Published on 23 Jun 2011 by Nadia Bramante (theBride)
It’s been a couple of successful years for the new Renault Mégane SporTour and for the Mégane range in general. Compared to the old model, the new SporTour has improved massively in terms of design and now features much more dynamic shapes.
The vehicle we’ve been driving for the past few weeks - a SporTour 1.5 dCi 110 hp - can be defined as attractive, practical, roomy as well as cutting-edge. In fact, despite the classic feel, the Mégane SporTour is packing the latest technology such as a dual-clutch six-speed EDC gearbox.
Smooth shapes define both the bodywork and the passenger compartment, making this vehicle stylistically homogeneous from every point of view. The wrapping interiors and the cosy seats make the passengers feel very comfortable, while the glossy trims, the leather steering wheel and the dashboard’s modern design confirm that in this car, style hasn’t been overlooked.
The Mégane SporTour dual-clutch dCi also scores high in terms of on-the-road comfort: very silent, roomy, with a dual-zone air conditioning system and a huge trunk. The only flaw that we could find is that, a part from the space provided under the central arm-rest, there’s nowhere we can empty our pockets into.
The SporTour’s technical approach is the same for the whole Mégane range. A MacPherson-like front-end axle is connected through a new configuration that prevents the engine’s lateral swinging. This guarantees less weight shift in a sporty drive, and better rigidity which Renault claims is three times more than the previous GrandTour. In addition, the flexible rear-end axel with programmable geometry results much more compact, light and solid than a multi-arm one.
The main difference between the SporTour and the Saloon is that the first one features a stiffer front anti-roll bar in order to reach the same performance level as the second one despite the body mass difference. The rear suspension springs are the 10% more flexible in the SporTour model while the front ones are the same for both vehicles.
Other features include an improved electric power-assisted steering - which boasts better reactivity and enhanced precision - and four different set of tyres to chose from: 15″ 195/65, 16″ 205/55, 17″ 205/50 and 17″ 225/45.
The Mégane SporTour comes with a wide range of engines, all Euro 5 -approved. We have two petrol engines - a 1.6 aspirated 110 hp and 1.4 TCe 130 hp - and three turbodiesels: 1.5 dCi 90 hp, 1.5 dCi 110 hp and 1.9 dCi 130 hp. The one we tested, the most powerful 1.5 powerstep, comes with a standard diesel particulate filter and a manual six-speed gearbox.
The SporTour’s mechanic layout has enabled CO2 emissions to be of 114 g/km, fuel consumption to be equal to 4,4 l/100 km and therefore a single filled-up 60l fuel tank should last for approximately 1200 km. In fact, the Efficient Dual Clutch transmission, according to Renault, consumes the 17% less if compared to a traditional automatic one, which in terms of CO2 emissions means 30g less each km.
Renault’s EDC dry dual-clutch is operated electronically, but also has a manual function at the stick therefore the SporTour doesn’t have paddles at the steering wheel. The mechanisms are activated by two primary concentric shafts and two additional ones. It also has a hill-hold function.
The Renault Mégane SporTour 1.5 dCi 110 hp is easy on the road as it is on the eye: very silent even at high speed, with a dynamic dCi that makes driving effortless. The only flaw here is that this vehicle lacks a little in terms of suspensions’ insulation: with 17″ tyres we could feel the roughness of the road especially by the rear axle.
The four-cylinders makes a bit too much noise at lower revs, nevertheless we give it top marks due to its reaction times, the smooth progressive turbo and the high-tech transmission. The 1.5 dCi 110 hp also delivers high quality performances and its suitable for any road condition.
The EDC, even if not capable of exactly replicating a manual gearbox’s behaviour, still ranks higher than some competitors’ dual clutches due to the fluidity of its sequential mode. The steering is precise, rolling is well prevented and the under-steering surfaces only during daring manoeuvres.
The roomy trunk.
We don’t like:
There’s not enough space for personal objects in the cabin.