Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI

Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI
Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI - While opponents appear capable of restoring every 6 or seven years without ever before requiring a wholesale character reinvention, the Mégane appears to come back significantly modified with a various agenda as well as fresh marketing factors every time there's an all-new model.

As its empire has actually created, we've gone from The Beaky One to The Whacky One to The Oft-FaceliftedBlink-And-There's- A-New-One One. And currently to this: Mégane Mk4, The Pretty One. Sort of. For many years, we have actually been led to expect impressive security from the auto, after that innovative innovation and also unconventional style followed by worth as well as effectiveness. Currently we're offered a particular refined European maturity, it seems. However above all, never the same point twice.

Eager vehicle drivers have consequently held on to the one hair that the Mégane has offered continually because the second-generation model: that, eventually, there'll be a version established by Renault's motorsport and also performance vehicle division, Renault Sporting activity, that'll be absolutely mustard to drive.

And the bright side is that, this time around around, that special version may have come already. The Mégane Mk4 has actually been launched with a pseudo-RS version set up in the line-up from the outset: the range-topping GT model. This automobile includes not simply sportier suspension setups yet additionally uprated spring, damper, steering and anti-sway bar componentry-- all tuned by you-know-who. It includes something nothing else automobile in the Mégane's course has actually ever before supplied, too: four-wheel guiding.

So has the hot Mégane that we've all been expecting since Renault moistened our cumulative interest with the existing Clio RS currently come under the radar, a small amount earlier compared to expected? Can we stop bothering with the instructions where Renault Sporting activity is going as well as instead take heart that the future of one of the greatest purveyors of the contemporary warm hatchback is secure?

Two excellent hot hatchback rivals-- the very rated Ford Emphasis ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI-- are lined up to lose a small amount light on the topic.

Allow fight commence

Mégane versus Emphasis versus Golf, stood for in go-faster guise in every instance, seems like a story that has actually been informed countless times on these web pages over the past decade. Now, as ever, I bet you think you could guess exactly how it may go. GTI fails initially, being classy as well as desirable however not wonderfully fast or interesting. ST offers RS tougher opposition, the Ford being punchy, useful, well valued as well as really amusing. However the Renault wins the day, with a mix of pace, grasp, grace as well as tactile comments that neither of the others could equate to.
Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI

Well, think again. It's a Mégane GT flying the flag for France below, bear in mind, not a full-house Renault Sporting activity by-product. (An all-new Mégane RS isn't really expected up until 2018.) As well as if you're wondering just how much that could unlock for either the Golf or the Emphasis to take the performance high ground, you needn't look very much for the initial indicator of verification.

The Renault enters into this test armed with a lightly modified version of the Clio RS 200's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine as well as paddleshift gearbox, offering it 202bhp and 207lb ft, whereas both of its competitors displace 2.0 litres as well as produce a minimum of 10% more power as well as 25% even more torque. The Renault's 0-62mph declared time starts with a 7 whereas its competitors both have cases starting with a six. We'll get to just how much distinction that makes to the loved one efficiency of our triad eventually, but also in a two-tier warm hatchback market, it's far from the best start for our beginner.

Even worse still for Renault, in opposition to the Mégane come 2 vehicles that have actually been made much faster, firmer and also more deliberate in their newest forms than ever before they used to be. Ford's 2014 upgrade for the Emphasis ST added stiffer front suspension springs, uprated dampers and also firmer suspension and also steering bushings. VW's seventh-generation Golf GTI, at the same time, was released a year earlier with something that would have been unimaginable from a hot hatchback so straight-laced not so long ago: the choice of an active limited-slip differential. It comes as part of VW's Efficiency Pack that likewise upgrades engine as well as stopping power which our examination auto had fitted.
Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI

Every one of which begins to clarify exactly how three hot hatchbacks that you may have taken for well-known quantities end up unusual you when you pertain to drive them. One is much firmer as well as more fun compared to you 'd ever before have anticipated, an additional firmer still and even more anxious to please and also the 3rd one atypically blasé concerning its sporting passions.

The scoop

If you review our recent road test on the Mégane diesel (Autocar, 17 August), you'll understand that the brand-new automobile's cabin ambience is substantially more abundant as well as expensive-feeling than that of the old vehicle. In GT spec, the action adjustment is plainer still.

