As the inventor of the compact MPV, the Scénic, and latterly with its entry into the crossover market, the Kadjar, Renault has benefitted from some of these changes, but its Mégane has suffered from pretty much every single one of the headwinds listed above, as well as some spectacularly wrong-headed management decisions.
The result is that Mégane simply isn't on most folk's shopping lists and that includes the estate version, a market dominated by shooting-break derivatives of Ford's Focus, Vauxhall's Astra, Volkswagen's Golf, Škoda's Octavia and lately, Seat's Leon ST.
Last year, however, we had to rewrite the shopping list as Renault's mark IV Mégane went on sale with a combination of attractive and sophisticated looks and a well-equipped, comfortable cabin. The hatchback went on sale last summer, the estate on November 1st.
It's based on Renault-Nissan's Compact Modular Front Drive (CMF C/D) platform, which is shared with the Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai. The front suspension is McPherson strut, with a torsion-beam rear. Four engines are offered on the estate: a 128bhp, 1.2-litre; and 202bhp, 1.6-litre turbo petrol; and a 1.5-litre turbo diesel delivering 108 or 128bhp. We are expecting a more powerful diesel sometime this year. As well as the standard six-speed manual transmission, there's a dual-clutch semi-automatic with six or seven speeds depending on the engine.