Almost a year after it broke cover in Frankfurt, the new generation Megane RS was finally flown down to Australia, where it met the Press.
Straight from the start, CarsGuide gave the compact hot hatch extra point for its muscular look and, of course, for still offering a six-speed manual gearbox alongside the DCT auto.
The new Megane RS is powered by a new turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, which Renault claims is the most powerful on the market. It’s shared with the new Alpine A110, and while it may have sufficient power under heavy acceleration, it doesn’t help the latest Megane RS feel particularly fast around town, as the peak torque kicks in at 2,400 rpm.
On the downside, the praised 4-Wheel Steering system doesn’t add to the overall RS experience, but all in all, the 2018 Renault Megane RS offers a decent ride, an easy clutch, enough space at the back for two adults and sufficient boot space for a daily driver.
Also, it’s just as fast to 100 km/h (62 mph) as the previous Trophy R, despite going down the downsizing road, and at about AUD $40,000 (USD $27,761) locally, it’s half the price of the AWD Audi RS3 Sportback, which uses a punchier turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.
So, the latest Megane RS has its strong points, and is a better car overall than its predecessor, but it doesn’t feel that special, which is a notable drawback for a hot hatch.