1996 Renault Megane Coupe 1.6


The French Nightmare - not for reliability, but for adventure


To make the story short, this vehicle has caused me lots of problems and tons of headache. And not only me, but also my friends.

For example, last weekend, I was coming back from a hunting trip from Heinävesi, Finland, as -all of a sudden- I saw the warning light for the battery. This was a bit unexpected, as I had just replaced all the belts in the engine compartment, and the battery was rather new.

Well, after a short moment of theoretical pondering, we decided to continue our trip towards Helsinki. This is where the French Nightmare struck us... One by one, we witnessed the loss of all electronics, including airbags, speedometer, windscreen wipers etc. It could have been acceptable in good weather conditions in the middle of the day, but it was a stormy, dark night in the middle of nowhere.

Hence, our first priority was to get us back to Helsinki, which was -at that point- only a 150 km away. Little by little, we lost all the remaining electronics, incl. all lights. This forced us to use flashlights as driving lights and warning lights for the people behind us. The engine was still okay though...

Finally, about 5 minutes after losing the power steering, the engine decided to quit. This left us in complete darkness, in rain, inside this french masterpiece, next to a highway.

So, after 280 000, expect minor electrical issues with your Renault Megane...

General Comments:

What can I say - it's French. Take it for adventure - not for reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st September, 2010

21st Sep 2010, 23:14

Was it your alternator?

2005 Renault Megane Sedan 1.4 16v


A low budget luxury car


Ignition coils replaced at 70000 km. This is typical for Meganes. Really frustrating when driving in a rush hour and your engine starts to jerk and the dashboard lights blink like a wild Christmas tree.

The hood got stuck at 80000 km. No big deal, car service added some grease.

All brake discs + pads replaced at 88000 km. This costs a lot of money...

Changed and pressured the AC fluids at a car service at 99000 km when the car was four and a half years old. Not sure whether this was necessary, since the fluid loss was only 15%.

Airbag + service light appear simultaneously every now and then for no reason whatsoever. Annoys me, but no big deal, since the last time was five months ago.

The CDs get stuck inside the player every now and then, although they will eject eventually, sometimes after months... How about that...

Some weird minor rasping noise behind the wheel when turning, but it doesn't seem to have an effect on anything, and it hasn't gone any worse since it first appeared six months ago, so I guess it's not a major problem.

Summer tyres (from 2005, I think) are soon worn out.

General Comments:

The performance, 98 hp, is excellent for two persons maximum, but not necessarily for a larger family.

Fuel consumption always between 6 and 7.4 litres for 100 km. Very economical.

Very comfy, sporty and spacious car. The backseat legroom is enormous, much bigger than for example in a Citroen C5.

The steering is sometimes a bit too light, but you'll get used to it in time.

Most of the problems I have had so far, appeared pretty soon after I purchased this car, but the last seven months have been just great.

If you buy a Megane II, make sure you get a decent warranty, at least a year, as I did.

You can open the electric windows only when the engine is running. Pretty insane design, huh...

Remember to replace new batteries to the car keys every now and then.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd July, 2009

19th Apr 2010, 07:52

>>You can open the electric windows only when the engine is running. Pretty insane design, huh...

It's me again... This must be a coding error, since the windows open normally in other people's Meganes'.

15th Jul 2010, 01:06

Once again, it's me, the Finnish dude. The last year, from 95 000 km till 125 000 km with my Megane have been just great, no faults whatsoever. Be patient with your Megane; after the typical faults have been repaired, the car works like a dream.

4th Apr 2012, 01:42

Me again, the Finn. It's been nearly two years, and 35 000 km since my last review of this car, which I still own. The car has been a dream, no problems whatsoever from 90 000 to 160 000 km. Just remember to follow the car's maintenance schedule; for example, it might be a good thing to replace the car battery (which I did) when the car reaches the age of 5-7 or so, and visit the air-conditioning service at least once etc...

Hope this is helpful to someone.

9th Apr 2012, 05:47

Very good review, nice follow up and a lot of useful details.

I am also considering buying a Renault, and I think that the French car manufacturer is making quality cars at a very good price.

Most of the other car manufacturers seem to have forgotten about decent priced vehicles (even Kia seems to go up with their price range).

P.S: I think the 1.4 16v Renault engine is really among the best 1.4 engines. I have a co-worker who has a lot of issues with a 1.4 FSI Volkswagen Golf. It consumes a lot of oil, and he has already changed its 3rd exhaust sensor (none of the sensor exchange was covered by warranty). He has also changed the ignition coils once.