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MT 18 September 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2016 II Motoring CHRIS MANGION RENAULT has produced the Megane since 1995 but has never up till now managed to deliver a vehicle with sculpted shoulders, tight curves and an awesome design as they did with their latest version. The newly designed hatch- back is longer and wider than its prior incarnations, giving the car a more aggressive stance; enhanced with new led running lights and an impressive interior design. Possibly the best looking car born on the French coast this year, the Megane comes with a sporty character and a hint of sophistication. The Renault logo sits in the centre of the imposing honeycombed front grille, which leads the eye to the newly design front lights and Renault's distinc- tive LED c-lighting signature. The new design has placed the Megane as the widest car in its segment. The car body lines flow along the sides to the back of the car, which while not as impres- sive as the front is still something to write home about. The design guys at Renault have truly struck a good note in this sector. Renault's French flair shines through the Megane's interior. Quality, space, led finishes come together in a mix of style and practicality. The dash is well laid out and the controls are intuitively places. An LED trim runs alongside the door cards and centre console. The colour can be changed according to the driving mode the car is in or customised to the owners preference. The high- resolution digital speedometer can also be changed to multiple designs, allowing more relevant info depending on your needs. Infotainment comes through the Renault R-LINK 2 multimedia system. The system allows the driver to control various functions including audio, navigation, vehi- cle assistance and voice control. Options are displayed on the ver- tical 8.7"colour screen. Restyled on the basis of a tablet, the apps and controls on the R-LINK 2 screen can be personalised and up to 6 user profiles stored in its memory. Made of dual density foam clad in suede with supportive sides, the front seats provide a secure and comfortable driving position. Whilst the low roofline could be intimidating to tall people, once inside the rear seats are also decently comfortable providing enough room for four adults. The boot provides 434 litres of storage space. Underneath the Megane's bonnet sit one of six different engines – three patrols and three diesels available on this model. The diesels produce 90, 110 and 130bhp while the three petrols produce 99, 128 and 202bhp. On the local market the new Megane comes with either of two diesels. Either the DY1.2 Turbo delivering 130BHP or the DY1.5DCI, which delivers 110BHP. Both can be married to a six speed manual gearbox or the EDC automatic with dual clutch transmission. The DC110 claims the low- est carbon footprint in the entire range with a combined cycle con- sumption of 72.4mpg and 96g/km of CO2. This can be compared to the 130 claims of 51.4mpg and 120g/km of CO2. The Megane comes with four driving modes on its Multi-Sense system. The four options – Eco, Comfort, Neutral, Sports and Per- sonal control both the technical configuration such as EDC shift times, steering resistance, throttle response and engine noise; and also the on-board environment. This includes the tome of interior lighting, information displayed, and instrument colour. The Megane is equipped with 4Control technology. This Renault-approved innovation controls rear-wheel steering, delivering unprecedented driver enjoyment and a driving experi- ence that is both sporty and safe. On twisting roads 4Control offers dynamic, precision driving and stability at high speed. At low speeds, the system turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to those at the front, making manoeuvrability easier especially in tight corners. Above 50mph, the front and rear wheels angle in the same direction, boosting stability particularly in faster corners. There are six trim levels to choose from – Expression+, Dy- namique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, GT-Line Nav and GT Nav. All models get Bluetooth, the new R-Link 2 infotainment sys- tem, USB connectivity, a 12-volt power supply and a height- adjustable driver's seat, as well as LED daytime running lights, DAB radio and tinted windows. Higher end versions add dual- zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, keyless entry, in-dash portrait-orientated 8.2-inch touchscreen satel- lite navigation and suspension tweaks. In the safety sector the Megane features a plethora of standard and optional feature including Adaptive Cruise Control, Ac- tive Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Automatic High and Low Beam and 360 degree ultrasonic parking sensors. Other driving assistance features are Traffic Sign Recognition, Safe Distance Warning, and Hands Free Parking. Awarded 5-stars by Euro NCAP, the Megane also features traction and stability control systems, multiple airbags, ISOFIX child car seat mounting points in the rear and seatbelt reminders for all occupants. Undoubtedly the 2016 Renault Megane proves to be the best kid on the French block. Elegant forms, classy lines and a daring expressive design give the car its uncompromised character which make it stand out from the competition. Available locally from Auto Sales Ltd, Lija, the Megane is available in ten different colours, six different interior trims and six wheel options. Starting price is €21,500. The imposingly impressive French lady Undoubtedly the 2016 Renault Megane proves to be the best kid on the French block PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MANGION

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