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Renaultsport Megane III: Buying guide and review (2009-2016)

Renaultsport Megane III: Buying guide and review (2009-2016) Classic and Performance Car
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The previous generation had gone out on a high with the hardcore R26.R, so it was hardly surprising that the first of the new RS Megane IIIs, the 250, should feel a tad polite by comparison, even in Cup form with its firmer suspension and limited-slip diff. In fact, the new RS Megane was another fine machine, with a fizzing turbo engine and a chassis of rare talents. The 250 and the variants that followed would quickly emerge from the R26.R’s shadow and now, with production at an end, it’s the perfect time to assess these brilliant all-rounders as a second-hand buy. 
At launch there was the £21,995 250 Cup and, for a grand more, the better-equipped Sport (keyless go, climate control, electric leather seats, etc). But the Cup was the one. As well as the LSD, it had bespoke dampers, chunkier anti-roll bars, uprated Brembos, and Michelin Pilot Sport 2s in place of the Sport’s Dunlop Sport Maxx TTs (or Conti SportContact5s if you specced the 19in wheels – a £500 option). Just to confuse things, you could also spec a Sport with the Cup chassis plus Recaro front seats for £1950. Since the Recaros were otherwise an £850 option, that was pretty good value.

Which Megane RS to buy?

All of the hot Megane IIIs – 250, 265 and 275 – used versions of the 1998cc turbo four-cylinder ‘F4Rt’ engine (no sniggering at the back), carried over from the Megane II. The figure in each car’s name refers to the power output. So the 250 had 250 PS, or 247bhp in old British money, enough to take it from 0 to 60mph in 6.1sec and on to the far side of 150mph.
The 265 Trophy of 2011 was noteworthy for setting a new front-drive lap record at the Ring (8min 8sec, eclipsing the 8min 16.9sec set by the R26.R). Increasing the boost liberated an extra 14bhp, and the Trophy featured the Cup chassis plus 19in Speedline alloys and Bridgestone RE050As. The £27,820 Trophy was a limited edition of 500, just 50 of which came to the UK, but the £24,825 265 Cup was basically the same car and there are plenty of those around.
The 265 was succeeded by the 275. The £23,935 Cup-S was particularly good value, but the ultimate evolutions were the £28,930 275 Trophy and £36,430 Trophy-R, both released in 2014. The latter was a son-of-R26.R trackday special that set a new Ring record of 7min 54sec. Going out on a high, again…

Performance and specs

Engine In-line four-cylinder, 1998c, turbo
Power 247bhp @ 5500rpm 
Torque 251lb ft @ 3000rpm 
Transmission Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive, LSD
0-60mph 6.1sec
Top speed 156mph (claimed)

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2636mm
Length 4299mm
Width 1848mm
Height 1435mm
Weight 1387kg

Common problems

• The turbo engine was essentially carried over from the RS Megane II, so it’s well known to all the specialists. It’s a tough engine, and even tuned examples give few problems if they’re serviced on time. 
• It’s critical the cambelt is replaced at six years or 72,000 miles, so early cars are now becoming due. It’s a labour-intensive job – Rentech charges £675, which Includes the water pump and auxiliary belts, too – but the alternative is a potentially engine-wrecking failure. 
• From 2012 these cars had a four-year warranty from new, so any remaining balance is well worth having.
• At the minute there are few recurring issues with either the gearbox or the limited-slip diff fitted to cars with the Cup chassis. Clutch life is, as always, dependent on how the car’s been driven, but in normal use it should be good for up to 60,000 miles. 
• On higher-mileage cars, listen out for knocks and clonks from the front suspension on the test drive. Swivel-hub ball-joints are a weakness and potentially a costly one, as it’s usually the whole hub assembly that gets changed: these cost around £250 each from Renault – though cheaper aftermarket alternatives are now available
• Brake discs are around £300 a pair – including labour, you’re looking at around a grand to replace a full set of discs and pads, so check they’ve plenty of life in them, or use it as a bargaining tool. 
• Tyre condition is also well worth checking, as good replacements will cost £150+ per corner.
• These Meganes are not yet old cars – in fact with a polish most could pass for being brand new off the forecourt – so there are no major rust issues as yet. You’re mainly checking here for any signs of accident repairs – uneven panel gaps, mismatched paint on adjacent panels, etc.
• Inside, the materials are a cut above the previous generation, but the cars are not immune from occasional dashboard rattles or squeaks from the door seals. The outer bolsters on the seats do wear, particularly on the Recaros – leather versions are better here. 
• The electrics are generally reliable (even the electric window regulators!) but check the daytime running lights, the tyre pressure monitoring system if it’s fitted, and also the condition of the keycard, which is a not insignificant £180 if you have to order a replacement from Renault.

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• renaultsport.co.uk – Official community 
• meganesport.net – Megane club
• ren-tech.co.uk – Specialist
• k-tecracing.com – Specialist
• rstuning.co.uk – Specialist
• diamondmotors.co.uk – Specialist
• k-tecracing.com – Tuning specialist

Summary and prices

Higher-mileage 250s have just started to drop below £10k, but generally you’re looking at £11k-13k for a 2010/11 car with low to average miles. £13k is the starting point for 265 Cups, with £14k-15k bringing in 2013 cars with high specs and low miles. £17k-18k will get you a 2014 car, £20k-22k an end-of-line 275 Cup, or with a little more, a 275 Trophy. There are still a few delivery-mile 275s at around £25k; the super-rare Trophy-R is £28k+.
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Last updated: 5th Oct 2016
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Renault Megane
3495 19499 GBP

    £11,795 £11,795

    Genuine car, Very nice example in excellent condition,

    • Mileage: 45000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
    £11,795 £11,795
    Augustus Autos
    07912 886415 View contact number