The Renault Megane GT220.
The Renault Megane GT220.

2014 Renault GT220 road test - practicality with firepower

FAMILY life often means sacrifice…sleep, money and time are the tip of the iceberg.

Sexy transport is often cast aside in favour of practicality, although not in the Renault Megane GT220's case.

Previously available as a limited edition last year, it has returned as a permanent addition to the revised Megane range.

And not only does it look sporty, it delivers in the performance stakes.

While not quite a scalding hot hatch, the GT220 (which stands for 220 horsepower) is still close to the boil.

Powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, it's punchy, strong and turns the Megane into a weapon.

The 0-100kmh sprint time of 7.6 seconds doesn't sound quick on paper, yet in reality it's an awesome experience behind the wheel.

Suspension changes deliver a firmer ride with stiffer springs and the car's centre of gravity is lowered by 112mm. But the on-road manners are not lost in the performance tweaks, you still feel the bumps but they don't rattle the kidneys.

And it's a price you're willing to pay once you tackle the twisties.

The RS will cut a swathe through challenging bends with mid-corner power on tap to increase the fun factor.

Steering feels well weighted, although bordering on light, while the six-speed manual offers nice clean shifts with quick take-up of the clutch.

Fuel consumption should be about eight litres for every 100km depending on how liberal you are with the right pedal, although it does require the high octane premium unleaded.

The GT220s come with a range of sporting touches including badging and special driver's instrument cluster, as well as 18-inch alloys with Dunlop Sport Maxx rubber, automatic lights and wipers, dual zone air con, LED daytime running lights, four-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with USB and auxiliary inputs, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity along with push button start.

Premium models also get grey leather seats with grey seat belts, heated driver and passenger seats, rear central armrest with cup holders, extra safety features like lane departure warning and automatic high-low beam headlights, front parking sensors, rear view camera, panoramic sunroof and sat-nav with a 17.7cm touch-screen.

Warranties across the range are five years, and servicing intervals are annual. The first three services are capped at $299.

The GT220s squeeze between the standard Megane range and the hardcore RS variants.

It's the most engaging drive of the revised new Megane line-up from the French carmaker, yet coming in wagon and hatch body styles ensures it loses little, if anything, in practicality.

Only being available with a manual transmission will inhibit its appeal, although those who love to drive will love its punchy performance and willingness when the going gets twisty.


Model: Renault Megane GT220.

Details: Five-seat front-wheel drive performance hatch or wagon.

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 162kW @ 4750-6500rpm and peak torque of 340Nm @ 2400-3500rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed manual.

Consumption: 7.3 litres/100km (combined average).

Performance: 0-100km in 7.6 seconds; top speed 240kmh.

CO2: 168g/km.

Bottom line plus on-roads: Hatch - $35,490, Premium Pack $39,490; Wagon - $36,990, Premium Pack $40,990.

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