Fleet News

Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet 1.9 dCi

Renault

Review

SUMMER has swiftly departed and with it our long-term Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet.

Perhaps it is a fitting departure, as this car should be destined to spend its life with its folding metal roof stored away in the boot, rather than groaning under the weight of frost and leaves heading our way.

And that is the way we would like to remember it, with our road testers having spent the summer putting our 1.9-litre diesel model through its paces.

Adele Burton found the car a great companion when she took it over in April. The metal folding roof performed faultlessly and she felt the profile was equally pleasing whether it was up or down.

There was the occasional niggle, such as the ongoing problem with the alarm system, which kept going off in the middle of the night.

It took until June before she tracked down the source of the problem – chewing gum wrappers.

A friend mentioned that chewing gum wrappers and coins in the tray in front of the handbrake could interfere with the system and trigger the alarm for no reason. A quick tidy up meant the problem was cured.

Other testers pointed out that rear seat space was not great, but most passengers just enjoyed the experience of watching the roof opening over their heads and a bit of open air motoring.

Performance from the 1.9-litre diesel was praised and it achieved mid to high 40mpgs throughout its test.

Editorial secretary Kate Batchelor made a couple of mental notes during her test for life with the Megane CC. Remember to take out a hairbrush to tackle the aftermath of the wind-in-your-hair feel.

Secondly, remember your keys. The Renault uses a keycard, which just needs to sit in your pocket, so you can walk up to the car, open the door and press a button to start the engine with no messing about.

However, previous testers have reported that once you can forget about one key, then you may forget to pick up a second – your house keys – and end up spending longer in the car than you expected.

Many other systems were automatic, from the wipers to the headlamps and there were no reported problems.

During more than 10,990 miles with the Fleet News test team, the build quality was put to the test and achieved a distinguished pass.

However, despite the metal roof, there are still the traditional pitfalls of roofless motoring to get used to, such as the body flexing over the larger potholes you often find in towns, so much so that you could see the A-pillar move.

Not so much a case of sex in the city as flex in the city.

Yet overall, the car has managed to live up to the expectations we had before it arrived on our fleet, offering open-top motoring, but without many of the sacrifices often made with soft-tops.

As one of our team concluded: ‘£20,000 really doesn’t seem a lot to pay for a car that makes you feel this good.’

Too late perhaps, to keep it as an antidote to winter. John Maslen

What the team thinks

RENAULT offers an affordable and practical solution for those wanting a convertible without compromising on space. Four adults can easily squeeze in with plenty of room in the boot, even when the roof’s down. A few teething problems with an erratic alarm hampered my time with our long termer but, aside from that, the electrics, including the roof, operated faultlessly.
Adele Burton

THE Megane was at an instant advantage because any convertible always scores highly with me. If it wasn’t raining, the roof came down and a big smile came over my face. However, the alarm could really do with being less sensitive when the car is parked with the roof down. It went off without fail every time, which meant I had to put the roof up each time I parked. It’s a tough life.
Kate Batchelor

THIS was a real summer hit, particularly – and predictably enough – with the females on the team. But it wasn’t just the fact that it was an elegantly stylish soft-top that won me over. The Megane was practical, drove well and demonstrated exemplary fuel economy too. The so-called ‘erratic’ alarm didn’t trouble me either. Adele Burton’s problem turned out to have been the fault of a discarded metallic chewing gum wrapper and, as for Kate Batchelor’s example, I don’t believe there are many cabriolets that you could lock and leave without putting up the roof (Sorry!).
Sandie Hurford

Renault Megane Coupe Cab 1.9 dCi
Price (OTR): £20,320
Mileage: 10,990
CO2 emissions (g/km): 146
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 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
Final expenditure: Nil

  • Figures based on three years/60,000 miles
  • 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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