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The Renault Mégane is a small family car produced by the French automaker Renault since 1995. It is offered in 3- and 5-door hatchback, saloon, coupé, convertible and station wagon bodystyles. The Renault Scénic (launched 1996) is the first modern compact MPV to be built in Europe, and is based on the Mégane floorpan.

Renault Mégane I (1995-2002)

The Mégane I was unveiled in the autumn of 1995, as a replacement of the Renault 19. The car was essentially a reskin of its predecessor, and carried over the 19's floorpan, engines, transmissions and chassis design, albeit with much modification. Taking its name from a Renault concept car shown in 1988, the Mégane further developed the new corporate styling theme introduced by Patrick Le Quément on the Laguna, most notably the "bird-beak" front grille - a styling cue borrowed from the legendary Renault 16 of the 1960s. As with the 19 and the 11 before it, the Mégane was produced in Renault's Douai plant in northern France, and in the Spanish plant of Palencia.

1997 saw the introduction of the Mégane Scénic compact MPV.

Power came from the Renault E-type ("Energy") engine in 1.4 L, 1.6 L, 1.8 L, and the F-type unit in both 1.9 L diesel and 2.0 L petrol form, although this time around there was a wider variety of 16-valve derivatives. A 1.9 L diesel engine in both normally aspirated and turbocharged forms was also available.

Phase 2 (1999-2002): A mild facelift in 1999 gave the Mégane I a modified grille, more advanced safety features and upgraded equipment, and the 16-valve engines were used across the range. It is still being produced by Renault Argentina, where it is sold alongside the Megane II line at a considerably lower price.

Phase 3 (2002-2008): In Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia the original Megane is still available. It features the LA04 engine (16 valve, 1.6 liters and 115 hp), and is produced by both Renault Colombia and Argentina, in where it is one of the best-selling cars to date. It is a car with more advanced safety features, upgraded equipment and more. The Mégane I costs less than the Mégane II. Both remain available.
Renault Mégane II (2002-present)

The Mégane II was launched in 2002,[1] and marked a completely fresh start. The two cars bear very little resemblance, the new vehicle having been inspired by the manufacturer's new style first seen in the Avantime. The enormous success of the Mégane across Europe proved that Renault's new bold styling was a winning formula and the subsequent failure of the Avantime to sell in great numbers can be attributed to its unusual market placement (coupe-MPV crossover) rather than its styling. The new Mégane was voted European Car of the Year for 2003, and achieved a 5-star safety rating in the EuroNCAP crash tests,[2] the first small family car to do so.

Mégane II and the Laguna were both showcases for a great deal of innovative technologies Renault launched at the beginning of the 2000s; the Renault Card keyless ignition system, standard on the Mégane II, was a first in this class and has since been widely adopted. Similarly, the option of a panoramic glass sunroof is another area in which Renault led where others followed.

In Brazil, Renault launched a flex-fuel version, called "Hi-Flex", which is able to run either with unleaded gasoline (petrol) or ethanol. Like the Brazilian Scénic and Clio versions, the Mégane's engine can work with any mix of gasoline and ethanol, due to the use of an electronic control module. The flex version has a 16V 110 hp (115 hp with ethanol) 1.6-liter engine developed and produced in Brazil, but the 2.0-liter version does not allow ethanol use, because its engine is made in France.

RenaultSport (RS) versions of the 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks were introduced, equipped with a turbocharged petrol 2.0 L 16v engine producing 225 hp (168 kW). Along with the engine, changes were made to the front and rear suspension geometry to improve handling, and the model features a deeper, wider front bumper. The Mégane Renault Sport competes in the hot hatch segment of the market.

As with the previous Mégane, the range of models is extremely wide; there is a three and five door hatchback available, named "Sport Hatch" and "Hatch" respectively, there is a 4-door saloon/sedan (Sport Saloon), a five-door estate (Sport Tourer / Grandtour), and to replace both the Mégane Coupe and Convertible, a new retractable hardtop

The Coupé-Cabriolet features an innovative folding glass roof mechanism built by Karmann and has become a cult car in its own right, with several owners' clubs. Although up against increased competition from other volume manufacturers also launching their own CCs, the Mégane is still considered to be one of the most attractive, especially its elegant silhouette with the roof down.

It has sold very well in Britain, being the nation's fourth most popular car in 2005 and fifth most popular in 2004 and 2006. In 2007, however, it dipped to eighth place with just over 55,000 examples being sold. [1]

Phase 2 (2006-2008)

The model was revised in 2006, with changes in interior trim, specification levels and most notably, a new front nose. A new front suspension system borrowed from the Mégane 2.0 225 PS (222 hp/165 kW) was adopted improving even more the driving performance of the Renault Mégane.[3] Also, the new NISSAN Sentra is based on the 2006 platform of the Renault Megane.

Mégane III (2008)

The third generation of Mégane is due for a launch in late 2008 to keep the range competitive with newer rivals including the Fiat Bravo and Peugeot 308.

In March 2008, it is presented under the form of a concept car in Geneva, the Renault Mégane Coupé Concept