Leaked photos of the new Renault Megane appeared this week. Now, first thing is- whatever happened to radical Renault design?! While this is a decently executed design, it is certainly a safe one when compared to the previous model Megane. Renault recenctly played safe on the new Laguna also. This product cycle of moving one generation forward, but going safe with the following generation and repeating that process is yet another industry practice that seems to have spread from BMW (and another Bangle idea perhaps?). The difference (and mistake?) here is, that this car has very little connection with the previous version. In fact, the only connecting element is the black plastic rubbing strip – which had style and purpose on Megane 2, but here is reduced to a tacked on ugly thing hanging off the bottom of the doors. It doesn’t look to serve any purpose in the car park, protecting doors from bashes. I liked the design of Megane 2, but some more conservative markets reacted to the rear end styling in particular. It seems Renault are avoiding those comments this time, using a very derivative rear end that reminds me of the Kia Cee’d, and Hyundai i30 front end. It is quite sporty though, just like current Mazda vehicles, and looks perhaps more like the Kia Pro-Cee’d. The Kia is somewhat similar to the BMW 1 series which currently inspires styling cues for the more dynamic C segment cars, a trend began by the Mk1 Ford Focus. The front wing line of this Megane is a slightly messy version on the new Mazda 3, and Mazda 6 form. The best feature of this design is the complex flow of upper surfaces from the front wheel arch, into the main shoulder (beltline) form. The concave bonnet is interesting and reminds of the previous gen car, but it doesn’t seem to completely gel with the rest of this design. The twisting front arch is also better executed on the Honda Civic. Overall this car seems slightly messy, and it’s quite sad to think that a Kia looks better.
You can check out more pics of the new Megane here.