Renault’s current generation Megane has won plaudits for its great looks, fine ride and technology-packed interior.
Hot on the heels of the hatchback comes this, the estate model – or “Sport Tourer” as Renault styles it.
Buyers have a choice of a 1.2 litre, 128bhp petrol engine or 1.5 or 1.6 litre diesels with 108 or 128bhp.
There are six trim levels to choose from – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, GT Line and GT.
Even the entry model is well heeled, with air con, DAB radio, Bluetooth, alloy wheels and cruise control.
Dynamique Nav adds automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and climate control in place of air con. Move up to Dynamique S and you get an 8.7in portrait-orientation touchscreen, which adds a bit of pizazz to the interior.
Prices start at just under £19,000 and I drove the Dynamique S Nav version with the 1.5 litre diesel engine, costing around £23,000.
Although the 1.5 litre diesel has a bit less power it’s the newer engine and is more refined as well as more frugal – returning almost 75mpg, according to official figures. In real world driving it still comfortably broke 60mpg.
There’s also a sporty GT model for those who want a bit more pace with their extra space.
The additional metal grafted onto the back hasn’t spoiled a strong design and the Megane Sport Tourer is one of the best looking estate cars in its class.
Another strength is comfort: ride quality is excellent. At 70mph it’s whisper quiet, making it among the most capable long distance tourers of its ilk.
Handling isn’t as pin-sharp as a Focus, however, but the trade off for refinement is worth it in my book.
There’s 521 litres of load space in the boot, up on the hatchback’s 384.
While the extra boot space over the hatch is certainly useful it’s not the last word in practicality. For those who need the biggest cargo capacity the Skoda Octavia offers a lot more space for a similar price. Honda’s Civic estate is also capacious but comes with a premium price tag. It should be noted, however, that the Renault has the longest load area in its class – 2.77 metres with rear seats down.
There’s a four-year, 100,000 mile warranty, which beats most rivals with the exception of Hyundai and Kia.
If the boot’s big enough for you and you regularly do long journeys, the Megane Sport Tourer’s hard to beat.