In between the cabin's two-tone suede sporting activities seats, dazzling blue sewing and describing, glossy chrome accents as well as sporting activity pedals as well as new portrait-orientated multimedia system and also electronic instruments, the Mégane currently functions extremely tough to encourage you that it's sporty, trendy and sophisticated on the within-- and also it attains that goal effectively enough in places.


But on a more fundamental degree, the Renault is additionally quite seriously mistaken. Superficial footwells and also very closely set pedals force chauffeurs of also typical height to sit either a lot more bentlegged or further from the steering wheel than they may prefer. Rearseat passenger room isn't really great all the same and it takes an additional hit as a result of the poor front-row packaging. And a back-to-back drive in either the Focus ST or Golf GTI will instantly show that such an ergonomic synthetic pas actually need not be tolerated in 2016. The Emphasis's driving setting is a bit high yet its control layout excels, and also the Golf's are both conveniently irreproachable.

There is furthermore evidence of doubtful attention to information in the use and look of the Mégane's infotainment system, the clearness of its electronic tools (there's no alternative to see speedo and also rev counter at the same time) as well as, most frustrating of all, the positioning of the shift paddles on the guiding column. They grow from add-on points a couple of inches more than the straight centre line of the steering wheel. They're likewise cut off from extending far sufficient downwards to be in very easy reach of where your hands naturally come to rest on the wheel at quarter to 3. Consequently, they handle making every gearchange that little bit much more laborious than it should be. In the Golf, the paddles for its DSG dualclutch automatic gearbox are on the back of the wheel, not the column-- and also the advantages of each approach can be discussed. But leaving that argument to one side, the VW's transmission is by a long way the simpler to obtain together with.

The Golf's gearbox likewise functions a lot better than the Mégane's, as if to deliberately beam an even less flattering light on Renault's loved one absence of encounter with dual-clutch transmissions. Change speed in hands-on setting is comparable in both vehicles, but the GTI's capacities to switch gears efficiently, constantly pick the ideal gear in automatic mode as well as kick down at the right time are greatly exceptional.

That the Renault is running at a substantial deficiency on torque as well as related drivability compared to the VW does not aid its situation. Neither do those oddly picked equipment proportions, so acquainted from the Clio RS 200, where 2nd equipment really feels more like initial should certainly feel, 3rd uncannily like second, 4th like 3rd and also very first as good as redundant.

A standard six-speed guidebook gearbox is, by contrast, something a hot hatchback is far less most likely to go wrong with, therefore it confirms in the Emphasis. Short levered as well as hefty but positive with the gate, the Emphasis's gearbox improves the much more roughly you treat it. Its engine, meanwhile, surpasses the Golf's and also Mégane's for ferocity, delivering a larger hit of mid-range torque compared to either as well as seeming even more tuneful.

The Ford's powertrain feels like a typical warm hatchback's, yet it's however extremely well implemented as well as no much less amazing for being a little bit old tech. It has exactly what every car of its ilk requires above all else: more grunt compared to really feels purely essential. Yet the Golf would likely be almost as fast as the Emphasis from point to point, VW's Efficiency Load upgrade liberating a beneficial little bit of extra high-revving flexibility from its turbocharged engine than a common GTI has.
Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI

All three have wheels that signify warm hatch possibility, however the Mégane fails to provide it completely on a B-road and leaves its motorist wanting And, indeed, on an efficiency level, the Renault once more cannot land a handwear cover on its opponents. Although the Mégane's power and also speed feel reasonably keen alone, it's much the weakest-feeling automobile of the 3 in back-to-back screening. Lacking the mid-range wallop of either the Emphasis or the Golf, the Mégane's engine is likewise the least prepared engine to rev of all 3, becoming a bit strained past 4500rpm. Those amusing intermediate proportions camouflage the deficiency sometimes, but you can not miss it when you sample something else that your warm hatchback cash could have gotten rather. The bottom line is that since this engine had not been and also isn't actually sufficient even for a hot Clio, it was never ever going to cut it in a hot Mégane.


