1996 Renault Megane Coupe 1.6 from Finland


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?

1996 Renault Megane Coupe 1.6e from UK and Ireland


Not too bad


Lost 1st and 2nd gear suddenly.

A friend attempted to jump my car, but put jump leads on wrong way round. Can't start the car and 'electronic incident warning light' stays on.

Seats have worn extremely badly.

Car gets wet inside in heavy rain storms.

Handbrake light stays on continuously.

General Comments:

The battery seemed to be flat for no reason - drove home one night, and had to pop back out minutes later, and the battery was flat by then.

Brilliant on fuel.

Cheap parts when needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th May, 2010

1996 Renault Megane RL 1.4e from Portugal


Good motoring for the value


The water pump broke down just one month after we bought the car, but was replaced under warranty. Apart from that, some minor exhaust problems, and not much else.

One thing noticed is that the rear brakes may lock if I leave the car and don't use it for more than a week or so. But as I will start using it daily after taking my test, it's not a problem.

General Comments:

Despite the low spec, it is a very good car. It's been in the family for 13 years, being very reliable, comfortable and safe.

The engine sometimes lacks some power, but instead doesn't give any problems at all.

The handling is good, and it has very good grip.

It's now 180k kilometers, and still running good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2009

16th Mar 2009, 16:19

My car has 218617km, the engine is impeccable.

1996 Renault Megane 16v Coupe 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Very cheap, very smart and very quick


Nothing too major, rusted exhaust which was due to age, rear pads and disks, & replacement temperature sender as the temp gauge stopped working.

General Comments:

The car looks great, it looks just nice and subtle, the 2.0 16v coupe does look pretty much the same as all the other phase 1 coupes, I personally like that, but some people prefer the quick model to stand out a bit from the rest of the range, but that's down to personal choice.

I have found it to be also very comfy in the front and very well specced. I have done long drives up and down the country, and I am always impressed with how comfy it is. The same can't be said for the back however, which is tiny, so if you plan to go somewhere with 4 adults, prepare for some moaning! The boot isn't too bad, but the opening to it is tiny; if you have got kids, you can only just about get a pushchair through it, or if you want a sub, getting a big 15" in is a bit of a nightmare!

However the best bit about the car is that it flies, as other people have said on here it doesn't look much different to the 1.6 (which is a nice car, but couldn't pull the skin of a rice pudding), so most people are surprised when you nail it. It also goes nice round bends, but it's a bit skittish in the wet. The brakes are good, but mine had bad brake fade, however I got some more expensive pads and now it's great. I quite often do journeys from the Midlands to Wales, and it's so much fun, it really puts a smile on your face!

It's also pretty cheap to run, especially now petrol has gone cheaper; on my usual run to work at normal motorway speeds and through a bit of traffic, I can get about 35-40 mpg, and insurance is pretty cheap too. Parts don't seem to be too expensive either, I do all the work myself and it's not too bad to work on, but under the bonnet it's a bit tight (but not as bad as a Bravo HGT!)

However Renaults as most people know have a reputation for poorer build quality than most rivals; from my experience with Renaults (and I have had a few) you get a few that literally fall apart, and ones which are fine that run and run for years, so you get a few which ruin the reputation of a good car. My advice would be that you don't buy the 1st one you see. If you're a bit skint and looking into the cheaper £500 to £600 mark, as long as you're legal to drive it, test drive a better one that's more expensive than you can afford so you have got something better to compare the cheaper one too, at least then you know if it's slow, doesn't handle or stop etc etc, and try and get something as standard as you can, as most of the cheap coupes have been ragged.

But as long as you're careful with which ones you buy, I really do think this car is fantastic. I have owned much more expensive and more modern cars, but this easily is the best car I have had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2009