Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet 2.0 Review
A Coupe-Cabriolet for Everyday

Azfar Hashim
8 Dec 2006
 

Always thought cabriolets are expensive? Think again – Renault has updated Megane Coupe-Cabriolet that promises fun and practicality that’s suitable for sun-worshippers looking for everyday transport

Anyone looking at the Mercedes-Benz SLK or Lexus SC430 might be forgiven for wondering just where one would exploit its performance, assuming one actually had the quarter-million or so bucks to spare. After all, most roads are congested and the traffic police are dying to make your acquaintance.

Here’s a good alternative – buy a cheaper cabriolet, with a tiptronic transmission, no less, for about less than $120k, allowing one to keep roughly one-hundred grand in change - for tyres, other nifty little mods, or maybe just to save in the bank.

Now back to the plot. The Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is a hugely fun car to drive when nobody’s looking, plus its upscale two-door styling provides enough visual appetite for bystanders. Seriously, anyone who buys a two-in-one coupe-cabriolet these days certainly have something to shout about – individuality.

First things first, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is the sort of car that attracts attention anywhere. At least now with the colour coded bumper protectors, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet looks sleeker and more complete. The first difference is the façade – the updated face of the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet includes a new front bumper paired to a cleaner-looking headlamp assembly. Its front grille is also less angular, and that small nip and tuck definitely goes a long way in differentiating the older to the updated Megane Coupe-Cabriolet.

The test car came fitted with a red-themed interior. It looks and feels expensive, almost akin to its German counterpart’s that costs twice as much. Its cabin is mainly left unchanged – and that is meant in a good way. This functional coupe-cabriolet has enough storage compartments for two to live in. Something the Renault designers overlooked was probably the positioning of the ignition card insert and engine start / stop button – it’s placed somehow too low and can pose a problem especially when the driver’s in a hurry. On another note, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is best at ferrying a party of four, driver included, on a Saturday night.

The glass roof disappears into the boot in a mere twenty-two seconds. This transformation from coupe to a cabriolet can only be done when the car is at a complete halt, and the brakes activated. If one tries to do so one the move, the transformation refuses to take place, and the trip computer will let you know about it. Thank goodness for intelligent cars.

Talking about safety, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet comes standard with ABS, EBD and also Brake Assist. Optimum protection is also guaranteed for occupants in case the inevitable happens – the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is fitted with Renault’s System for Restraint & Protection (SRP3). It includes adaptive frontal airbags, lateral head-thorax airbags, anti-submarining airbag beneath the front seats and rear roll bars. Should explain why Renault is awarded one of the safest car manufacturer to date, and the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet has an impressive 5-star EuroNCAP rating.

It’s a real pleasure to drive a car like the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet with the roof either up or down. Although it doesn’t have a screaming engine, the 1,998cc power plant with Variable Valve Timing is adequate enough to produce 136bhp. Its not slow, but nonetheless more a cruiser than bruiser. It cruises at expressway-legal speeds smoothly, and it’s only when you fiddle with the sequential mode that you get to stretch the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet to the red line.

Surprisingly, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is quite an eager beaver when shown bends. Although it rides on rather tallish 205/50 R-17 Michelin rubbers, any chassis flex can be felt through the steering. While the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet isn’t perfect (mostly due to its steering that can be a tad too light for some), it does score a “Damn Good” from a pure driving and dynamics view.

To sum up, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet fits the list of sun worshippers and has many things going for it – sound build quality, a well-engineered chassis and good looks among them. It tops the choice list for the buyer who needs a car that is practical, yet allows for an enjoyable (and affordable) top-down motoring experience


Technical Specification

Engine: Multi-valve, 1,998cc
Power: 136bhp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 191Nm @ 3,750rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic with sequential mode

Length / Width / Height: 4,355 / 2,026 / 1,404 mm
Wheelbase: 2,522 mm
Kerb weight: 1,410kg
0-100km/h: 10.2 seconds

Website: //www.renault.com.sg 


 


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 136bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 191Nm @ 3750rpm
Power to Weight 96.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 11.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 200 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type Cabriolet
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4355 x 2026 x 626) mm
Wheelbase 2522 mm
Turning Circle 5.1 metres
Kerb Weight 1410 kg
Boot Capacity 490 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs