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					                                                                                                                                                                 Thursday, February 12, 2009                  27

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        HEN does a three-door
        become a coupe? Good
        question, that, because
when car makers take a five-door
                                                  FACT FILE            e Coupe
hatch and make a three-door                   Model: Renault Megan , from
                                              Dy namique 2.0 TCe 180
version of it, the result doesn’t
                                              £17,764 on the road.
sually warrant the more exotic title                                   unit
of coupe.                                     Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
                                              developing 180bhp.
Not so Renault’s latest generation                                     d manual
                                              Transmission: 6-spee rd, driving the
Megane. Even in five-door family-                            as standa
friendly form the car is more
                                               front wheels.
streamlined than before. The three-                                  um speed
door variant takes the concept a step          Performance: Maxim seconds.
further: sleek, racy-looking and far           143mp  h, 0-62mph 7.8
more desirable than its predecessor.            Economy: 37.2mpg.
With beauty being in the eye of the             CO2 Rating: 178g/km.
beholder and all that, the old car’s bold
haunches, upright tailgate and              sporting image. It’s all familiar stuff
prominent nose did find favour with         inside the Megane Coupe, and any
many buyers but it was hardly coupe         fans of the five-door will feel right at
material. Which is probably why it          home.
wasn’t called one.
                                            They will, one hopes, notice the
In essence, Renault is treating this        welcome uplift in terms of quality over
Megane as a separate car with a             previous Meganes. Both the general fit      (although it’s lowered and stiffened
separate personality from its five-door                                                                                                                                                              Sophisticat
                                            and finish plus the choice of materials     slightly over the five-door), accurate                                                                       ed Megane
relative. The decision appears to be        used are better than before. And true       steering and a range of impressive
justified, not least because the coupe                                                                                                                                                               Coupe
                                            to form, the layout and execution of the    engines. From a variable valve 1.6 to a                                                                      proves
model boasts a more daring, racy nose                                                   blown 2.0-litre petrol and a 1.5 to 1.9
                                            various controls and displays are first                                                                                                                  Renault is
thanks in part to the clever use of                                                     diesel, there’s no shortage of choice or
contrasting colours accentuating the        rate. Renault has been steadily building                                                                                                                 on the right
                                            up a reputation for offering cars with      power - the full span is from 86 to 180
car’s air intakes.                                                                      horsepower.                                                                                                  track
                                            cleverly laid out cabins and this
At the rear the previous three-door         Megane doesn’t disappoint.                  Picking a high achiever is difficult, but
Megane’s ‘shakin’ that ass’ upright
design of tailgate and window has           It doesn’t disappoint on the road,          the current market dictates that the 130
gone, replaced by a rakish third door.      either. For all the references to           horsepower 1.9 diesel shouldn’t be far
                                            ‘performance’ and ‘sporty’                  from your mind. In the five-door hatch
Overall the new look is a squat one -       characteristics the Megane Coupe isn’t,     it’s an impressive all-rounder. For the
but in the nicest sense. This purposeful    strictly speaking, a performance car.       decadent among you the 2.0-litre turbo
stance is more in keeping with the          It’s not a hot hatch, GTi-baiting           petrol motor and its 180 horsepower is
car’s sporty character and does much        machine, for instance.
to convince even the casual onlooker                                                    also worth a look. Brisk, effortless
that the coupe name is justified.           What it is, though, is a brisk and          progress is guaranteed, while there’s       in a largely predictable market. Three-   everyday practicality - despite the
                                            rounded car, capable of raising a smile     enough in reserve to make punching          door versions of sensible hatchbacks      car’s streamlined profile the boot is
The car’s lowered and stiffened                                                         out of corners a pleasure and not a         can’t touch the Megane for visual         surprisingly accommodating. As a
                                            when on your favourite road and
suspension is not only functional but                                                   chore.
also, it would appear, help boost the       reminding you that you don’t have to                                                    appeal and overall aesthetics.            daily driver this Megane works just
car’s visual appeal. The dramatic           be travelling at a million miles an hour    With looks and image counting for a lot     Thankfully Renault followed its plan      like any other car, yet is more than
sloping roof also does much to create       to have fun.                                these days, Renault’s Megane Coupe          through to its logical conclusion and     capable of turning on the charm when
an intimate cabin ambience - just what      The Megane Coupe achieves this              has nothing to worry about. In fact, the    added just the right amount of            you’re away from the daily grind. A
you need if you are to perpetuate the       through a combination a supple ride         car is something of a breath of fresh air   performance to balance the car’s          Renault worthy of the coupe badge.

