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Renault puts the boot into Megane

Boots and all: The Renault Megane sedan will arrive next year, some time after the hatch that is likely to lob in September this year.

Megane sedan marks Renault’s replacement for unloved Fluence


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13 Jul 2016

SLOW sedan sales in the Australia’s small-car market have not deterred French car-maker Renault from putting its hand up for the new Megane sedan, revealed overnight.

The booted Megane replaces the slow-selling South Korean-sourced Fluence that sold in Australia from 2010 before being discontinued midway through last year.

The fourth-generation Megane is due on sale in Australia before the end of the year in hatchback guise, but wagon and sedan buyers will have to wait until 2017, according to Renault Australia corporate communications manager Melissa Cross.

“We’re aiming to have that (sedan) here in the first half of 2017, the hatch is due here late 2016 and the wagon is scheduled for the first half of 2017 as well,” she said.

“It’s a bit too early to tell if the wagon and sedan will arrive at the same time.” Ms Cross said the company was aiming for the highly anticipated hatch to roll into showrooms around September, but that it was yet to lock in an exact date.

Renault said the Fluence was popular with business buyers but the influx of SUVs had changed the small vehicle market.

“We see a lot of opportunity to provide a sedan in our market to reach a different buyer, sedan is still a substantial part of that segment.

“We are very interested in continuing to target business buyers with Renault generally and sedan in particular,” Ms Cross said.

The Fluence failed to make its mark on the Australian market, retailing 167 units in 2013 and 139 in 2014, to be outsold by the hatch in a ratio of more than 5:1 in 2013 and 2014 as well as having its tallies doubled by the wagon, before being pulled from sale at the end of that year.

Dwindling sales of the outgoing model would suggest it can’t come quick enough for Renault. So far this year it has sold 503 units, a 34.1 per cent drop on its 2015 performance to the same point.

Given its 2015 sales tally brand-wide reached 11,525 vehicles – the fifth consecutive year of growth for the brand in Australia and an increase of 15 per cent – the Megane small car represented just 1426 units, outsold by Clio, Captur and the Master commercial van and only beating the Koleos SUV by seven sales.

Among the incoming sedan’s attributes the brand will be hoping sparks sales interest is the new-look styling and a panoramic glass roof which Renault claims is unique to the segment.

The new four-door sedan is built on the Common Module Family (CMF) platform and wears the new-look Renault-family front end with the C-shaped front light signature.

Renault is laying claim to “top-level rear-seat spaciousness” as well as a boot size of 508 litres, accessed using the hands-free boot opening system.

Final specification is yet to be finalised but the features list is expected to include a 7.0-inch colour TFT digital instrument panel, an 8.7-inch multimedia tablet touchscreen infotainment R-Link 2 control unit, the driving mode control system Multi Sense’ a colour head-up display, auto-parking system and active safety features including advanced emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Powertrains are also yet to be locked in for Australia, but the sedan is available to the 20 global markets for which it is destined with two petrol or three diesel powerplants.

The petrol line-up starts with the SCe115, a 1.6-litre 86kW165Nm engine available with a five-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The TCe130 is powered by a smaller but more powerful 97kW/205Nm 1.2-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol engine (moving just over 1200kg) and is hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch EDC automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The three diesels are the 67kW/220Nm six-speed manual dCi 90, the dCi 110, available with 82kW and 250Nm with six-speed manual and twin-clutch auto transmission options, or the 97kW/320Nm six-speed manual only dCi 130.

The new Megane sedan will be built at Renault's plant in Bursa, Turkey, while the hatch will be sourced from Spain.

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