Monday, 6 July 2020

Things We Like About The Renault Sport Megane

Even though you’re acutely aware it’s making you look like a yob, you just can’t help but downshift and floor it through tunnels with this car. The reason? All the silly pops and bangs - they’re addictive. Plus, the noises coming from the centre exit exhaust are more natural than what you get in the Hyundai i30 N.

Fun though they are in the Hyundai, it’s a little too engineered. In the Megane, on the other hand, there’s more of a sense of unpredictability to the exhaust racket, making it seem more natural.

The ride is woeful

One of the things we dislike most about the RS300 is the way it rides. As it’s seen use as a film crew car, the Trophy has been roped into tracking car duties a few times, something it’s no good at - there’s no way to get a steady shot. More relevantly, the firm ride really hampers everyday comfort. At least the seats are supportive.

We love the way it looks

The moment it was delivered, the Trophy really stood out thanks to its Liquid Yellow finish. The colour enhances the Renault Megane’s handsome and aggressive looks.

It’s incredibly capable

You’ll find the Trophy to be an utter weapon on the right road. In the dry, the mechanical limited-slip differential and bespoke Bridgestone S007 tyres work together brilliantly, giving a feeling of endless traction and a great sense of confidence behind the wheel.

Test drive a Renault Megane or Megane RS at a Group 1 Renault and experience this sick ride for yourself.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

All You Need To Know About The Renault Kwid

The Renault Kwid was the car that not only pioneered "SUVish" styling in the entry-level hatchback but also got it right. It was a critically acclaimed design that persuaded quite some car buyers to put their money on it. However, it has been in the market for good four years and had started looking a bit dated by the day. Hence, the new Kwid Facelift arrives just at the right time to regain that interest and we have to admit that it has given the brand a good dose of freshness, at least in the looks department. Here's all you need to know about the new Renault Kwid.

  1. The design changes in the new Kwid Facelift are centred on its face. The most prominent one of course is the split headlamp set up and the grille looks tad wider than before. It is flanked by the daytime running lights (DRLs) which are integrated in the turn indicator assembly. The bumper has grown taller than before and looks more muscular. The side and rear of the new Kwid remains identical to its predecessor while there are LED detailing in the tail lamps.
  2. While the cabin of the new Kwid looks largely the same in terms of layout, the colour looks a shade darker than before. It gets crossway fabric upholstery with red outline while there are orange highlights on the climber range as before.
  3. There are certain elements to make it look a bit upmarket like the leather wrapped steering wheel, new design for the instrument cluster which looks fancy, piano black touches on the central console and it also gets Kwid lettering embedded on the passenger side of the dashboard.
  4. The boot space at 279 litres remains unchanged and it can be expandable up to 620 litres.
  5. The 7-inch unit on the pre-facelift Kwid has been replaced by a bigger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is equipped with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Video Playback and Voice Recognition.
  6. The new model has also seen addition of some new features like fast-charging USB port with a power output of 2.4A and a 12V outlet at the rear.
  7. Renault had recently given the pre-facelift Kwid a mild feature update which saw additions like a parking camera and sensors and needless to say, they have made their way in the new model as well.
  8. Mechanically, the new Kwid Facelift remains identical to its predecessor. It gets the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine makes 67 bhp at 5500 rpm and a peak torque of 91 Nm at 4250 rpm. The 799 cc, three-cylinder engine makes 53 bhp at 5678 rpm and a peak torque of 72 Nm at 4368 rpm. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox as standard while AMT is optional.
  9. The Renault Kwid gets all the essential safety equipment on board, at least almost all that are needed to meet the upcoming safety regulations. Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (ABS with EBD), Driver airbag and Driver & Co Driver Seat belt reminder, speed alert are standard on the 2019 Kwid. Driver side airbag is standard as well on the Kwid while passenger side airbag is optional.

To test drive the Renault Kwid - simply book a test drive at Group 1 Renault’s digital showroom!

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Tuesday, 28 April 2020

The Renault Koleos has serious va-va-voom

Buoyed by the success of the highly-popular Duster, Renault is now offering another value-for-money option for SUV-mad South Africans.

