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Renault Megane (1996-2002)

  By Richard Dredge
Left quote
Renault has worked hard to build a reputation for building safe cars, and the Megane is one of the safest vehicles in its class. It's generally good to drive too, but unfortunately the Megane's reliability isn't so great. However, there are plenty of bodystyles to choose from and lots of examples to go round.
Right quote
Key Dates
4/96: Megane launched as five-door hatch or three-door coupé.
12/96: Saloon on sale, badged Megane Classic.
6/97: Four-seater Cabriolet and two-seater Roadster reach showrooms.
1/98: 1.9dTi turbodiesel replaces earlier 1.9TD.
4/99: Phase II Megane on sale, with restyled nose and tail plus better instrumentation.
7/00: 1.8-litre 16-valve petrol engine now available.

Renault Megane (1996-2002) Checklist

  • Flywheel sensor cable connector fails, immobilising the car.
  • Stalling at junctions and at low revs, and uneven running might be due to a poor earth on the engine block.
  • Check clutch is healthy; engine has to come out to replace it.
  • Heater matrixes leak, so check for damp footwells and weird electrical faults.
  • Automatic gearboxes sometimes unreliable, so check its operation.
  • Cold running problem with some 1.4 and 1.6 16v engines which run over lean on start up to reduce CO2 output and as a result run roughly.
  • Sharp edge of diesel engine soundproofing cover can cut through fuel pump wiring loom.
  • Coils fail; all four should be replaced if originals are still fitted.
  • Drive can be lost on manual cars when a circlip on the driveshaft falls out; it's a simple fix.
We Like
Spacious
Safe
Good ride/handling
We Don't Like
Cramped rear of coupé
Uncertain reliability
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