Fleet News

Renault Megane 1.9 dCi Privilege - 8,268 miles



THERE was a warm welcome waiting for our long term Renault Megane when it arrived back at Fleet Towers after an absence of a month while a damaged bumper was being repaired.

After all, it may be a lower-medium sized car but there is no shortage of testers who want to drive it.

Unfortunately, the day we got it back, the airbag warning light came on again, despite the fact that the car had already been back to the dealer once before to have this problem rectified.

We have been assured that the airbag is in fact working, despite the fact the dashboard light says it isn't, so the car will have to go back to the garage again when we can spare it.

Until then we will just have to grin and bear it. I know it's a minor niggle rather than a major fault but if I was a busy fleet driver I would be far from happy with this state of affairs.

This apart, the Megane remains as popular among the testers as it always was. The last driver admitted that it was one of the best cars she had ever driven and I rate the Megane as the best looking lower medium car on the roads today, bar none.

I had driven one of the old shape Meganes a few years ago but this was my first time behind the wheel of the new model and I wasn't disappointed. The car looks as sleek and stylish on the inside as it does outside and Renault's sweet 1.9 dCi common rail diesel powerplant under the bonnet ensures that the whole driving experience is excellent.

I am obviously not alone in admiring the Megane. Glancing at the end of year sales figures shows that this car is currently number five in the fleet sales chart behind Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Mondeo. Some 41,881 of them were sold last year.

You don't get a key, it's a kind of credit card shaped affair and it turns on the ignition by itself when you enter the car.

It feels weird at first firing up the engine without inserting a key into a hole. But once the motor is running you'd hardly believe it was a diesel, such is its smoothness.

This perky powerplant will take the driver from 0-60mph in 10.3 seconds and has a top speed of 122mph, but its low-down grunt makes the car feel much faster than it is.

One thing puzzles me, however. I turned on the TV the other night and caught an advertisement for the Megane which uses a song by Groove Armada called 'I See You Baby,' in which the singer repeats the line several times: 'I see you baby, shaking that ass'. What I want to know is why Renault is using a song about cruelty to donkeys to sell its cars? It's a mystery to me.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £48 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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