Fleet News

Renault Megane 1.9 dCi Privilege



Of the 50-plus cars I have driven at Fleet News during the past year, I have still to meet one which has had as many problems as our long-term Megane 1.9 dCi Privilege.

Looking at what previous testers had to say, from the six months the Megane has spent at Fleet Towers, five of the team encountered problems, invariably associated with the airbag warning light.

Although I prayed for small miracles when I was handed the keys – yes, you guessed it, the warning light was showing a fault.

Before we had chance to book the Megane into the dealership again, it was time to wave goodbye and send it packing back to Renault. It's a shame it has had this repetitive warning light problem because the Megane is a cracking car to drive.

Although the last tester was keen to grumble about the vagaries of the electronic key, I think it's the best invention since sliced bread. Maybe it's a male/female thing but being able to walk straight up to the car, keys tucked away in my handbag, get in and drive off without fumbling to the bottom of my bag is fantastic.

I haven't had any problems getting into the car or starting the ignition and it's become my party trick with friends and family, who have all been suitably amazed. During the past six months, the controversial body styling on the Megane has split opinion. If the Megane were a popstar it would definitely be Jennifer Lopez, sporting that famous perky behind.

But I'm more of a Kylie fan, and that's how I prefer my cars – with small, pert rear ends. The rear end hasn't affected the Megane's performance and with an average fuel consumption of almost 50mpg achieved by the Fleet News' team it is definitely an economical fleet choice. However, during the past six months it has failed to reach the combined 52.4mpg figure. Most cars end up almost 10% below their combined figure and so did the Megane, so it's no crime.

The surprisingly hushed 1.9 dCi diesel engine gives it plenty of go at low revs. The engine feels refined and it actually feels much faster than the performance figures suggest (0-62mph in 10.5 seconds).

When the man from Renault came to pick up the Megane, he delivered a new Megane Coupe Cabriolet 1.9 dCi Privilege.

I will be testing this during the next three months but I'm hoping Renault has rid this Megane of the electrical gremlins that plagued our hatchback. 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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