The current Renault Megane took the market by storm when it was launched with its distinctive design and character including that famous “shaking that ass” rear end. For 2006 it has received the first “nip and tuck” facelift affecting five of the Megane bodystyles, namely the Hatch, Sport Hatch, Sport Saloon, Sport Tourer, Coupe-Cabriolet. The Scenic and Grand Scenic, which were launched after the rest of the range, remain unchanged.

On sale from 1 February 2006, fans of the shapely rear end will be relieved to know that has not changed, and many fans there are too, as the Megane range has been Europe’s best selling model now for three years including 2005.

New Megane’s facelift coincides with a revised range of engines, all of which are Euro 4-compliant. The diesel range has been expanded with the introduction of a high power 150hp version of the latest 2.0 dCi unit – the new market benchmark in performance and fuel consumption – as well as the inclusion of a periodic regeneration particulate filter for the 1.9 dCi unit, whose power output has been upped to 130hp. The New Megane diesel range has also been extended to include the award-winning 85hp and 105hp versions of the 1.5 dCi engine. The 105hp variant alone boasts the best power/fuel consumption/CO2 emissions ratio in its class.

In addition to the list of both new and proven diesel power plants, the choice of petrol engines available for New Megane stands out as one the most comprehensive on the market and extends from the 1.4 16V (100hp), the 1.6 16V (110hp), the 2.0 16V (135hp) and the 2.0T (165hp) to the 225hp 2.0 16V Turbo unit which powers Megane Renaultsport.

Megane’s innovative, attractive lines have evolved to feature an even more eye-catching frontal styling and a more modern design for the rear. New Megane also comes with a range of new technologies aimed at enhancing travelling comfort and driving pleasure.

The more refined, dynamic design of New Megane is aimed at establishing it as the benchmark in its segment. Its racy front end and muscular, robust lines exude an impression of strength and dynamism which is underpinned by the new design of the headlamps, grille and front bumper. The headlamps are more high-tech thanks to their elliptical modules, highlighting New Megane’s frontal styling. The car’s revised front end is further accentuated by the slightly more pronounced “V” of the grille which tops the redesigned front bumper. The more generously dimensioned air-intake and the protective housing have been re-penned to blend in even more harmoniously with the new front-end design. The foglamps are now located further towards the outside of the car, as on Megane Renaultsport.

Meanwhile, at the rear, the now translucent light clusters are the new lighting cues of New Megane Sport Hatch, Hatch and Megane Renaultsport, with parallel horizontal lines highlighting the car’s dynamic, modern looks. The styling of the rear lights of the Sport Saloon and Sport Tourer versions has also evolved. The design of the new bumper – which is unchanged in the case of Megane Renaultsport – has been refreshed by the inclusion of protective beading.

Inside, New Megane comes with a choice of upholstery available in new, even more refined colours.

Renault’s engineers have equipped New Megane with new functions aimed at further enhancing travelling comfort and driving pleasure, including parking proximity sensors, rain and light sensors, optimized climate control, “flat blade” windscreen wipers and an active carbon cabin filter. New Megane comes with the new-generation Carminat Navigation II System which is not only easier to use but which also features a bigger-capacity memory.

New Megane’s facelift coincides with a revised range of power plants, all of which are now Euro 4-compliant. The diesel range sees the introduction of the brand’s new flagship, the 150hp 2.0 dCi, the inclusion of a periodic regeneration particulate filter for the 1.9 dCi – the power output of which has been increased to 130hp – and a 5hp gain for the 1.5 dCi engines.

The new 2.0 dCi features the latest diesel technologies. Powerful, quiet-running, economical and clean, it is one of the most efficient engines in its category, delivering 150hp at 4,000rpm with torque of 340Nm at 2,000rpm. Combined with a new manual 6-speed gearbox, it offers a particularly wide speed range and a level of dynamic and sports performance rarely seen in its segment, while careful attention has also been paid to acoustic comfort. The engine accelerates from a standing start to 100kph in a best-in-class time of 8.7 seconds. The 150hp 2.0 dCi-powered New Megane is the most fuel-efficient car in its segment with consumption of just 5.4l/100km (combined cycle), which also represents the segment’s lowest CO2 emission value (144g/km).

The range of 1.9 dCi engines has been extended to include a new version whose power output has been increased to 130hp and which is now equipped with a periodic regeneration particulate filter. As an alternative to the 6-speed manual gearbox, it can also be coupled to Renault’s flick-shift, proactive 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Euro 4-compliant version of the 100hp 1.5 dCi diesel engine now delivers 105hp, while torque has been increased by 20% to 240Nm at 2,000rpm. Combined with 6-speed manual transmission, its fuel consumption is 4.7l/100km (combined cycle) with CO2 emissions of just 120g/km. The switch to Euro 4 compliance has also seen the power output of the 80hp 1.5 dCi increase by 5hp to 85hp.

The list of petrol power plants features five engines which are available in the different body types: 1.4 16V (100hp), 1.6 16V (110hp), 2.0 16V (135hp), 2.0T 16V (165hp) and Renaultsport 2.0T 16V (225hp) version.

New Megane stands out as a further example of Renault’s expertise in vehicle safety. Its driver aids ensure perfect control of the vehicle and help correct the vehicle’s trajectory in emergency situations. The level of passive safety is also remarkable, with both the Hatch and Coupe-Cabriolet versions obtaining a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

New Megane comes with a long list of driver aids which contribute to ensuring that the driver stays in control of his or her vehicle in an emergency. All versions come with the latest-generation 8.0 Bosch ABS, complete with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist which ensure that maximum use is made of the car’s braking power.

According to equipment level, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with understeer control is also available. This feature is complemented by ASR traction control and an engine torque overrun regulation function (MSR). Meanwhile, New Megane can be ordered with a tyre pressure monitoring system which is designed to detect slow punctures or incompatible tyre pressures.

The Megane Hatch was the first car of its category to be awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, while the Coupe-Cabriolet version continues to stand out as the only vehicle in its class to have obtained the same result.

New Megane is designed to ensure maximum protection in all the situations recorded by Renault’s accident research programme and the car features the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP III) which guarantees optimal protection for all passengers wherever they are seated. In addition, according to body type, New Megane is equipped with up to 10 airbags (according to equipment level), double pretensioners and load limiters.

Further details on the New Megane 2006 range, including insurance groups, pricing and specification will be available closer to launch, however, please note that the launch of New Megane 2006 does not affect the current Scenic and Grand Scenic models.