The third-generation Renault Megane MK3 is the perfect example of a car for which you need to start gathering information by determining whether you want to buy a new one or a used one.
Why? As this model fails most of the tests and is rebuked for many things in it, the guides for those looking for a used car will do above average well. If someone does not distinguish between the test and the guide, he or she may be very confused.
The Renault Megane presented in 2008 is a model that in the compact class has always struggled to take a leading position in car tests. Rejected for the work of the chassis and not too spacious cabin, as well as the quality of materials and workmanship, it defended itself only with the price and large spaciousness of the station wagon.
I still argue that as a new car, only price and equipment can defend it, and Renault still offers this car, which is still waiting for a successor. Currently, it is offered with one of the two engines and costs a minimum of $14800. However, he is slowly leaving the stage.
Price is also an asset for used cars, which depreciate more than their German or Japanese competitors. The reason is mainly the brand, which is stereotypically associated as unreliable. It is true that the newer Renault models can still suffer from electronic faults and still have poorly made interiors, but mechanically they are extremely successful cars.
Read Also: Is Renault Megane MK2 1.5 dCi (2002-2008) a Reliable Car?
Renault Megane MK3 Characteristics and construction
The car was offered as a 5-door hatchback from the outset, and a year later a station wagon and a Coupé, which were essentially a 3-door hatchback, joined the offer. Later, a convertible and a sedan with a slightly different design and the name Fluence appeared.
Hatchbacks do not differ in size, but only in the width of the doors and the body in the rear part. The Grandtour station wagon, on the other hand, is significantly larger. It has a wheelbase of 271 cm, which is 7 cm more than the hatchback, and of course longer body.
This is why the hatchback is not the champion of rear seat spaciousness, and the Grandtour is a strong fighter in this respect, but the strongest Fluence remains the strongest. However, the trunks of both versions do not leave much to be desired. The 5-door hatchback has a capacity of 372–377 liters (depending on source), while the estate has 486 liters.
Only Fluence beats everyone with 530 liters of capacity. However, the size does not reflect the size of the Megane trunk, especially the hatchback and especially in terms of its width. The couch can be folded twice by folding the seats first, then the backrests.
And during these activities, you notice the biggest difference between Renault and the competition. The quality of workmanship in this area is not low, and even embarrassing. The low one can be found at the front on the dashboard and the panels as well as the central tunnel.
The dashboard has a rather specific shape and you can like it, and the set of clocks evokes mixed feelings. Many people criticize them for the inclination and digital speedometer, but I personally like it very much in every respect. Only the digital fuel gauge is hard to understand. Sometimes the fuel depletes surprisingly slowly, other times unexpectedly fast.
It is worth adding here that the poorest versions of Megane did not have a digital speedometer. It is also difficult to understand in some versions the lack of space for two cups for the front passengers.
In our opinion, one of the biggest disadvantages of this car is the suspension, of course it is about driving, not operating. It is dissonant and does not provide good driving characteristics. Fortunately, Renault has a non-detachable, highly sensitive stabilization control.
Can you count on comfort? Theoretically yes, because the suspension is soft, but due to the lack of harmony on large bumps at higher speeds, it is also not comfortable. The chassis design is very simple – a MacPherson strut at the front and a beam at the rear.
Renault Megane MK3 Engines
Renault Megane was offered with multiple engines. Successively some of them were replaced with engine of smaller capacity. Therefore, depending on the year, we can find both naturally aspirated gasoline engines with a capacity of 1.6 liters and supercharged engines from 1.2 to 1.4 liters. The latter were designated TCe.
In 2012, the 1.2 TCe engine with gasoline direct injection, which is still available today, debuted on the occasion of the first facelift. Along with this engine, the less popular 1.6 dCi diesel 130 HP was introduced to the offer. It replaced the larger 1.9 dCi and 2.0 dCi engine, and at the same time was a stronger alternative to the very popular and much cheaper 1.5 dCi, which is still on offer.
As you can see, the range of engines is quite large, and to sum up we have 1.6 16V, 1.2 TCe and 1.4 TCe petrol engines and the most powerful 2.0 TCe. The power range is from 110 HP to 190 HP. Diesels are 1.5 dCi, 1.6 dCi, 1.9 dCi and 2.0 dCi engines, and the power range is from 90 to 150 HP.
After the second facelift in 2014, a small inventory was again made and only 1.2 dCi and 1.5 dCi engine were offered. The 1.6 dCi engine was left for the station wagon, while the naturally aspirated petrol was for the Fluence.
In addition, the station wagon and coupé also have 220 hp supercharged petrol in the GT version. In this article we will discuss the most interesting, although rare 1.6 dCi engine, also known as the dCi 130. It is worth adding that this engine is still offered not only in Renault, but also in newer Nissan models.
Why the most interesting? Mainly because of the parameters. It has a power of 130 HP and 320 Nm of torque, so the parameters correspond to the larger and older 1.9 dCi engine. In addition, fuel consumption is impressively low.
When driving on the road, if the driver has a light leg, it can easily fit in 4 l / 100 km. It is difficult to exceed 6 l / 100 km in the city. In our test, the larger Renault Fluence with this engine consumed 4.5 l / 100 km in the combined cycle ! The last advantage of this engine is reliability.
