Come Monday, you can start sedately with the top up, Radio 4 on and your suit unruffled.
The interior may look a bit boring compared with the retro style of the Megane’s rival the Peugeot 307 and the cloth seats are a bit light-coloured for practicality but everything’s in place and it’s probably not the sort of car you’d choose if you had a brood of sticky-fingered tots at home anyway.
Unless, of course, they’re consigned to the family vehicle you keep for their transportation, leaving the Megane as adult-only entertainment. It’s only for occasional four-seat use anyway as the legroom in the back leaves a lot to be desired and would necessitate anyone over 6ft folding concertina-style along the rear seat.
I’m gratified that so many onlookers seem to share my opinion of the cabriolet’s good looks, which I think are infinitely superior to those of the hatchback. The adapted rear end is stylish here rather than awkward and I’ve heard lots of favourable comments – there certainly aren’t enough of them around to be commonplace.
Performance is perfectly adequate, though steering tends to the heavy side and the engine is fairly noisy at idle – remember this convertible is a diesel, but fuel economy is great. I’m getting over 40mpg even on short journeys.
As well as leather seats, I’d put parking sensors pretty high on my extras wish list as rear-view visibility is restricted to say the least.
Twenty grand really doesn’t seem a lot to pay for a car that makes you feel this good. Eye-catching looks, a comfortable ride and superb fuel economy add up to a package that I reckon more than a few would covet.
Model Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet 1.9 dCi
Price (OTR) £20,320
CO2 emissions (g/km) 146
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer) £67 per month
Insurance group 8
Combined mpg 51.4
Test mpg 41.5
CAP Monitor residual value £7,525/36%
HSBC contract hire rate £366 per month
Expenditure to date Nil
Figures based on three-years/60,000-miles