I recently had the pleasure of loaning a friend's snazzy champagne coloured Renault Megane 1.6 for a pleasant drive down Durban's North Coast. Having recently driven the Renault Sandero United 1.6 this proved to be the perfect opportunity to compare two Renault's from different classes and to see just what the difference between the two is.
The first thought that crossed my mind when seeing the Megane was how much prettier it is than the aforementioned Sandero. Although its unique appearance is not loved by all, the Renault Megane just looks like a much more upmarket car, as rightly it should. The interior of the car is also much slicker and it certainly has more features. The Megane is also very spacious inside, which was surprising to me as I really had expected the Sandero to take the cake here, however I did have to remind myself that this is a different class of vehicle, one where space is a lot more readily available.
After figuring out how to start the vehicle with the newer key card system, I was off, and it was in the drive that the Renault Megane really outshone its cheaper counterpart. The Meganes ability to accelerate far outshone that of the Sandero, whether from stationary or in motion. It also suffered less from the Air Conditioner being switched on, which on a hot Durban day was an absolute must. For the better part of the journey I was not even aware that the air con was on, such is the difference in power. The drive was also a lot smoother at higher speeds, and it was very quickly apparent that this was a performance machine. The brakes too where crisper and once or twice I was "fortunate" enough to have to put them to the test.
All round the Megane just felt like the better Renault. This was too be expected as it is the more expensive vehicle, but does it justify the price difference? Certainly, my experience in the Megane felt completely different to that of the Sandero, and for all their similarities, it definitely felt like I was driving a much more upmarket vehicle. I even felt proud standing next to the vehicle, half expecting people to notice me as someone of consequence.