Best Fiesta yet                                                                                                                 FOR THE BEST
     HE Ford Fiesta has
     dominated the supermini
     scene for a couple of
decades now, and with each
                                                                                                                             DEALS ON NEW CARS
new version the car has got

                                                                                                                                    BY 09 NOW
better and better.
Guess what, Ford has done it
again. The latest generation Fiesta
promises more of the same in
terms of user friendliness and
attractive ownership costs plus a
modern new look and big car feel
to the cabin.
Fiesta’s rakish, ultra-modern
appearance is guaranteed to help it
stand out in a fiercely competitive
market sector. The interior is no
less eye-catching, with your eye
cleverly drawn to the fascia and all
                                         equally at home in town as it is              FACT FILE
                                         munching the miles on the                  Model: Ford Fiesta Zet
its clever styling details.              motorway. Direct steering, a supple        5dr, from £12,095 on ec 1.4
The rest of the cabin is well built                                                                       the road.
                                         ride and a keen and willing               Fiesta range from £8,
and of a decent size. Adults will fit                                                                     695.
                                         character all put a smile on your

                                                                                                                               VISIT LANCASHIRE’S
                                                                                   Engine: 1.4-litre petrol
and should find their surroundings       face.                                     developing 96bhp.        unit
comfortable, and if you opt for the      Key to this impressive performance
five-door it’s not such a great leap                                               Transmission: five-sp
                                         is the Fiesta’s engine line-up. From                             eed
to think of the Fiesta as a compact                                                manual standard, front
                                         the deceptively punchy 1.25-litre         drive.                   wheel
family hatch.

                                                                                                                                  NUMBER ONE
                                         petrol motor through to more              Performance: Maxim
If you like the creature comforts                                                                     um
available on larger cars plus the
                                         powerful 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines       109mph, 0-62mph 12. speed
                                         plus 1.4 and 1.6-litre diesel units,                         2 seconds.
associated better build quality, you     there is no shortage of choice, all       Economy: 49.5mpg.
can have both in this latest Fiesta.     boasting low CO2 and high mpg             CO2 Rating: 133g/km.
There is an obvious big car feel to      figures.

it. And with electric everything, a      There’s also the prospect of a            wheel, trip computer, ambient
choice of decent audio units,            super-green Econetic giving               lighting, Quickclear heated
Bluetooth phone handsfree, air-con       76.3mpg economy with a CO2                windscreen, air conditioning, body
plus a selection of airbags and ESP      figure of 98g/km.                         colour powered and heated door
on offer depending on trim level         The trim levels Studio, Style, Style      mirrors, electrically-operated front
and depth of your pocket you don’t       Plus, Zetec, the racy Zetec S and         windows with 'one touch' and anti-
have to make any major sacrifices.       luxury Titanium offer a wide variety      trap, driver's seat height
The Fiesta’s reputation for great        of comfort and safety kit, while the      adjustment, remote central double
driving dynamics has had keen            various price points are                  locking and CD player with remote
drivers flocking to the car over the     competitive.                              audio controls and AUX sockets.
years, and Ford hasn’t forgotten the     Zetec, the top-seller, boasts             All in all, Ford has produced yet         Crostons Road, Lower Woodhill Road, Bury
fun factor in the latest version.        standard features including chrome        another winner, one that looks good                    0161 764 5454
An enjoyable car to drive                trim, front fog lights, 15-inch eight-    and promises to be a rewarding all-
regardless of the conditions, it’s       spoke alloy wheels, leather steering      rounder.

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