There’s no denying that the trend for “hot hatches” first started back in the 1970s. The legendary Volkswagen Golf GTi set the trend for a string of successful small sporty cars. Today, there is a plethora of models that one can select from.

One of France’s contributions to the hot hatch market is the Renault Megane RS. Oh, and in case you wondered, the RS stands for “Renaultsport.” Anyway, when people think about buying a sporty hot hatchback, few consider the Megane. Here’s a brief insight into the best bits of this French pocket rocket!

Styling

Perhaps one of the first things you will notice about the Renault Megane RS is the way the car looks. Eye-catching and stunning are a couple of words that immediately spring to mind!

Renault no doubt wants to poach motorists from buying cars like the Vauxhall Astra VXR! The French car maker has no doubt followed the trend when it comes to sporty vehicle styling.

The car has sleek contours that make it more aerodynamic. That’s in addition to the body kit fitted only to the RS models. For added stance, one can upgrade to the optional 19-inch alloy wheels.

Performance where it matters

Lurking underneath the front end of the Renault Megane RS lies the car’s beating heart. As standard, you get a 2.0 16-valve turbo engine with six-speed manual transmission.

There are three versions of the engine offered. The first boasts 246 horsepower and is found in the standard RS models. The second is 261 bhp. But, the one to have is the 271 bhp model.

With the highest-power variant, you can go from 0-60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds! It also has a top speed of 158 mph. Fuel consumption on that model (the Trophy-R) isn’t too bad at 37 MPG combined. And carbon emissions are fairly low at 174 g/km. It seems likely Renault is trying to capture a market where people want an eco-friendly hot hatch.

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Power without the high price premium

You might think that such a powerful car would cost a fortune. But, it’s surprisingly affordable. In fact, it’s cheaper than rivals such as the VW Scirocco. And with an array of Renault Retail Finance deals on the table, paying for the car monthly is easy. So, cost isn’t necessarily an issue with this hot hatch.

It’s also possible to get good deals on used models too. Depreciation is about average on the Renault Megane RS. And when it comes to maintaining the car, servicing costs aren’t high either. Who’d have thought it: a hot hatch that almost anyone can afford to own and maintain?

Excellent grip for added peace of mind

When you’re behind the wheel of a high-performance hatch, you need a car that handles well. Fortunately, the Renault Megane RS is a car that feels pretty tight on the road. The chassis is quite firm as standard and helps to reduce annoying body roll and flexing. Especially when driving into corners at high speeds!

You can opt for a “Cup” or “Sport” chassis. What’s the difference? The former gets fitted to all standard RS models. Meanwhile, the latter offers extra firmness. That’s thanks, in part, to the larger anti-roll bar fitted to the chassis.

As is standard with today’s hot hatches, drivers can choose a range of onboard driving modes. The car’s electronics do a good job of adjusting handling according to your requirements.

If I had to find a downside, I’d say they can sometimes be too enthusiastic, if that makes sense. Still, it’s possible to disable some systems altogether, such as the ESP settings.

For the race fans out there, Renault allows you to spec an optional Renaultsport Monitor. It gives all kinds of real-time information such as engine and performance data.

Comfort and convenience

Last, but not least, the Renault Megane RS is quite a nice car to sit inside of! The figure-hugging sports seats ensure you feel safe and secure, whatever speed you do. Looking at the dashboard, you’ll notice it has non-digital dials. Apparently, Renault feels that analog dials are more “sporty”!

You get all the usual features in the Renault Megane RS. Examples include leather interior, air conditioning, and power windows. On some models, you can enjoy dual-zone climate control. Other features include a Bluetooth head unit and rear parking sensors. Some models also come with satellite navigation as standard too.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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