Posted on May 21, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date reviewed: 2017-08-11 11:30:00
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:
In high-speed turns:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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