red Bull Edition
2013 Red Bull Racing RB8
2014 RS Sport Limited Edition
The previous generation (even more of a bargain by the way, partly thanks to its polarising looks) was heralded as a brilliant drivers’ car but it was when Renault combined the big bummed coupe styling with magic chassis dust for the 3rd generation that things started to take off.
The Megane never matched the Golf’s interior quality or ergonomics, nor could it match the practicality levels the Golf provided. But a Golf never looked this good, nor handled quite as dynamically.
The design of the Megane really sets it apart. It doesn’t look like a hatch yet equally it doesn’t look like a coupe. It successfully straddles both classes and makes all other pretenders look a little second rate (looking at you Hyundai Veloster).
Sadly the current 2019 Megane has reverted to a more traditional hatch layout and styling as it attempts to beat the Golf at its own game, which to be honest is an exercise in futility.
Prices for the giant killing Trophy R are still up there, but unless you’re going to be attacking race tracks or metres on the road, a standard Megane Sport 250 is going to do what you need it to do: provide a lot of fun for less!
There are certainly a number of colour choices available from classic Renault yellow to my pick, Extreme blue. Whatever colour, the Megane RS looks good.
There really is no need to jump into a brand new car filled with technology we never asked for when there are so many great used cars on the market. The Renault Megane RS is certainly one of them.