Motor Mouth: The Renault Megane Sport Tourer

I tested the 'TomTom edition' Renault Megane Sport Tourer for five days, but couldn't recall a thing about it.

by Sathnam Sanghera
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

You've probably been there: massive shopping-centre car park; five in the afternoon; exhausted family in tow; and a total inability to remember where you left your car. But imagine how more acute the problem is when you're a motoring correspondent and can't recall what car you're driving, let alone where you parked it. And imagine the stress if the car you're testing is the Renault Megane Sport Tourer, the most singularly forgettable car in the history of motoring.

I'd been driving it for five days, had covered some 700 miles in it, and held a key in my hand informing me it was a Renault, yet, standing in Dudley's Merry Hill shopping centre and blinking at a sea of family cars, I couldn't for the life of me remember what it looked like, how it felt to drive or how to describe the passably made, poorly-powered diesel estate to someone who might be able to help.

A problem clearly shared by the manufacturer, as the model I was given was called, of all things, the 'TomTom edition'. To name a vehicle after a satellite navigation system you can buy for a couple of hundred quid is like naming a baby after the brand of shoes it's wearing, or the wing of a hospital after the man who fitted the doorknobs.

The desperation of the people behind the car can also be sensed in the press pack, in which the poor authors, having done what they can to rave about the car's 'elegant styling with raked rear screen, dynamic stance and curved two-part rear light clusters', decide to major on the car's... storage capabilities. So we learn that the glovebox offers nine litres of storage. That there's a six-litre cubby in the centre armrest. That there are 25 litres of stowage throughout the cabin, that with the rear seats in place, the volume is 486 litres, and if you fold the 60/40-split folding rear seats down in a neat one-step action, there's up to 1,567 litres available, among the best in the car's market segment.

I used to think my appetite for car nerdery was insatiable. In the past, I've managed to get excited about windscreen wipers, and could talk for hours about longitudinal roof bars. But I draw the line at storage. It's like seeing the Pyramids for the first time and remarking on the path that leads to the entrance. Don't care. Don't care. Don't care.

In case you're interested, I did eventually find the car, after 20 minutes of walking around. And the security guard who helped us left me with a tip I strongly recommend observing if you purchase this vehicle: stick tinsel to your aerial so you can spot it straight away in a car park.

I'll take one...
Lots of storage.
Thanks but no thanks...
Utterly unmemorable

SPECIFICATION
Renault Megane Sport Tourer: £18,940
Engine: 1.5 litre diesel
Combined power: 106 hp at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 240 Nm at 2,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Fuel: 62.8 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2: 120 g/km
0-62 mph: 11.2 secs
Top speed: 118 mph

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