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Sydney show: Renault’s Euro-priced Megane hatch

Edgy: Megane II will go on sale in Australia in December.

Renault announces full pricing and spec for its overdue Megane small car

21 Oct 2003

RENAULT Australia used the Sydney motor show to announce full pricing and specifications of its long-awaited small car, the Megane II hatch.

Originally due on sale in September, strong demand in Europe has seen the 2003 European Car of the Year delayed at least three months.

While three and five-door hatch models will go on sale in December, a multitude of Megane bodystyles are set to arrive next year, including the four-door sedan, a coupe-convertible, five and seven-seater Scenic models and the three-door Renault Sport Megane first shown at the Frankfurt show.

Priced from $25,990 and expected to comprise 50 per cent of Renault Australia’s sales volumes, Megane’s premium pricetag will see it compete directly with all-new Astra and Golf models from Holden and Volkswagen respectively in 2004.

Three five-door models and a single-specification three-door will be offered from December, comprising two engines and two transmissions. Both the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines offer variable inlet valve timing, with the 1.6 producing 83kW at 6000rpm and 152Nm of torque at 4200rpm.

The 2.0 delivers 98.5kW at 5500rpm and 191Nm of torque at 3750rpm, and a four-speed Proactive transmission with sequential manual gear selection is available on all models for $2200. The single 1.6-litre model comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, while the 2.0-litre models score a six-speed manual.

First up is the 1.6 Authentique five-door, priced at $25,990 in five-speed manual form. The base model features air-conditioning, height/reach-adjustable steering wheel, trip computer, six-speaker audio, keyless entry and starting, automatic headlights, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, “smart” rear wiper and front underfloor storage.

On the safety front, all Meganes will come standard with twin front and side airbags plus side curtain airbags, ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, front/outer rear seatbelt pretensioners, seatbelt force limiters for all occupants, five lap/sash seatbelts and five adjustable head restraints.

Next up is the 2.0-litre Dynamique five-door, priced at $31,990 for the six-speed manual. It adds climate control, leather-bound steering wheel and gearknob, body-coloured door mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

A second 2.0-litre five-door, the Dynamique LX, is said to add $3000 of luxury features – including full leather trim and 17-inch alloys - and is priced at $34,990.

The three-door 2.0-litre Megane Sport Hatch is available only in Dynamique LX specification, refecting the five-door’s standard kit but adding twin front anti-submarining bags up front - and will be available for $33,990 in six-speed manual guise.

Both Dynamique LX models will be available with an optional panoramic sunroof, priced at $1990, and while metallic paint is one fo the few remaining options, Renault will offer only one non-metallic paint for Australian Meganes.

Renault hopes to sell 150 Meganes per month, with a 60 per cent split biased towards Dynamique models and 80 per cent of the range expected to be bought by private customers. Along with five new Megane variants to go on sale here next year, Renault also hopes to offer turbo-diesel power in its Megane and Laguna ranges in the medium term.

* Renault also announced it will import the Espace people-mover during the second half of 2004, while Trafic, Master and Kangoo commercial vehicles will also be made available here next year.

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