By re-introducing the Renault Koleos at the top of their SUV tree, the French manufacturer is hoping to snatch more market share away from its competitors.

And after initially deciding against offering the 2016-launched second-generation Koleos to South Africa, Renault is bringing back the model … with a bang.

Not only does the all-new Koleos boast a competitive price at Group 1 Renault, but it’s also very spacious, comfortable, well-specced and capable off-road too.

To keep the price down, Renault SA has only introduced one engine option, a 2.5-litre CVT with a power output of 126kW and 233Nm of torque.

There will be two Renault Koleos trim options available, Expression and Dynamique, with a 4×4 model topping the range.

According to Wayne van der Merwe, Renault SA’s senior product manager, a diesel engine and other transmission options would not have been financially viable.

“To be able to offer a 4×4 at under R500 000 is a great achievement for us,” says Van der Merwe.
“The new Koleos is a big car that displays social positioning of the driver. Rounded off by the double exhaust design at the back, it’s an expression of power.”

Looks are certainly something the Koleos gets right. Upfront, the eye-catching C-shaped Daytime Running Lights extends beyond the headlight units themselves to create an even more forceful gaze and at the back, the wide horizontal tail lights amplify the impression of width and draw attention to the centrally-positioned Renault diamond.

A very stylish interior features creature comforts like customisable LED cabin lighting to complement the mood of the driver and/ or passengers, front cup holders that can be chilled or heated and a sliding centre console for the ideal driving position.

In addition to having one of the longest wheelbases in its class, the Koleos’ wheelbase of 2 710mm and overall length of 4 670mm frees up record roominess for all occupants.

Rear passengers benefit from class-topping knee room (289mm) while there is also 464 litres of space in the boot which can grow to an impressive 1 795 litres with the rear seats folded down. Boasting a Euro NCAP five-star rating, all Koleos models come standard with brakes assisted by ABS, EBD, EBA, ESP, ASR and HAS, cornering fog lights, electrochromic rear-view mirror, blind-spot warning and park assist.

Driving the Koleos through torrential rain on the N4 towards Rustenburg was a pleasant experience as the car handled itself extremely well on the road while being equally impressive on wet gravel and dirt roads around Muldersdrift and Magaliesburg.

Although I’d be careful pushing it through technical terrain all out 4x4s are comfortable on, the car boasts an impressive ground clearance of 210mm and is definitely a cut above a mere “soft-roader”.
The 4×4 model features three driving modes, two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive automatic and wheel-drive lock.

In the latter, available torque is equally between the front and rear axles (50/50) when the vehicle travels below speeds of 40km/h.

The new Koleos comes standard with a fiveyear/150 000km mechanical warranty; plus a five-year/90 000km service plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15 000km.
Anybody shopping around in the D segment would be foolish not to at least give the Koleos a good look in.

In Latin, Koleos means “testicle” and this offering surely possesses a pair of those.

Article from Bonjour Renault.

2020 Renault Clio is all grown up

When it debuted 30 years ago Renault Clio was marketed with a cheeky, slightly risqué charm – now it’s back for its fifth generation, all grown up.  

The Renault Clio is 30 years old. As one of the better-known small car model names at Group 1 Renault, the Clio has evolved with the times, from ultra-lightweight supermini through to the chunky, solidly engineered small family car it is today. The new design was unveiled at the start of 2019 and has now been rolled out around the world’s markets.

The Clio is a major player, the third best-selling car in Europe, holding back the horde of SUVs together with VW’s Golf and Polo. Right now, however, traditional carmakers are arriving at a fork in the road - should they venture into electrification with an entirely new model or is it better to transform a decades-old brand name into an EV? The most common strategy is to hedge one’s bets. Without the clean slate approach open to Tesla and its ilk, existing manufacturers have to deal with long model cycles, entrenched brand equity and cautious customers. BMW invested big with its ‘i’ sub-brand, only to appear to pull back from the commitment and choosing the path of electrifying existing models. As a result, it’s taken eight whole years to advance from the i3 to the forthcoming BMW i4.