Dynamic analysis

So what pride can the Mégane recoup on the part of the driving experience over which Renault Sport puts in one of the most affect? A not unimportant quantity, as it ends up. As well as hallelujah for that.

The Mégane GT flights with a supple, modern sort of body control that stinks of cautious as well as expert tuning. It feels cleverly damped originally, carefully controlled at everyday speeds yet controlled nonetheless. And approximately a point, it deals with well. As a vehicle totally in which to drive your every daily miles without necessarily going trying to find enjoyment, the Mégane GT would not be last in this examination's ranking order. Yet regrettably, the quicker you drive the Mégane as well as the even more screening the roadway surface under its wheels, the much less dynamically impressive it gets.

Fairly the opposite is true of the Golf GTI, whose ride is originally stronger than the Mégane GT's yet whose excellent body control, traction and dealing with stability appear completely judged for fast cross-country miles. The Golf is unperturbed by bumps. Its adaptive dampers just appear to work better when you ask them to do even more. The Mégane's, by comparison, are at their ideal when tempering long compressions on the motorway as well as smaller sized, sharper ones at A-road speeds, yet they enable the body to roll as well as disperse excessive when press actually concerns push.

For grip, the Focus as well as Golf are equally matched however the Mégane is a color off the pace. On taking care of response, balance and also chauffeur involvement, the Focus tops the order, the Mégane's rear-axle guiding chiming in to the taking care of repertoire just sometimes and also at low speeds as well as being outperformed by the Golf's slippy diff for payment to your entertainment level.

Yet the Ford makes you pay for its direct, incisive handling in a manner that the Emphasis ST never ever made use of to-- which, for this tester, takes the edge off an all-round dynamic revealing that might otherwise have been solid enough to win this test.

Ford's latest round of chassis tweaks have created a company, hectic, unsettled flight and also guiding that's a small amount also adversely impacted by bump guide, torque steer as well as drive pressures usually. The ST has always been a reasonably rowdy, active type of drive whose taking care of bite and also control feedback made its wilder routines worth enduring, now it appears that the automobile's Mr Hyde side is beginning to overcome it.

Which is why the Golf GTI comes to the fore at the end of a long day in these cars and justifies its high price with one of the most totally understood performance driving encounter right here. The Emphasis ST comes a praiseworthy second, with its taking care of dynamism and also bang for the buck as exceptional as ever before however its overall charm reduced by chassis updates.

Of the Mégane GT, there is some encouragement to take, however a minimum of as much frustration, too. Renault Sporting activity's growth group is entitled to better resources and a more particular brief compared to this with which to reveal what it can do-- and with the full-on Mégane RS (which will preserve a hands-on gearbox and the outgoing automobile's 2.0-litre engine in updated type), it'll obtain both.

But also for the following few years and till that brand-new Mégane RS makes it off the growth path as well as right into display rooms, the void left by the death of the previous Clio RS and the outward bound Mégane 275 could impend big for the warm hatchback faithful-- and also this Mégane GT will do little to load it.

Specification panels

Volkswagen Golf GTI 5dr DSG Efficiency Pack

Rate ₤ 30.925; Engine 4 cyls in line, 1984cc, turbocharged, fuel; Power 227bhp 4700-6200rpm; Torque 258lb ft 1500-4600rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch car; Kerb weight 1370kg; 0-62mph 6.4 sec; Full throttle 155mph; Economy 44.1 mpg; CO2 149g/km, 26%;.

Ford Focus ST-3 - 4/5 celebrities.

Rate ₤ 26,550; Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, turbo, gasoline; Power 247bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 266lb ft at 2000-4500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd handbook; Kerb weight 1437kg; Top speed 154mph; 0-62mph 6.5 sec; Economic climate 41.5 mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 159g/km, 28%.

Renault Mégane GT Nav 205 EDC - 3/5 stars.

Price ₤ 25,500; Engine 4 cyls, 1616cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power 202bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 207lb feet at 2400rpm; Kerb weight 1463kg; Transmission 7-spd dual-clutch automatic; 0-62mph 7.1 sec; Full throttle 143mph; Economic situation 47.1 mpg (integrated); CO2/tax band 134g/km, 23%.

Renault Mégane GT vs Ford Focus vs VW Golf GTI

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