2018 Renault Megane RS 280 owner review

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Review written by:
Daniel B
PROS
  • The looks
  • The exhaust note
  • The handling
CONS
  • The interior screen
  • Few squeaks and rattles
  • Questionable support from Renault

About the Renault Megane

Daniel B purchased this Renault Megane new for $45,000 (including all on-road costs). Daniel B would buy this car again because: “My Megane RS has been a great car to drive and for the most part a great car to own, if I was to purchase one again I would look towards the Trophy spec with the extra power and handling goodies.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

Renault and French cars in general tend not to have a very good reputation.

I previously owned a 2016 Clio RS and put 100,000km on it without a single issue, so in my head I put that stereotype to bed.

I have owned my Megane for about 2 years and have put on just shy of 70,000km. Mechanically it hasn’t missed a beat at all, the fuel pump has a tendency to often squeal and this is obvious and annoying however hasn’t caused any issues yet.

The infotainment has been plagued with countless issues and has bricked itself several times and plenty of trips to the dealer since. Also living on quite rural roads and having a car so stiffly sprung has brought out quite a few squeaks and rattles in the dash.

But in general it’s been a rock-solid car mechanically.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

In short, good. Coming from a Clio RS and wanting to upgrade to a bigger car I had a few options to look at, main one being a Golf GTI to compare to.

Whilst the Golf probably is a better car in most regards there’s something I couldn’t resist about the Megane, whether that was the looks, the loud for stock exhaust note, or if it was because it wasn’t as polished as the Golf.

Now that might confuse you but let me explain, the GTI does everything… fine. It’s a more comfortable car, has a nicer interior, a larger dealer support network, a huge aftermarket culture. Having a near-perfect car is what our brain tells us we should and that’s exactly why I didn’t go down that route.

The Megane rides harsher, the exhaust drones a bit, the interior rattles and that’s exactly why I love it. It’s a car made to drive hard and flog, to enjoy driving roads in. It’s constantly making you feel like you’re in something a bit special, something that isn’t a base model. It just has this sense of being unrefined that gives it character and charm.

Any time I feel like I am over the Megane it just takes one good road to fall back in love with it. Sure the ownership isn’t perfect but its pretty bloody good for a mid-20 year-old.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

I may be slightly biased here but I had a good relationship with the dealer before purchasing. I went in knowing the exact spec that I wanted, that being titanium grey in colour, with the Bose sound and Alcantara trim to which they had exactly that in stock which made the process super quick.

I’ve never had any issue with the dealer for servicing and warranty work, but have stumbled across a few issues with Renault Australia and getting the infotainment screen fixed.

There also seems to be an issue with getting parts into Australia, now this could be because of the never ending havoc that Covid-19 has been causing, or it could be the product of a poorly-organised handover to Ateco, but I’ve been waiting months for spark plugs and have heard some horror stories of others waiting months for simple items too.

Hopefully this is an issue that’s sorted out quickly.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

When I purchased this car in 2018, $45,000 for a 205kW and 390Nm wide-body hot hatch with a dual clutch auto, Alcantara trim and Bose sound with a five-year warranty I couldn’t complain too much.

I was extremely happy with the deal, and coming from a Clio RS the Megane had more features then I could poke a stick at.

Some features I have loved are things like the adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring and the ambient lighting (which looks really nice at night), and the multi sense driving mode selection which allows you to tailor the car’s characteristics.

Features I’d be happy to see disappear are the stop start which just feels very unrefined and the lane-keep assist which borderline useless as it just plays an audible noise through your speakers when you get close the lines. Both are able to be switched off

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

205kW and 390Nm in a FWD that weighs 1450kg, it pulls strong and I’m a big fan of how the power comes on. There’s a slight delay before boost kicks in and feels strong in the mid range, it does run out of puff a bit at the top end.

I love the sensation of a slight delay before all that power comes on as it adds to the drama. As with a lot of modern day four-cylinder turbos I feel like an ECU tune would make it feel that little bit better.

Most of the distance I travel is on the Hume Highway so my Megane spends most of its life sitting at 120km/h with the revs at 2800. I am also a young male in their mid-20s so it does get put through its paces regularly.

Economy wise I tend to always average between 7.5L – 8.0L and I think that’s good given the performance.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

When I bought the car in 2018 I thought it was good, however i feel in the last 12 months the amount of technology affordable cars have come out with has made mine feel like it’s aged quicker then what it has.

You can look at cars like the new Skoda Scala which comes with a fancy-looking Virtual Cockpit, automatic boot, and LED lights standard.

The central touchscreen looks like an old knock off iPad and that’s probably its biggest let down, the actual display isn’t too bad. It just features larger borders with touch sensitive buttons which have a habit of attracting finger print marks.

The biggest gripe about this would be that it displays Apple CarPlay horizontally on a vertical screen, resulting in it displaying in the middle of the screen with massive dead space above and below.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Handling and comfort is something that’s different to everyone, for me I find it very comfortable, if you ask my girlfriend she will give you another answer.

Given the car’s purpose is to go around corners quickly and bloody hell does it do a good job at that, you would expect the ride to be quite stiff but it actually rides quite well.

I do love the way it handles, it turns quite sharply and the four-wheel steering helps throw the back end into the corner. Although this is a slightly unnatural feeling at the start you warm to it quite quickly, it makes hooning down a twisty road feel like a bunch of fun.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

Seeing as there is no longer any future for Renault Sport and the world turning to electric cars, I feel like right now I’m riding the last wave of high-performance turbocharged goodness at an affordable price.

It’s sad that there won’t be another sporty Megane as we know it. But right now I’m enjoying every drive.

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Ratings
Overall8.4
Show Breakdown
Technology 7.5
Reliability 7.7
Ride & Handling 8.5
Price & Features 8.4
Purchase & Aftercare 9
Performance & Economy 9
Ownership Experience 9
Top Line Specs
7.5L
205kW
169g
Not tested
View all specifications