Renault also runs a mix and match strategy, blending hybrid models, pure EVs (the acclaimed ZOE, the eclectic two-seater TWIZY and a pair of commercial EVs for business use) with conventionally powered cars, including a number of diesels. For now, the Clio is in the latter category, a classic example of the motor industry’s slow but steady technological evolution. Compare the new car to the original Clio that proved so desirable three decades ago, and it practically resembles a luxury vehicle, with a level of fixtures and fittings that were simply unavailable in the spartan, plastic-clad 1990s. 

But everything is bigger these days. Clio Mark Five has grown in size as well as ambition. It has a big badge and the image of the Clio as a cheeky, compact upstart has all but evaporated, even though this new car is still good fun to drive and own. It handles deftly and is still well within the realms of compact, and the on-board equipment works without feeling fussy or intrusive. 

The next-gen Clio will almost certainly have an electric option as Renault applies its EV experience to more and more models. The company is also rolling out a new style ‘Renault City’ concept store in Europe, hoping to create an Apple Store-style physical connection with its buying public. Recent concepts have highlighted a proposed shift to autonomous driving, focusing on a strong connection between mobility and architecture. In amongst all this massive change, the Clio feels a bit like a blast from the past, a traditional car in a rapidly evolving industry. Renault would be crazy not to let the Clio name live on and evolve for a more electrified world. It’s a personable car with a hard-won allure, something that is increasingly hard to create from scratch. 

Article from

Monday, 2 March 2020

Renault Captur Compact SUV gets bigger and better

When Renault launched the Captur in 2012 it didn’t have to try too hard because until then, nobody had even thought of making a compact crossover.

Today its ‘B-SUV’ as the trade now calls this type of car, has more than 20 rivals including the T-Cross from Volkswagen. The new Captur had better be good then.

For now, it comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines – but early next year a plug-in hybrid version will also be available. That powertrain features some very clever technology including a novel gearbox. The engine likely to be most popular with buyers is the 1.0-litre 99bhp three-cylinder petrol.

There will be three trim levels rising from Play, to Iconic, then the S-Edition as the poshest. Our next-door neighbours have a Renault Captur, so it’s a daily sight for me. This version looks fresher and up to date. Also, when you compare it to most of its opposition, its design flair certainly sets it apart. But the real leap forward comes inside. The dash is essentially the same as the one in the new Clio, and that’s a good thing.

Those coming out of the old car into this one will delight in the palpable improvement in the quality of materials. Almost all surfaces are soft and there’s the option of an orange interior pack. Shame you can only order it on the S-Edition model. Also only available on the top-level version is a 10in digital instrument cluster.

The standard infotainment screen is 7 inches, but you can order a 9.3in portrait-format screen as an option. It’s impressive, easy to use and has excellent graphics.

The other eye-catching feature is the ‘floating’ centre console on which the gear lever on our six-speed manual test car sits. Ahead of it is a wireless charging plate for your phone, and underneath it a storage area. With a new platform comes new vital ­statistics. The Captur is 110mm longer, 19mm wider and 17mm taller than it used to be.

The old car was hardly cramped, but there’s even more legroom in the new one. The rear seats slide back and forward over a 160mm range and the luggage area holds an impressive 536 litres if you’ve slid the rear seats as far forward as they’ll go. Go for maximum legroom and you’ll still have a useful 422 litres of load space.

Not only is the Captur’s new body bigger, it’s stiffer.

On the road this is obvious in a car that feels more robust, is quieter and more insulated from engine, tyre and wind noise.

If you’re looking for a fun car to drive, you’re looking in the wrong place – but the Captur has light steering, is surefooted in corners, has minimal body roll and ­acceptable ride comfort.

Our test car has 18in wheels, but I suspect the 17in rims fitted to the TCe100 will give a better ride. The 128bhp engine in this is more than powerful enough. The lower-powered unit might struggle with a full load of people and luggage, but most of the time it’ll be more than adequate.

The top-selling VW T-Cross is reckoned by most critics to be the best of the bunch in the packed world of compact crossovers.

It’s very competent but I found it dull to look at, inside and out.

My money would go on this more distinctive and interesting, and equally able, 2020 Captur from Group 1 Renault.

