As the new Megane bows in, it’s time to take a look back at how things were done in 1995 when the first of the line began prowling the highways.
Aged well, hasn’t it? It’s very much a 1990’s car and at the same time wears its period style lightly. The modellers did a good job putting nuances on the metal around the middle bump strips and notice the subtle way the sill is curved upwards, with little flares at either end.
The engines range is delightfully straightfoward: 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litre petrols and a 1.9 diesel. You really know where you stand with that lot. The interior is also very well done too and while it does not toe the line in terms of outright sobriety, it manages to look utterly well-composed and, in my view, still pretty damn good.
The Astra, Focus and 306 estates ran this car close; you’d almost say it was a golden age of medium-sized estates if people really cared about medium-sized estates. If there is a category less sexy than medium-sized mainstream saloons its medium-sized mainstream estates. Nobody but nobody fancies these cars or thinks about them with their clothes off…
Nobody imagines them in charmingly fecund rural settings conveying people to remote rail-stations or to unspoiled picnic locations. These are working cars. These are the equivalent of the invisible cleaning lady. They are destined for a 12 year life or 192,000 miles, whichever comes first and then it’s down to the knacker’s yard for a quick death in the crusher. In the case of a pretty car like this, that’s a real underestimation of the design’s clever detailing and the usefulness of the package. And they are comfortable too. Does anyone need any more car than this?