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Megane IV GT-Line EDC 151kW 5-dr | Renault

Date of Release: October 2016
Number of Reviews 1

The 2016 Renault Megane GT was created to deliver sheer driving pleasure. It is the current range-topping option on the fourth-generation Megane, and makes use of a number of impressive features and driving technologies to elevate it into a completely new level of exciting.

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The Torque Rating:  

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

Hatch Lifestyle

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Entertainment
Still looking cool
Robot racer

Design

The Renault Megane GT’s exterior design is absolutely phenomenal. It instantly sets itself apart with its superbly designed full LED headlights and futuristic taillights. GT front and rear bumpers, a unique twin exhaust diffuser and statement-making 18" diamond-cut alloy wheels all add to its magnetic appeal. The Megane GT is definitely a head-turner.

Performance

On the road, the Megane GT is dynamic and exciting. It is powerful and fuel-efficient, with every single drive delivering an impressive amount of driving pleasure. The GT is equipped with 4CONTROL, which optimises road holding and increases grip, resulting in the ability to negotiate tricky bends with complete peace of mind.

Safety

With great driving excitement, comes impeccable levels of safety. Each drive is a safe drive in the Megane GT. It earns a 5-star Euro NCAP rating with safety features such as: an Anti-Lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Hill Start Assist, and Tyre Pressure Monitor.

THE TORQUE REVIEW

In our Renault Clio RS Trophy review, we compared that baby super hatch to the new VW Golf 7.5 GTI, a comparison we confess was a bit unfair. They are two very different types of cars. A better comparison would be between the Megane and Golf. And we know what you are going to say; what about the Megane RS? For us, that car falls into the ultra-performance ‘super hatch’ category which includes the Golf 7R, Focus RS, A45 AMG and the Audi RS3. Those cars are all about performance. Just under that highest tier, are great looking premium hatchbacks that still pack a good punch; which was our ultimate summary of the new GTI. For us, that’s exactly where the 2016 Renault Megane GT Turbo sits, but it’s still a bit unfair to compare the two cars as one would be comparing a 2.0l Turbo vs. 1.6l Turbo. Throw in a saving of roughly R150k, and suddenly one is forced to do a bit of deep pondering…

The GT Turbo forms part of Renault’s RS (Renault Sport) range – and you can immediately tell it is the moment you start driving. In fact, the car tells you the moment you get into the driver’s seat. One is greeted by a dashboard animation as well as bass’y audio chime – a feature that will help increase the ‘jealousy factor’ with your admiring friends. This car has many strength’s but excels at the most important one – the ride.

Whereas the Clio RS had an exclusive racing chassis, the Megane’s ride is a bit more forgiving. But don’t think this results in less handling, as the Megane GT Turbo has a trump card up its sleeve. Renault calls it 4Control – and it’s brilliant! 4Control roughly means 4-wheel steering. Not 4-wheel drive; the GT Turbo’s 1.6 petrol-turbo engine powers the two front wheels only. It’s hard to believe, but the back wheels, in fact, steer too! Although they are limited to a very small steering degree, they do turn, and it makes a big impact on the handling of the car.

In slow-speed turns:

  • The rear wheels turn the opposite way of the front wheels, helping the car to rotate around the turn faster

In high-speed turns:

  • The rear wheels turn in the same direction, creating a slight diagonal movement, helping the car to hit the apex (inside, centre point of the corner).

If you’ve attended a high-performance driving academy (something we highly recommend you do if you haven’t), you would have learnt about how tyres are very bad multi-taskers. They either want to accelerate/brake or turn, but not both. The less steering angle you put through the tyres, the more they can focus on accelerating. And that’s exactly what the 4Control helps to achieve. At first, you need to adjust your driving style slightly, so that you don’t ‘over-hit’ the apex. The 4Control allows the car to go around the turn with less front-wheel steering input, which means the tyres can focus on powering out of a corner – a sensation you will enjoy time and time again!

Other senses, that will no doubt enjoy the GT Turbo, are your ears! The Megane GT Turbo shares the same 1.6T engine and 7-speed EDC auto box from the Clio RS Trophy. The turbo whistle sound is significant, reminding you that there’s some serious performance power underneath that bonnet. Somehow, the Renault engineers have managed to squeeze out 151 kW and 280 Nm of torque out of the 1.6l engine. That’s only 18kW less the GTI! Yes, there’s less torque, but one of the things we didn’t like about the GTI is how the front tyres struggled to put all that power down. The GT Turbo seems to have struck the perfect balance of power and what the tyres can handle.

A good example of this is the great launch control system that comes standard. Pull back on both of the large steering-column mounted paddle shifts to engage launch control, left on brake, right foot on the gas and release! The GT Turbo instantly and seamlessly pulls away, with that turbo whistling you up to 100Km/h in just 7.1 seconds. A great launch control system indeed.

Exterior wise, the GT Turbo will definitely draw some attention your way (and draw attention it did!) with its drop-dead gorgeous looks. It features full LED headlights, which are wrapped up in truly unique wrap-around LED Daytime Running Lights. The long LED tail lights at the rear end of the car look just as good!

Other standouts include:

  • 18” aggressively styled diamond cut aluminium wheels
  • Good looking chrome exhaust tips (but more about these later)
  • A definitive Renault badge that shows your car is part of the GT line
  • Aggressive front bumper with integrated front air intakes that direct air onto the front brake discs

Interior wise, you definitely get a premium feel. Renault calls it MultiSense, but essentially you able to customise the ambience (this is a Renault, so you need to say that word with a French accent) of the cabin. Whichever colour scheme you choose, it permeates through to the dash, the infotainment system, as well as the lit trim panels and hidden ambient cabin lights.