Renault Duster TechRoad is practical, frugal and well priced

In a nutshell, you could say that the latest version of Renault’s Duster has been to ‘finishing school’, but it hasn’t forgotten what it is.

The first generation Duster was conceived as an affordable SUV for the masses. No fancy trimmings or finishes, just plain old good value. With the second generation, released in late 2018, Renault gave it a more eye-catching design as well as a smarter look and feel inside, but without impacting on affordability. To this day it offers plenty of metal for the money. 

Recently Renault added a little more polish to the Duster with the introduction of the TechRoad model grade, which replaced the 4x2 Dynamique derivatives. We recently spent some quality time with the EDC version of the TechRoad, with Renault having lent it to us over the December holiday period. Needless to say, a road trip to the KZN coast was in order.

It must be said that the Renault Duster is sensibly sized for a family vehicle. It’s small enough to be efficient and easily manoeuvrable, yet large enough to cope with holiday luggage. The boot is particularly vast and feels much bigger than the claimed load volume of 478 litres suggests, and rear legroom should prove adequate for most occupants.

I was also impressed by the new seat trim that’s fitted exclusively to the TechRoad models. It’s a dark and durable cloth with red and grey accents that lift the ambience of the cabin. For the record, this version is also set apart by red trim on the air vents, centre console and inner door panels. 

On the outside, the Techroad distinguishes itself with diamond-cut 17-inch alloy wheels, complete with red centre caps, as well as gloss black side mirrors with red stripes. The Duster is, in my humble opinion, a good looking vehicle by modern SUV standards and these changes make it all the more appealing.

Impressive economy
Both versions of the Techroad are fitted with Renault’s 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel engine, the difference being that in the manual version the outputs are 66kW and 210Nm, while the EDC auto model is blessed with 80kW and 250Nm.

The little diesel unit makes the Duster much more economical than you’d expect from a vehicle of this size, and our car averaged 5.2 litres per 100km on the 1200km round trip, with the trip meter recording 4.8 l/100km on the downward half of the journey and 5.6 l/100km on the 'great climb' back to Joburg.

The performance was decent in most situations and will certainly be acceptable for the average owner. 

The EDC version is fitted with Renault’s six-speed EDC dual-clutch gearbox. Most of the time it gets on with its job unobtrusively. Personally I feel that a simpler torque converter auto box would have worked better in this vehicle as dual-clutch gearboxes are complex and if luck isn't on your side it could be costly to repair when the vehicle gets older, although if you’re buying new then there should be little to worry about as the Duster comes with a five-year/150 000km warranty. 

We subjected the Duster to a variety of road surfaces and its suspension delivered a comfortable ride, and the vehicle also felt reasonably stable through the bends. 

When it comes to road and engine noise, however, the Duster is not as whisper-quiet as many of the modern SUVs on the market these days, particularly those from South Korea, but that certainly wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me if I was in the market for one, and here we should also keep in mind that the Duster is somewhat cheaper than most other vehicles of a similar size. 

All in all, though, it got us to our destinations comfortably and efficiently, and it had me questioning why many people choose to spend so much more money on the more premium SUVs on the market.
In terms of features, the Duster Techroad ticks most of the boxes, with standard kit including cruise control, single-zone automatic climate control and a touchscreen infotainment system with integrated satnav, reverse camera as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

If you’re looking for a reasonably sized SUV for the price of a smaller one, the Duster gives you lots of metal for the money, while the 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine provides acceptable performance and excellent fuel economy. You're essentially getting something almost as big as a C-segment SUV, in the lower end of the B-segment price range. 

The Duster is a comfortable vehicle too and it looks like an SUV should look. Most models are 4x2s, but if you want to go off-roading, there is also a 4x4 version on offer, albeit with a manual gearbox only. 

All considered, the Duster range offers excellent value for money and it worth keeping at the top of your list if you’re looking for a family-sized vehicle. Test drive a new Duster at Group 1 Renault if you would like to experience it first hand.

Renault Kwid Restyled for 2020

Renault has applied some SUV-inspired design updates to its Kwid budget car, see details below...
Although not immediately noticeable, the Kwid has grown slightly in size. It's 52 mm longer bumper-to-bumper, whilst the width remains unchanged.