What’s Common Fault on Renault Megane MK3?
- The 1.6 dCi engine relative to the 1.5 dCi is the same as the 2.0 dCi for the 1.9 dCi. Renault had a slip-up with the latter engines, where the rotating crankshaft bearings and problems with the injection system were a huge problem. The French have redeemed themselves by releasing their successors and, at the same time, one of the best engines in their class – if not the best. The 1.6 dCi engine is definitely at the forefront in every respect. Not only does it have good performance, it is also very polished.
- Interestingly, it is also a very technologically advanced engine, which theoretically should break down for a power. It is enough to mention two EGR valves (high and low pressure). The second valve is designed to clean the exhaust fumes that already come out of the DPF filter. From the valve, they are directed to the radiator, from where they go back to the engine after cooling.
- And this is the only area that is typically a failure on this engine, but the exhaust control throttle fails, not the EGR valve itself. In addition, it does not apply to every model, so we suspect that a lot depends on the way it is used. If that’s the end of the problems of this engine, how can you describe it if not as great?
- However, there are no problems with the DPF filter if it is properly operated, with a variable geometry turbocharger, an injection system based on piezoelectric injectors or a dual-mass wheel.
- Even the timing chain is particularly durable and maintenance-free, although it will certainly wear faster in city operation, as are the turbo, dual mass flywheel and diesel particulate filter. The service recommends changing the oil every 30,000. km, but we advise against such distances. It is enough if you change the oil every 15,000. km or once a year.
- The only thing you should watch out for are those with high mileage. At the moment, we do not know how the engine perform in cars imported with “mileage of 180,000. km “, while we know that up to the mileage of 200,000. km, basically nothing happens. For now, these are relatively young cars – the debut of this engine in 2012.
- On the other hand, Megane as a whole has a few years on the back of his neck and his ailments, but as it turns out, quite minor. You can’t complain about the anti-corrosion protection, and it’s worth knowing about the plastic front fenders.
- However, there are known cases of peeling varnish. However, some examples have a strange tendency to break the windshield. This mainly applies to older cars. Unfortunately, the interior wears out relatively quickly, which also makes it possible to distinguish worn-out models from those with really low mileage. They can break down or temporarily fail in equipment, such as the R-link multimedia system (younger engine) or the central locking.
- The suspension is simple and durable, consisting of a triangular wishbone at the front, a beam at the rear, and several elastics and fasteners. Only the latter are replaced regularly, but the low durability cannot be said. The soft chassis distorts the perception a bit and you don’t even feel a lot of play in the suspension.
- Both the bushings and the bolt can be replaced in the front rocker arm, while the problem is the connection of the rear wheel bearing with the brake disc, which makes the part at least twice as expensive as the competitors.
Renault Megane MK3 Operating costs, pricing and parts availability
The operating costs of the Renault Megane MK3 can be considered low, especially for the 1.6 dCi version. Staying with the suspension, you can find all replacements, and the prices of, for example, the front wishbones are so affordable that it is not necessarily worth the trouble of replacing pins and bushings. They start from $55 and they are not changed very often.
However, for a set of bushings and a pin for one rocker, we will pay about $35 and you still need to find a workshop that will want to rivet the pin and squeeze and press the bushings, and will not always do it well. On the other hand, the purchase of a brake disc combined with a bearing is a considerable expense. You will pay over $95 for a febi bilstein product.
There is not a large selection of replacements for this part. Fortunately, the general availability of parts for this model is very good, and the replacement market is well-developed. Many parts are interchangeable with Nissan cars.
Only repairs of the 1.6 dCi engine, if it is worn out, can be risky from the buyer’s point of view. The suspension is serviced like any other, and the electrics are handled by mechanics and electricians in typical workshops. The car has no secrets and mishaps that could be called a trap.
Renault Megane MK3 Market situation
The Renault Megane MK3 market of US and UK origin is primarily fleet cars, and if you are interested in buying the 1.6 dCi version, I have good and bad news for you. T
he good thing is that it wasn’t a popular version in fleets – clearly more expensive than 1.5 dCi. The bad news is the relatively small supply of this version. On the other hand, in general, about Renault Megane, it can be said that many cars come from US and UK showrooms.
Megane MK3 can be purchased for less than $4485, and the prices end at around $13450 for well-equipped year 2014. However, you can find a car of this year for less than $11200, or a little more expensive, new in promotion at the dealer. There is no shortage of both body and engine versions, although diesels prevail.
Is it worth For Buying Renault Megane MK3?
Renault Megane MK3 is a decent car in terms of reliability and better than many German or Japanese if we take into account the economic factor, i.e. the purchase price of a used one and service costs.
This is a huge argument in favor of this car, but it is definitely not the leader in the compact segment when it comes to driving pleasure.
The 1.6 dCi engine is very good, which not only impresses with its performance, but also does not provide a strong experience in servicing up to a mileage of about 200,000. km. It is definitely a better and more reliable choice than 1.5 dCi or 1.9 dCi. Generally, therefore, I recommend the car.
* The description applies to the car from the entire production period and the engine from 2012, therefore the title may be misleading.