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Long-term intro: Vivek’s 2014 Renault Megane 2.0

Long-term intro: Vivek’s 2014 Renault Megane 2.0

vivek-renault-megane-uae

So we had settled ourselves with a used Ford Mondeo for over a year now, since selling our Mitsubishi Pajero. However, when the situation dictated the need of a second car primarily for my wife, we went on the hunt for one. After a couple of months of visiting several dealerships and test-driving a lot of cars, we settled on the 2014 Renault Megane 2.0 hatchback, of all things.

Not being even remotely as rich as the CEO of DriveArabia, our hunt centered on rather affordable sub-compact and compact hatchbacks and CUVs from budget brands. Although we started off looking for a used hatchback, the search soon shifted towards a brand new car, as almost every other used car we came across were overpriced junk. The wife’s utmost preference for safety features meant that all the usual Japanese and Korean offerings were out of the question, although the Nissan Juke was in consideration for a while, and leaving us with a few cars from Chrysler, Ford, Chevrolet, Renault and Peugeot to consider.

The Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, and Peugeot 208 were all surprisingly overpriced. The particular trim and colour of the well-priced Ford Ecosport that we liked was sold out for at least 3 months. The Chevrolet Cruze seemed like okay value for money, but the Renault Megane offered more value for even lesser money, alongside the significant offers and discounts from the Renault dealer. The basic non-turbo Nissan Juke was a gutless joke. Chrysler’s Dart showed up way too late in the showrooms for us to consider buying one. And finally, the Megane’s own stablemate, the Renault Duster, was earlier considered and later disregarded for the same reason –- because it is incredibly cheap.

Our Megane is the entry-level 2.0-litre variant, which is equal in features to the top-spec 1.6-litre variant. Costing only about the same as a basic 1.6-litre Ford Focus at Dhs 64,900, it comes decently decked up to modern standards, and lacks only the 8-inch touchscreen nav system, leatherette interior and sunroof options. It comes with a free service and maintenance package for 2 years or 40,000 km. The warranty period is 3 years or 100,000 km, although it could be extended to 5 years or unlimited km by paying Dhs 1,250, which we opted to do at some point later this year. Insurance was offered for free too, for the first year.

2014 Renault Megane in the UAE 3

After doing my bit to get the car past the official break-in period, the Megane has racked up well over 2,000 km on the odometer in less than a couple of weeks before going into the hands of its intended owner, thanks to me and my fairly long office drives. There was an inspection service done by the dealer at 1,000 km, just a week after we had bought the car. The service interval is at every 10,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first.

The Renault Megane was a rather spontaneous and experimental choice, quite reminiscent to how we bought our first ever brand-new Ford Mondeo eight years ago, which later led to two further Mondeo purchases. But much more worse is the brand reputation that Renault enjoys in this part of the world, as on seeing our car, everyone, including a few strangers, had only one question to ask – “Why this Renault?”. Nevertheless, whether the Megane will live up to our expectations just like the Ford did, or not, is what we will find out as time goes on. Watch out for our long-term updates on this one.

Photos by Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury.

Keep track of updates in the Long-Term Reports section.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Nicely written. Waiting for the long term review. Don’t make it very long 😉 😉

  2. Nicely written. Seems like a value for money car. Waiting for the long term review.

  3. good choice , nice to be different .

  4. I am driving 2007 Megane 2.0 l engine . we bought it new . 250,000 Kms on the clock now
    Minor electrical problems for sunroof and windows
    A/C a bit weak in hot summer days
    other then that a great car !

  5. Hey Vivek,
    I was missing your long term reviews. Glad you are back in business. Megane is not an usual choice so well done for picking a non japanese/korean car. Always liked the quirkiness of the Megane. 2l engine is a good choice, I always say you need at least this engine size here as the ac sucks the power out of the car during summer months. Hope it proves realiable. Nice colour too.
    P.S. that cheesy smile behind the wheel is also priceless. 🙂

  6. Congrats man. This Shape is good. I really couldn’t understand the shape of previous Megane hatchback rear.

  7. Does this model of Megane share any platform with Nissan Tiida?? I feel like the engine and CVT auto both from Nissan. Correct me if im wrong.

    • I don’t think it has anything to do with Tiida’s platform. Even the engine is genuine Renault, as far as I know. The transmission however, is Nissan’s Xtronic unit, but sort of poorly tuned for use with Renault’s engine – more in the full review 🙂

  8. My dad had bought a brand new Duster 2014, Mid-Range, got sooooooo fedup with the whole Car, performance,mis-positioning of controls etc., sold it in 8 months! 😛

    • who bought your dad’s duster was really lucky , good bargain a used duster , a reliable , basic , nothing wrong with controls , the problem is psychological not bad product , because a cheap price may be mistranslated to cheap quality which is not .

    • Agreed with Sevan. True that even I found it a little weird to get adjusted to the Duster’s controls, when I had my best buddy’s manual 4×4 Duster for a while. But in a day of driving it or so, I was quite ok with it.

    • I wouldn’t hesitate to say that it was a shitty car. Who has a KEY LOCK on their fuel tanks nowadays? Its not a bicycle. And then, so many more…but anyway, if you love it so much, its your choice.