The popular entry-level crossover sees a significant redesign for the 2020 model year. The most noticeable visual change is a new split headlight configuration, which positions LED daytime running lights at either end of the grille. Renault’s stylists have also repositioned the main headlamps in a lower position within the front bumper.

The Kwid’s grille also features a more defined horizontal slat design and around the rear, there are redesigned LEDs within the taillamps.

Renault’s Kwid Cimber variant gains a set of pseudo-adventure trim elements, which include skid plates, roof rails and 14-inch alloy wheels instead of the standard steel rims.

Inside the Kwid features improved seat fabrics, Renault’s latest 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with voice command recognition), and a reshaped 3-spoke steering wheel. The Climber also has seats finished in bright orange trim.

There are no mechanical changes to the facelifted Renault Kwid. Engine options continue to be a 0.8-litre 3-cylinder, which produces 40kW and 72Nm. The slightly larger 1.0-litre engine is good for 50kW and 91Nm. Gearbox choices are either a 5-speed manual or an automated manual.

The new Kwid has slightly increased ground clearance compared to its predecessor, adding 4 mm of height. With 184 mm of underbody clearance, it is particularly well adapted to gravel roads and surviving pothole strikes, which is particularly useful in a South African context. 

The new Renault Kwid can be expected to reach South Africa in the first quarter of 2020 and local specification and pricing will be confirmed on the Group 1 Renault website closer to launch. 

Article source:

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

2019 Renault Clio: great things come in small packages

Renault unveiled the fifth generation of the Renault Clio supermini - despite the outgoing version still selling well, being the third most popular car in Europe in January 2019.

It is the first car to be based on a new platform that will be shared by Renault's partners Nissan and Mitsubishi. It is 14mm shorter than the previous Clio yet Renault claims much greater passenger space.

The all-new version is said to more modern and athletic, combining "evolutionary exterior styling with revolutionary interior design", meaning sculpted lines and a more assertive front.

The interior is characterised by improvements in perceived quality, featuring a soft coating on the dashboard, door panels and centre console surround, and technology. A so-called ‘Smart Cockpit’ includes vertical, 9.3-inch vertical multimedia screen and a 10-inch TFT digital instrument binnacle replacing the model's traditional analogue display.

Other areas to which Renault paid particular attention are the steering wheel and the seats, with new designs and higher quality materials.

Renault claims that the 391-litre boot is the largest in the segment. The luggage area has a double floor, while the rear seats fold down to provide a totally flat load space.

Laurens van den Acker, senior vice-president of Corporate Design at Renault, said: “The fifth-generation Clio features the very best of the previous generations, from Group 1 Renault. The exterior design of Clio IV won over our customers and continues to do so today, so we chose to keep that DNA while bringing modernity and elegance to the new model.

“The interior has undergone a true revolution, with a considerable improvement in perceived quality, greater sophistication and technology. It is the best Clio ever.”

As part of Groupe Renault’s strategic plan, Drive the Future (2017-2022), the Renault Clio for sale will be the first Renault to include an E-Tech hybrid drivetrain. By the end of the plan in 2022, the group aims to sell 15 models equipped with autonomous driving technology. The new Clio's driver assistance systems are intended as the basis for making a driverless city car widely available.

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The Renault Megane is a real cracker


The Renault Megane for sale is here and if substance follows style then it promises to be very good indeed.

The car I am in this week is the GT Line hatch petrol a car that will appeal to both the family and possibly the fleet buyer. The GT- Line models sit higher up the specification ladder and are versions that are a little bit special with an emphasis on a sporty theme which adds to the appeal of the Megane hatchback.

So has it any street cred?

The style is fresh and contemporary, with bold lines. It is one of the most stylish new hatchbacks on the market, putting arch-rivals in the shade on the style stakes. The “California” 18-inch alloys look fantastic and the sweeping curves of the car look well. All in all the Megane hatch GT-Line looks very well indeed and I truly love the Flame red metallic paintwork!

What is it like inside?

The cabin layout is clean and concise, while the materials used feel top class except for a few hard touch plastics. The fit and finish of everything else is beyond reproach and the ergonomics of the design means everything is perfectly placed for ease of use.

