Renault has confirmed that the honourable combustion Mégane will be bowing out after 27 years in production, as first reported by Autocar.
The Renault Mégane is a household car name. There have been four generations encompassing hatchbacks and estate bodies (saloons outside the UK too), sporting history, and some mega sales volumes too.
But in the current climate of crossovers and electrification, the Mégane has sadly found it hard to keep up. In 2004, 465,778 Méganes were sold globally, while only 793 cars were sold in the UK in 2021, according to Autocar figures. This is some 21,007 units fewer than the rival Ford Focus, and 29,407 units fewer than the Volkswagen Golf.
The Mégane has been dominant in the family car arena for almost three decades, and there have been many highs – not least the iconic 'Shaking That Ass' advert to promote the second generation in 2004. It was an advertising sensation and helped cement Fat Boy Slim’s remix of Groove Armada’s 'I See You Baby' as a cult classic, along with the car itself, which became a globally-recognisable sets of four wheels.
The Mégane has been a staple five-door family car, prioritising a comfortable drive, a huge boot, safety technology and cost-efficient engines. In the UK, one version has by far been the most popular: the Mégane RS. This hot-hatch is one of the fastest front-wheel drives and is highly regarded for its handling, responsiveness and brilliant combination of excitement and comfort. We always have a little drool when we see the Mégane Sports that come through our online showroom.
So, what does the future bring for the Mégane? A successor has emerged in the form of a crossover. As hatchbacks with extra height, crossovers are taking the auto world by storm, and Renault has decided that the electric Mégane E-Tech is the next logical step.
It’s a small family EV with two battery options and the latest tech, all at a reasonable price. It seems Renault believes this car will recapture the imaginations of the eco-friendly drivers of today – and we are ready for this new French dawn.
By Freda Lewis-Stempel