Next-gen Megane to get more distinctive styling

Next-gen Renault Megane to get more distinctive styling

Renault’s upcoming Mégane hatchback will receive a “more sporting, more appealing” design, in a bid to claw back sales from Ford and VW

The next-generation Renault Mégane will mix the low-roof profile of today’s hatch with the styling themes established on the new Clio and Captur.

The key details from the Clio and Captur will be the curved door shape, with its “waisted-in” body side, together with the new corporate face and its prominent Renault logo and dark plastic, full-width, narrow grille.

“We won’t be going back to the shape of the Mégane II, the low roof gives us something different from the Golf. It makes the Mégane more sporting, more appealing,” says UK product manager Yann Le Graet.

The Mégane II was a huge success, won Euro COTY in 2003 and was best-selling hatch in its class just after launch.

Due for launch at Geneva in 2016 with UK sales following in the summer, the new Mégane will use this new sporty flavour to attempt to clawback sales from arch-rivals such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf, but also premium hatches like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-class.

Last year the Mégane managed just 8640 UK registrations — a similar number is expected in 2014 — a significant drop from a recent high of around 12k units.”We think the latest facelifted model is competitive on price, equipment and styling,” says product manager Yann Le Graet, “and the all-new model will win us back more retail customers.”

The new Mégane should help Renault move away from its current fleet-dominated mix of around 65 per cent versus 35 per cent retail.

One of the challenges the Mégane will face in 2016 is to be competitive with more expensive premium-badged rivals, which are currently available on finance at a similar £200/month payment, thanks to much stronger residual values.

“We will have to concentrate on retail customers and this will also help our user-chooser sales,” added Le Graet.

The interior of the new Mégane is tipped to feature higher quality plastics and sharper design, with many control functions transferred to a generously sized central touchscreen. Top-spec models are expected to be equipped with a nine-inch screen, lower spec models seven-inch.

The touchscreen will clean-up the interior by reducing the number of minor switches. A similar touchscreen-oriented dashboard has just been launched inside the new Peugeot 308, the Mégane’s main home-market rival.”We won’t go quite as far as Peugeot, though, in reducing the switchgear,” added Le Graet.

Renault has specifically targeted fleet customers of the latest facelifted model by dropping the price of the best-selling Dynamique 1.5DCi 110 model by £1200.

This variant alone generates around 55 per cent of all UK Mégane sales, an unusually high proportion for a single trim level/engine combo.

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