Firstly, remember to take out a hairbrush. Experience has taught me that you may feel cool in a convertible, but the wind-in-your-hair feel means you end up looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards.
Secondly, the Renault uses a card instead of a key for remote access – but you soon get used to this gadget.
I found on one occasion I walked up to my front door and stood there expecting it to open automatically!
Previous tester Adele Burton enthused about this item, saying you never need to search for your key again. Just as long as it is on your person, the door unlocks and locks and you just press a button to start the car. I agree with her. It is absolutely brilliant. But you do have to remember to press the button on the driver’s door to lock the car and several times I have found myself going back to the vehicle to check that I had done it.
Clearly, the biggest benefit of our Megane Coupe Cabriolet is the ability to get the roof down.
It is a painless affair that happens at the touch of a button once the handbrake is on and the engine started.
But try this operation in the presence of others – say in Sainsbury’s car park – and you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of quite a few jealous stares.
Unfortunately, getting the roof down is also hampered by the car’s alarm. If you lock the car with the roof open, you’ll find the alarm keeps going off.
It is so annoying that I have started leaving the roof up for short journeys now, even on warm sunny, days.
Mind you, with the lid in place this car still manages to look sleek and smooth, unlike some other soft tops I could mention.
The diesel engine under the Megane’s bonnet means the car lacks that bit of ‘zip’ that petrol engines have, but as diesels go, it is a good one.
Once warmed up and on the road, you’d hardly know the car was powered by a heavy oil engine.
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 £7,275/36%
HSBC contract hire rate £366 per month
Expenditure to date Nil