The driving position is very good, you sit low feeling part of the car.

Standard equipment on the GT Line hatchback really is comprehensive (too much to list here) but highlights include multiple airbags, remote key card entry (just touch walk up to the car with the card on your person and the mirrors unfold and doors open), push-button start, auto-locking, (walk away it locks itself) Bluetooth, climate control, voice control, multi-function leather steering wheel, figure-hugging one-piece Sports Seats, the excellent Multimedia system with 8.7-inch touchscreen and TomTom live services with European navigation mapping, rearview camera, auto wipers, auto high beam assist and much more.

There is “mood lighting the colour of which is selectable as is the style of the digitally generated but analogue look instruments, drive modes, Neutral, Sport, Eco, Comfort, all very Impressive! Accommodation is pretty good all-round (though those high back sports seats make the rear a little claustrophobic) with adequate head and legroom both front and rear and a decent-sized boot with a full-size spare wheel.

What’s under the bonnet?

Powered by Renault’s TCe 140 petrol mated to a lovely 6-speed manual gearbox this winning combination proves excellent.

Performance is excellent and super quiet too and I returned an overall test average of 6.6 litres per 100km. All pretty good.

Will I enjoy driving it?
The set-up of the new Megane GT Line is pretty good offering a nice balance between comfort and handling. The ride is supple even over poor road surfaces and noise levels are well suppressed. On the motorway, it cruises easily at higher speeds and is a refined car in which to travel. The new Megane IV feels nimble and agile through corners too. Overall then its a very nice car to drive!

So to the verdict?
So here is a car that competes in one of the most competitive segments of the motor industry and its well up to the challenge. The Megane is a real cracker and available at your nearest Group 1 Renault dealership. Its high tech, very smart looking, packed full of standard kit, proves practical, frugal and is a pleasant drive.

What a lovely car!

Article source:

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Renault's Sandero Stepway Plus punches above its weight in tough segment

South Africans appetite for pseudo crossovers has resulted in the popularity of vehicles like the Volkswagen Cross Polo and Sandero Stepway. 
Its the latter that I'm interested in as Wheels24 has one for a long-term test, and I've grown to like it despite some quirks. 
The French automaker says they've flogged 26 000 Stepways in eight years, and now for 2019 they've spruced up their flagship. 
New flagship
First you need to know that the Stepway Plus replaced the Dynamique model as the flagship of the Stepway range earlier in 2019. 
The Renault Sandero for sale has quite a bit of kit, more on that later though. To get it moving, the Stepway Plus is powered by a peppy 66kW 900cc turbocharged petrol engine. 
It's gutsy little three-cylinder that suffers from a mountain of turbo lag but once it gets going it's fine. Renault send the power to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. 
The 'box is a tad 'notchy' but I rather enjoyed rowing my own gears in the Renault, the clutch is light and bites early so it's not a difficult car to drive. 
Fuel consumption is good, I averaged around 6.0-litres per 100km during the week I had it, which was a combination of city and highway driving. 
What does the Stepway Plus add?
Keen-eyed Renault fans will notice new 16-inch two-tone wheel covers, glossy black door mirrors and the addition of three new colours. Our test unit is clad in 'Fusion Red', which is more maroon than Ferrari Red.
There are new LED daytime driving lights which add a dollop of premium to the Stepway, very nice Renault. 
On the specification side, standard kit includes side airbags, front and rear power windows, electric side mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gear knob and park distance control at the rear.
Chuck in cruise control and a reverse camera, and the Stepway Plus starts to look like good value. 
Leather pews are optional, our test car is fitted with cloth seats which are comfortable and soft. 

Inside, the Plus pulls big bunches over its rivals with access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as sat-nav on an integrated 17.78cm touchscreen.
It's easy to use and I merely plugged my phone via the USB port and CarPlay sprung to life. It's pretty simple and the touchscreen works well. 
I like the volume controls on the bottom right of the back of the steering wheel (a Renault trademark). 

I've enjoyed the past couple of weeks in the Sandero Stepway Plus, it feels durable, has enough tech and toys to keep a millenial happy. 
Test drive the Sandero for sale at Group 1 Renault.
Article source: