Fleet News

Renault Megane 1.9 dCi Privilege - 6,974 miles

Renault

Review

DRIVING our Renault Megane is not an experience for the faint-hearted. Not because it's challenging or thrilling to drive – it's due to the array of warning lights that sometimes appear, which could worry drivers of a nervous disposition.

In our last report, we thought this problem had been rectified after a visit to the local Renault dealer. But after a few days, the warning lights were back.

The odd airbag and electrical fault warning light doesn't bother me or other members of the Fleet News team now that we know the problem is with the lights themselves.

It has now become something of a lottery as to whether they appear or not and we will be getting our dealer to investigate the problem once again.

Renault insiders have admitted that early production Meganes have been subject to such faults so perhaps our car is one of the unlucky ones.

This aside, the Megane is an excellent car to drive and I have been achieving a regular fuel consumption figure of at least 45mpg, although that is some way short of the official combined figure of 52.4mpg.

Compared to our long term Ford Focus 1.8 TDCi Ghia 115, the Megane's engine seems quieter and more refined. In fact it has been mistaken for a petrol unit by several passengers.

Since November, all Meganes powered by the 1.9 dCi engine benefit from an extra 22lb-ft of torque – including the new Sport Tourer and Saloon, the new Coupe Cabriolet and the Scenic.

The load-lugging capacity of our Megane was put to the test with a family christening which involved transporting a couple of chairs and what seemed like half a hundredweight of food and weekend luggage. The Megane passed the test with flying colours.

Driving this car still attracts quite a bit of attention, with opinion divided over its styling. I am a fan of the shape, with its curious rear end, but I was already won over to Renault's quirky styling by the Vel Satis we previously ran on our fleet.

Unfortunately, the Megane was involved in a minor hit-and-run shunt in a car park recently.

Luckily, firemen at a nearby station spotted the rusty 4x4 which ran into the back of our car and took the culprit's number. I am currently tracing the driver through the police.

Although the damage to the boot lid and bumper is not serious, it will nevertheless require a visit to the bodyshop.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £51 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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