The Renault Mégane is a small family car produced by the French automaker Renault since 1995. Mégane means “companion” in old French. The Mégane has been offered in three and five-door hatchback, four-door sedan, five-door estate, and five-door coupé-convertible body styles over its lifetime.
The original Mégane I was launched in November 1995, and proved popular, selling 1.5 million units by 1999. The second generation Mégane II debuted in September 2002, and was awarded the European Car of the Year for 2003. The third generation Mégane III followed in 2009, and was also voted European Car of the Year for 2010. The current fourth generation Mégane IV came out in 2016.
Over its lifetime, the Renault Mégane has been positioned as a practical and affordable small family car. Its mix of value, style, and safety features have made it one of Renault’s best-selling models worldwide. More than 6.5 million units have been sold globally across four generations.
The Renault Mégane has been produced over four generations since 1995. Here is an overview of each generation:
The first generation Mégane was introduced in 1995 and produced until 2003. This original Mégane featured a sporty, rounded design and was available as a 3 or 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door estate and 2-door coupé. The first generation underwent a facelift in 1999 with revised styling and new engines. Models produced included the 1.4, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.0 turbo petrol engines and a 1.9 diesel.
The second generation launched in 2002 and was in production until 2009. The styling took on a more angular look and new features like keyless entry were added. Engine options ranged from 1.4 to 2.0 litre petrol and 1.5 to 2.0 litre diesel. In 2006, a mid-cycle refresh introduced a more aggressive front fascia and interior upgrades.
The third generation Mégane debuted in 2008 with a more streamlined design and improved interior quality. A 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine was added along with stop/start technology to improve fuel economy. This generation introduced the Mégane RS performance model which featured a turbocharged 2.0 litre engine producing 250hp.
The current fourth generation launched in 2015 with an emphasis on reducing weight through the use of aluminum and composites. The interior features a large touchscreen infotainment system and advanced driver assist technologies are available. Engine options include a 1.2 litre turbo petrol and 1.5 litre diesel. The Mégane has continued to evolve into a technologically advanced and fuel efficient family hatchback.
The Renault Megane hatchback has been available in three- and five-door configurations since its introduction in 1995. The three-door model was offered on the first two generations, while the current third-generation Megane is only available as a five-door hatchback.
A four-door sedan variant was also introduced starting with the first generation. The sedan shared the same front-end style as the hatchback models but with a longer, notchback rear end. Sedan models were sold as the Renault Megane Classic in some markets.
For the second generation, a two-door coupe model called the Megane Coupe was added to the lineup in 2003. This stylish, sporty variant featured a shortened wheelbase and a distinctive rear end design.
Convertible versions have also been available for most generations of the Megane. The first cabriolet model was introduced in 1996 and featured a folding cloth roof. Second generation convertibles had a folding hardtop roof design.
Estate wagon variants of the Megane have been offered for all three generations as well. The estate models provide increased cargo capacity while maintaining the Megane’s distinctive exterior styling.
Overall, the Renault Megane hatchback has been offered in a diverse range of body styles over its lifetime, including 3- and 5-door hatchbacks, 4-door sedans, 2-door coupes, convertibles and estate wagons. This allows buyers to select the best Megane variant based on their styling preferences and practical needs.
The Renault Mégane has offered a range of petrol and diesel engines over its lifetime. The original Mégane I model, launched in 1995, was available with 1.4L, 1.6L and 2.0L petrol engines producing between 60 kW (82 hp) and 99 kW (135 hp) (Wikipedia). Diesel options included 1.9L engines in various power outputs.
The Mégane II, introduced in 2002, expanded the engine range. Petrol engines included a 1.4L, 1.6L and 2.0L options ranging from 78 kW (106 hp) to 145 kW (197 hp). Diesels ranged from 1.5L to 2.0L and 66 kW (90 hp) to 127 kW (173 hp) (Simple Wikipedia). The performance-focused Mégane Renaultsport models offered 2.0L turbocharged petrol engines up to 179 kW (242 hp).
The Mégane III launched in 2008 continued the wide range of petrol and diesel options. Notable additions included a 1.2L turbocharged petrol with 97 kW (131 hp) and 1.5L diesel with 81 kW (110 hp). The Mégane III also introduced downsized turbocharged petrol engines, with a 1.2L turbo replacing the 1.6L and 1.4L turbo replacing the 2.0L (Autoevolution).
The latest Mégane IV continues to offer petrol engines from 1.2L to 1.8L turbocharged, and diesels from 1.5L to 1.7L, covering a wide range of performance levels. Renault continues to update the Mégane engine range to meet the latest emissions regulations.
