Megane drop-top bold and stylish

IAIN DOOLEY checks out Renault's stylish Megane drop-top.Engines - Wanting a taste of open air motoring doesn't mean sacrificing the practical stuff, which is why you can choose from both diesel and petrol motors.

IAIN DOOLEY checks out Renault's stylish Megane drop-top.

Engines - Wanting a taste of open air motoring doesn't mean sacrificing the practical stuff, which is why you can choose from both diesel and petrol motors.

The best plan is to opt for the most powerful you can afford; petrol units are quiet and willing while the diesels are more frugal but not as refined.

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Exterior - Right from the start this Megane divided opinion. The convertible is no different, what with its angular styling and pronounced boot deck. With the roof down it does look good, and the metal folding hard-top stays true to the Megane silhouette when raised.

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Interior - It's all very familiar inside the Megane CC, which shouldn't come as a surprise to Renault fans. A VW Golf might have the upper hand quality-wise, but the Megane's cabin is functional and practical with enough room and covered storage space to satisfy demanding owners.

Driving - It's obvious that the Megane CC's focus is more towards comfort than out-and-out performance.

The car's plush ride and, roof up or down, refinement ensure that even the longest of journeys are despatched with ease. And in reality the diesel engines prove quiet enough even with the roof down - something that couldn't be said of such combinations only a few years ago.

Ownership - Choose wisely and a well-equipped car can be had for a modest sum.

Offering an all-weather drop-top experience, the metal roof delivers protection from the elements and the opportunist thief. Visibility could be better with the roof up, although the roof down experience is very pleasant indeed.

What to look for - A tired or faulty roof mechanism should have you looking elsewhere. Ditto for evidence of water staining in the cabin - could it be from a leaky roof? Don't forget the regular stuff such as kerbed wheels, parking dents and electrical gremlins. A thorough test drive is, like a detailed service history, essential.

Model history - 2003, Renault launches a convertible version of its popular Megane hatchback. The Coupe-Cabriolet boasts a powered metal folding hard-top and a two-plus-two seating arrangement. Generous equipment levels and good quality petrol and diesel engines round off the range. 2006 saw a thorough revision programme.

Reasons to buy - bold looks, folding metal roof convenience, good quality engines, affordable.

Reasons to beware - durability could be better, low power engines, styling splits opinion.

Pick of the range - Megane Coupe Cabriolet 1.9 dCi Dynamique 150.

What to pay - 2006 06 �7,750; 2006 56 �8,050; 2007 07 �8,875; 2007 57 �9,250; 2008 08 �10,525; 2009 58 �11,475; 2009 09 �12,050; 2010 59 �13,050. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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