Standouts include:

  • Sporty and comfortable 1-piece suede-like seats. The driver can fully customise their driving position. We like the blue stitching that dominates the inside, although this might look even better if you opt for a blue exterior paint job. Our car was donned in a good-looking Passion Red metallic paint.
  •  A large portrait-orientated infotainment touchscreen – it’s tough to beat the world-class interface from the GTI but the GT Turbo’s is still perfectly adequate. We like the home screen layout that shows you a split screen including SatNav, Media and Climate Control all in one.
  • All the automatic features you can think of. We particularly enjoyed the TRUE keyless entry. Simply walk up to your car and it opens by itself just before you get there. When you reach your destination, close the door and walk away – as you do, you will hear a re-assuring bleep as the car locks and automatically folds in the side mirrors.
  • The GT Turbo also has road sign recognition. Again, this is another car that you can quite easily find yourself accidentally breaking the speed limit in – the GT Turbo has an optional feature that makes a quick audio blimp letting you know you are breaking the law.

Other than the fact a sunroof doesn’t come standard, you get the sense you are sitting in a full house car! One that you customise almost every feature and setting to your personal taste. We certainly enjoyed reviewing this ‘dark horse’ but let’s see how it stacks up against our hatch lifestyle rating criteria:

  • City Slicker: Is parking a breeze? Can you whizz through traffic etc.? Definitely. And get ready to turn some heads whilst you at it. Power is there when you need it and the 7-speed EDC autobox is intuitive on its own and reacts well if you interfere via the paddle shifts. The drivetrain is not 100% as smooth as the GTI’s but it’s still great. Parking is aided by a full PDC system including a rear-view camera. The cruise control and speed limiter buttons are placed in a bit of odd position for us, but that, combined with the road sign recognition should mean you don’t get any nasty surprise speeding fines in the post. The auto start/stop and semi-auto (doesn’t have hill assist) handbrake will aid your inner city driving. The automatic climate control also features a “Take Care” function, which essentially is an air sensor that monitors the outside air quality and automatically engages the air recirculation function if it detects bad/fowl air.

  • Boot/Seat Versatility: With 434 litres on hand, the daily usability of this hatch is perfect. It features your typical 60:40 split folding chairs, meaning you can fit in extra-long luggage items without any fuss. Parents will be happy to know the rear seats come standard with ISOFIX, but any passenger, child or adult, will travel in perfect comfort thanks to a rear air vent.

  • Entertainment: As we mentioned earlier, the user experience (from a button placement point of view) and infotainment interfaces for us aren’t as good as good as the GTI, but they are still good and give you everything you need. The standard sound system is way better! SatNav comes standard whereas this is an optional extra on the GTI.

  • Still looking cool: The Megane GT Turbo sales are nowhere compared to a top seller like the GTI, however, sometimes the lack of road presence can work in your favour, especially if you are an individual who appreciates a unique sense of style. The GT Turbo is definitely a head turner!

  • Robot Racer*: As mentioned earlier, the GT Turbo comes with a great launch control system that provides a thrilling take-off. The sportiness continues within the cabin – we love the individual tyre pressure gauges and the instant torque and horsepower meters. Whilst there are other hot hatches that are quicker, an everyday benefit is the great fuel consumption that comes with a smaller engine. Renault claims a low consumption of just 6l/100Km but after our test run, which included a fair amount of ‘spirited’ driving, our average consumption came in at 8.8l/100Km – impressive indeed!
    *The Torque encourages responsible, law-abiding driving.

So, it comes down to this… Is the Megane GT Turbo better than the legendary GTI? In our opinion – no, it’s not. The engineering in the GTI for us edges the GT Turbo. And, as you may have expected, there is a BUT. And we’re taking a Nicki Minaj size ‘butt’ here. The GTI starts at R545 800, but we’re confident that hardly anyone would order the car with zero optional extra’s. Realistically, you are looking at a price around the R600k mark. The GT Turbo on the other hand, comes practically full-house at R449 900 – a saving of R150k!!! So, if we can’t place these two cars in the pure performance, super hatch category, but rather in the everyday premium hatch category, that now and again provides a thrilling drive through a mountain pass etc., then that saving becomes a real consideration. For us, what would really make you think twice before buying a GTI, is if you could order the GT Turbo with Akrapovic exhausts (as per the Renault Clio RS Trophy). The chrome exhaust tips on the GT Turbo look good, but they are essentially fake. You don’t get that ‘Vrrr Pha’ sound from them. We’ll probably have to wait for the new Megane RS for that. Either way, if you are considering buying a top-end hatchback, best you test drive the Megane GT Turbo before you sign the dotted line.

Likes:

  • Stunning head and tail lights – the exterior styling of this car is superb.
  • Impressive performance considering it’s a 1.6l – we love the aggressive turbo whistle. 4Control is awesome!
  • The full-house nature of the car – the ambient cabin lighting is great!

Dislikes:

  • A couple of odd button placements, including the RS button (changes the performance nature of the car including the interior ambience). You want to be able to hit this button at a moment’s notice – for us, it’s a bit of a stretch.
  • The seats are great but it would have been nice to have lumbar support.
  • It would have been nice to have real sports exhaust pipes, not just good-looking exhaust tips.

Do you own or regularly drive the new Renault Megane GT Turbo? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on The Torque. Register today!


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