Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review

Published:26 November 2010

Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5

This is the new Renault Megane GT. Think of it as an RS-lite. The chassis is still developed by Renaultsport but it’s tuned to be more relaxed than the full-on 250 and 250 Cup models.

That anonymous Megane GT TCe 180 badge masks the fact that power still comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, but it’s optimised for torque rather than power so its relatively modest 178bhp is back up by a strong 221lb ft.

So how quick is the new Renault Megane GT?

Performance is more than adequate thanks to that wave of torque, with 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 142mph. The GT costs £22,410.

That price is a bit of a sticking point as the 250 Cup costs £23,610 and has much more performance, the clever independent steering axis front suspension (similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle; Renaultsport claims to have launched it first but didn’t talk too much about it or give it a swanky name), a mechanical limited-slip differential and truly extraordinary talent.

Still, if the GT offers a more subtle, more supple experience it could just stack up.

Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180: the lowdown

It certainly looks cool on its graphite-coloured alloys and the stance is still nice and aggressive. The ride on this sported-up Megane is more supple, the gearbox feels lighter and slicker, and that engine feels terrifically responsive in the low and mid-range. So far so good.

However, up the pace a bit and suddenly the 2.0-litre motor feels both restrained at the top end (like there’s an electronic brake on how much boost it can deliver) and also a bit harsh. And that torque isn’t matched by real fireworks at the top end, so you feel like you’re missing out. You have to drive it almost like a turbodiesel engine.

And the ride and handling? Is it Renaultsport Lite?

Renaultsport may have had a hand in the chassis but this is no 250 Cup when it comes to grip and fun through the corners. It torque-steers quite markedly, the steering is light and a bit vague and traction is limited in damp conditions. The GT doesn’t feel as stable as its big brother, either.

Verdict

Overall the Megane Coupe GT a bit of a disappointment. Yes, there are times when it seems a bit more sophisticated than the 250, a little less demanding of the driver, but they are outweighed by the remoteness of the steering and the lack of control at higher speeds.

If it was a substantial chunk cheaper than the RS, it might make some sense. But at a chunky £22,410, it wouldn’t lure us away from the most exciting hot hatch on sale today.

Specs

Price when new: £22,410
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1998cc four-cylinder, 178bhp @ 5500rpm, 221lb ft @ 2250rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 142mph, 7.8se 0-62mph, 36.7mpg, 178g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1320
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4295/1808/1423

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  • Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
  • Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
  • Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
  • Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
  • Renault Megane 2.0 GT TCe 180 3dr (2010) review
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