With the Volkswagen Group launching the new Golf, Octavia, and Leon this year, Renault wants to make sure its Megane lineup remains fresh and competitive in Europe’s crowded compact segment. The company with the diamond logo is not wasting any time and is introducing today the mid-cycle facelift for the model’s entire family. That’s right – everything from the base model all the way up to the R.S. Trophy.
A quarter of a century and seven million cars later, the Megane is entering the second phase of its fourth generation with some mild cosmetic tweaks only a diehard Renault fan will likely notice right away. The most obvious change is noticeable at the front where the headlights now employ a full-LED setup even on the base model to improve visibility by 30 percent compared to halogen headlights. It’s the same story with the fog lights and taillights as all of them use light-emitting diodes.
Gallery: 2020 Renault Megane facelift lineup
Subtle changes to the upper and lower grilles are also visible, along with a discreetly modified front bumper. From the third trim level upwards, Renault will slap on some chrome accents to make the 2020 Megane look more upscale. Other notable changes include fresh 16- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs and three coats of paint – Highland Grey, Baltic Grey, and Solar Copper.
Stepping inside the cabin, the 2020 Megane welcomes a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster complemented by a 9.3-inch touchscreen that continues to be arranged in portrait mode. Renault also went to the trouble of updating the centre console by making some minor changes to the climate controls for better ergonomics. A rimless rearview mirror is also part of the deal, but only if you go for the third trim level or higher. Rounding off the changes are the addition of a new upholstery from the second trim level and up, along with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat on the fancier versions.
Bigger changes have occurred underneath the skin where the facelift comes along with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Carrying the “E-Tech” suffix in the same vein as the electrified Clio and Captur, the PHEV Megane uses a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, two electric motors, an automatic transmission, and a 9.8-kWh battery pack. The Megane E-Tech can run solely on electric juice for 30 miles (50 kilometres) at speeds of up to 85 mph (135 km/h) per WLTP’s mixed cycle or as much as 40 miles (65 km) in the city.
The conventionally powered models rely on the familiar 1.3 TCe petrol engine available in different states of tune: 115, 140, and 160 metric horsepower. New for 2020, an eco-friendly 100-hp engine is added to the range and is hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox, much like the 115-hp variant. Step up to the 140-hp mill and you’ll be able to get an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is the sole gearbox available for the beefier 160-hp unit.
On the diesel side, the facelifted Megane has cleaner 1.5-litre Blue dCi engines with either 95 hp or 115 hp and a choice between the manual and automatic transmissions depending on the unit.
Moving higher in the hierarchy, the GT Line is now a thing of the past as it’s being replaced by the R.S. Line. Like its predecessor, it’s essentially a styling package for those who can’t quite make the financial effort and get the full-fat R.S. or R.S. Trophy.
Speaking of which, the 2020 Megane R.S. gets 296 bhp as standard or an extra 20 bhp more than before. Torque has been bumped by 30 Nm (22 lb-ft) to a healthy 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) for the model equipped with the dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Go for the manual trans and you’ll get 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) or 10 Nm (7 lb-ft) more than before. It effectively means both R.S. versions now come with identical power outputs.
Another important change is the addition of a mechanical valve for the exhaust system to manually modify the engine’s soundtrack.
The range-topping Megane R.S. Trophy gets the same styling revisions inside and out as the lesser members of the range, along with the new tech and optional Recaro seats exclusive to this version.
Renault will have the revised Megane lineup available in Europe from summer.