  9. Nice write up Vivek. Would like to read more about your experiences with this vehicle. These are decent cars sadly people’s perceptions here have not helped further its market share.

  10. Hi Vivek, nice intro abt megane.
    I am looking for a similar car.
    Do you reckon a 2012 ford focus (sports trim, 30k km) at 48k AED would be better or getting a new Megane or such car.
    If new which one ? Safety and a 2 ltr engine are priorties (hatch preferred)

    • Hi Abhi, Sorry for the late reply..

      The Focus is better when it comes to handling, engine power and fuel efficiency. Safety-wise, both the Megane and Focus are, more or less, on the same page.

      I suggest you to test drive the Megane and the Focus.

  11. Does the megane have better rear legroom than the 2013 focus?tnx

  12. Thnx vivek, i am also looking at golf 1.2 2012 now
    Is it also as good as a focus 2l engine ??

  13. hi vivek, nice to see your good replies, i need advice about renault safrane, i am looking to replace my 2 year old sunny since its getting difficult for daily long trips to office (ajman-jebel ali), looking to buy bigger sedan, any other recommendations?

    • Mashfique used to have the previous gen Safrane, and it did just fine. The new one is nice to drive, and is comfy; but the base engine is a bit wheezy and slow. The last I checked, the 2.5L v6 engine is no more available, so that leaves you with the option of a 3.5L v6, the price of which I am not sure, although im assuming it to be north of a 100 grands.

      You may check the Ford Fusion, which comes with free maintenance and good warranty, both extendable to up to 7 yrs / 160k kms; helps your pocket to a great extent when you drive a lot. Check the VW Passat too.

  14. Nice info shared Vivek. Need help if you could please….

    Was considering either of the below:

    a. Corolla 2.0 (not sure coz of the 4A still used)

    b. Cruze (not sure coz of the reported expenses after say 2-3 years of use)

    c. Dart! – sounds exciting but again (not sure of maintenance costs etc.)

    –> d. Open to suggestions!

    These were more or less within budget and appealing too.

    Basically need a daily use car for predominantly city drive and may later be used for regular intra-emirate drives! Please help!

    Many thanks!

    • a. The new Corolla is impressive I hear, despite the ancient gearbox. I have never tried it, but Mashfique seems pretty impressed with it. The car is among the spacious ones in its class, and I suggest you test drive the car.

      b. Cruze – not recommended. The car is comfy and nice to drive, and the spares are among the cheapest; but its the labour cost where the dealers will loot you, ultimately resulting in elevated car maintenance costs, all in the name of warranty.

      c. Dart – Again, no idea about this car. I hear it is small n less spacious, but it is unbeatable value for money. You can get a fair idea of the maintenance costs from the dealer itself

      d. Take a look at the Nissan Sentra. Its a nice car overall, if you can live with the whine of the CVT.

    • Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6 or 2.0 ….depending on your budget…..hassle free experience of ownership….a true Japanese vehicle….above all Peace of Mind

  15. Hi Vivek and Terence,

    Many thanks to the both of you.

    @ Vivek – Need to bother you a bit more… Please bear with me

    a. Corolla – Not in the mood to buy one unless the 6A comes into UAE. 🙂 (Btw, when is the next model expected? Any idea?)

    b. Cruze – Thanks for the info. Will cross it outa my list

    c. Dart – Being a novice, I’m not sure if I could bank on what the dealer says! let me know if this is going to be another cruze like situation. (space etc. is good based on online reviews – (http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/dodge_dart_2014)

    d. Sentra – did check this out however, the CVT is the turn off here.

    e. Could you please shed more light on the Lancer? In case I get one, I would like to go for the EX 2.0

    f. Please also advise if you could on the dart. (guess only the variant with the 1.6 TC engine is available in the UAE)

    Many thanks and regards,
    Shri

    • Hi Shri,

      The Lancer EX 2.0 may be considered, if you are not bothered by the fact that the model reached our shores back in 2008, and never changed ever since. It is a good proposition though, if reliability and peace of mind is among your utmost of concerns. It is fairly comfortable too, and we have even driven one to Salalah at one point.

      https://www.drivearabia.com/news/2011/04/03/first-drive-2011-mitsubishi-lancer-ex-1-5-in-uae-oman/

      The Mitsubishi dealer service experience may not be much of a joyous experience, but the car as such is never a let down. It can be easily maintained for quarter the price the dealer charges, from A class garages outside. Fuel efficiency is great; and By the way, the 2.0-litre comes with a CVT transmission. Do a thorough test drive and see if you can live with it. You may opt for the 1.6 mated to a 4-speed auto transmission, which does not feel underpowered at all in regular city and highway drives.

      As for the Dart, it comes with a Fiat-derived 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. As I said, I have not driven one; but already heard rave reviews about it. Do a test drive and decide. It may not be as cheap as the Lancer to maintain, but the drive and ride feel you get is on a whole another level.

  16. Kindly advise friends!

  17. Many thanks for your inputs Vivek… will keep these in mind. 🙂

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