The Renault Megane is known for its sporty performance, especially in the high-powered RS models. The most potent Megane RS models feature a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 296 hp, allowing a 0-60 mph time of just 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph (Carmagazine).
Handling has been a strong point for the Megane RS as well, with models equipped with a limited slip differential, 4Control four wheel steering, and a stiffer chassis for agile cornering. Reviews praise the Megane RS for its responsiveness and grip when pushing the limits (Wikipedia).
The Megane RS stands up well against hot hatch rivals like the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf GTI when it comes to acceleration times and track performance. The Megane’s handling balance and steering feel gives it an engaging driving experience on par with the segment leaders.
The Renault Megane is packed with technology features to enhance comfort, convenience, and safety. Some of the key technology highlights over the years include:
- Touchscreen infotainment systems – Renault was one of the first mainstream brands to introduce a touchscreen system in the original Megane in 1995 (1). Current models feature the Easy Link infotainment system with up to 9.3-inch touchscreens.
- Driver assist features – Recent Megane models come equipped with a wide array of advanced driver aids like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and more (2).
- LED lighting – Full LED headlights and taillights are now standard, providing better visibility.
- Connectivity – The Megane offers smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay across the range.
Safety has also been a key focus, with Euro NCAP awarding the current Megane a 5-star safety rating. It comes equipped with up to 11 airbags, including side head/thorax airbags and a knee airbag for the driver (3).
The Renault Mégane has had a prominent role in motorsports over the years, especially in rallying and touring car racing.Wikipedia The Mégane Renault Sport dCi 175 is a high-performance diesel version developed for circuit racing. Renault entered the Mégane in the British Touring Car Championship in 1995, where it achieved some success including winning the manufacturers’ title in 1999.
The Mégane has also competed in the World Rally Championship, where the Mégane Maxi achieved victory in the 1999 Tour de Corse. Renault developed the Mégane R.S. 265 Trophy for rallycross racing, which won the French Rallycross Championship in 2003. More recently, the latest Mégane R.S. 280 has been adapted for rallying and won the Belgian Rally Championship in 2013.
The Renault Megane hatchback has won its fair share of awards over the years. Some of the most notable awards include:
- What Car? Car of the Year 2003 – Renault Mégane
- What Car? Best Family Car 2007 – Renault Mégane
- Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year 2013 – Renault Mégane
- What Car? Best Family Car 2016 – Renault Mégane
- What Car? Best Estate Car 2017 – Renault Mégane Sport Tourer
- What Car? Best Family Car 2018 – Renault Mégane
- “Technology Award” at DrivingElectric Awards 2023 – Renault Megane E-Tech 100% Electric (Source)
The Mégane has consistently won awards for its practicality, technology, and capability as a family vehicle over multiple generations. More recently, the electric Megane E-Tech has started winning awards for its advanced EV technology as Renault transitions the model range to electric.
The Renault Mégane has been a strong seller for Renault since its launch in 1995. According to statistics from Good Car Bad Car, European sales reached 148,213 units in 2016, 167,836 in 2017, 138,077 in 2018, and 129,222 in 2019 (source).
Overall, Renault Group reported that the Mégane E-TECH electric model alone has sold over 23,000 units as of July 2022, with over 70% being top trim versions (source). The Mégane has sold well compared to rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Opel Astra over the years. Key factors in its sales success include its sporty styling, range of efficient engines, and popularity in Europe as an affordable family hatchback.
The next generation Renault Megane is expected to debut sometime in 2024 or 2025. There are rumors that the new Megane will move to Renault’s CMF-EV platform, which is designed specifically for electric vehicles (AutoExpress). This platform supports larger battery packs and faster charging, so the electric Megane E-Tech models will likely see improved range and performance.
Renault is also expected to offer more hybrid powertrains in the next generation Megane to help meet stricter emissions regulations in Europe. The plug-in hybrid Megane will likely use a 1.6 liter gasoline engine combined with an electric motor and larger battery pack. There may also be new mild hybrid options.
In terms of design, the new Megane will likely take styling cues from the recent Megane E-Tech Electric while modernizing the overall look. We can expect full LED lighting, new wheel designs, and a more sculpted, aerodynamic body. The interior will also be updated with the latest infotainment and driver assist technologies.
While details are still limited, it’s clear the next generation Megane will further Renault’s focus on electrification and technology. The model will remain an important part of Renault’s lineup as a technologically advanced hatchback.