Renault Megane Sport Tourer GT car review
- We like...Looks; the way it drives
- We don't...Steeply priced
Estate cars? When new-breed MPVs do all that estates can and even (sometimes) carry up to seven at a time, have the trad-style load carriers run short of road? Not for us. Their conventional driving manners and familiar, ‘just-like-a-car’ at wheel view out mean they still claim plenty of fans... including us.
Not only are they more useful than the hatchbacks they spring from but, if they’re like the Megane, they’re better looking, too. Here we’ve got a newcomer, the GT Sport Tourer. Like a growing number of brands, Renault prefers to give its load luggers a fancy title. We can’t see a problem with plain old ‘estate’ but we’ll let the matter pass.
Renault has earned a strong reputation for building rapid, agile cars and is keen to let some of the magic dust sprinkle down to lesser cars. Here, the GT is a car that’s definitely trying to be sporty. It’s nowhere near as full-on as its Renaultsport Megane hatch but it does offer decent pace and space.
It’s all about creating niches: the Megane mayn’t offer the most space among rivals. Nor is it the classiest. But while the competition is mostly workaday this has a little extra excitement.
It’s powered by a 2.0 turbodiesel producing 160bhp. To drive it feels quicker than you think, speedy and strong low in the revs range, as good diesels are. The steering and suspension is set up with help from the Renaultsport engineering team and it shows. There’s firmness as it covers the road and it’ll change direction quickly and precisely, although the ride still has enough give to keep loads still and passengers settled. That’s a fair achievement considering the 18in alloy wheels and skinny-sided tyres.
We like the diesel for its usable power, low emissions and strong economy. But if a petrol engine’s more your bag, there’s a 2.0 petrol turbo that develops 180bhp and is better than half a second quicker over the 0-60mph dash.
If you’re after a sporty car, the way this drives fits the ticket. It also looks mildly sporting inside and out. The cabin looks sober but high-quality materials used for the dash and seats brings the look and feel close to that of a Volkswagen Golf (currently the class best).
And like all others in its range, this Sport Tourer gives rear seat passengers extra leg and headroom, while its load space is among the biggest in its class. Even the front passenger seat folds flat. But you must fiddle with the rear seats to get them to drop down for loading and doing so leaves a ridge across the load floor. So it’s not ideal.
Should you buy one? Its asking price is, we think, high for an estate of this size and pushes within striking distance of what you’d pay for something wearing a posher badge. Still, this GT is characterful and at least cheap to run. With the savings available after a year’s use, a nearly new one will, we predict, be cheap enough to make it a cracking buy.
- Engines2.0 dCi
- 0-60 mph8.8secs
- Insurance groups25E
Motors.co.uk value verdict: