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Coming back to Renault?


kiwimeat
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Hi,

 

A long time ago, I previously owned 2 Renaults in the UK - a Clio 1.2, and Laguna 2.0 - both blue. Both were reliable and served us well.

 

Since moving to Australia in '98 I've owned a Nissan Bluebird SSS (Silver with the HUD! :oops: ), 3 Mazda's - 121 Bubble, Astina SP20 in yellow, RX-8 in Winning Blue - and currently a red Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 Turbo Quattro with mods.

 

Up to now, my long term plans have been to upgrade the A3TQ to a full S3 Sportback.

 

Now I've not been blindly fixated on a S3. I've considered the Golf R, and even the BMW 135, M1 and a couple of others but discounted them for a variety of reasons.

 

For the first time in a while I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and ended up taking a Renault Megane RS250 Cup Trophee out for a brief test drive yesterday complete with ballast (salesman).

 

Handling and Performance

Simply put it lives up to it's reviews and awards.

 

The 184kw/340 nm twin-scroll turbo is a gem with plenty of response across the range. I didn't get a chance to give it too much due to location and time.

 

I drove in Sport mode, but didn't otherwise play with the profiles accessible via the RS Monitor program.

 

Car is simply point and shoot. The wide stance and the sport chassis give it a really good feel and there was minimal power loss from the FWD when hitting the go-pedal hard.

 

Exterior

I like it. I know it's an acquired taste, but I think it looks great (certainly much better than the Megane II with it's "grande derrière"!). Certainly a get noticed car. Then factor in the I'll either go for the Yellow, Red or possibly Blue paint job, and the first two aren't subtle.

 

Interior

It's not an Audi, but it's far, far better than French cars used to be (I've owned 2 Renaults before). The Leather Recaro's in the front are great.

Some of the controls aren't as intuitive as the VAG stuff but there's bluetooth (phone and music), didn't have a chance to try the stereo with USB in/bluetooth music streaming. Is it really as bad as the reports?

About my only concern would be how it wears and ages compared to an Audi.

 

Pro's

  • [*:29kcq35p]Handling - point and shoot chassis with great steering
    [*:29kcq35p]Performance -twin scroll turbo is great, and $800 flash takes it up another notch according to all reports. Engine isn't detuned for Australia.
    [*:29kcq35p]Exhaust - like the induction sound and subtle rumble from the exhaust.
    [*:29kcq35p]Driving position - held in place by the Recaros it's pretty much perfect.
    [*:29kcq35p]Value - comes fully loaded with Recaro's, Brembos, LSD, 19" alloys for less than $55K on the road. Nothing more to do for a great hot-hatch. I don't care about resale (it's a car not an investment).
    [*:29kcq35p]Looks - I like it, and hopefully they won't be a common car on the roads.

 

Cons

  • [*:29kcq35p]Visibility - rear is bad (rear parking sensors as standard) and the 3/4 view is quite obstructed for lane changing.
    [*:29kcq35p]No rear doors - major downer for wife approval and possibly kids
    [*:29kcq35p]Rear space quite claustrophobic with limited visibility.
    [*:29kcq35p]Gear throw - seemed a bit long, a short-shifter may be required longer term.
    [*:29kcq35p]No Sat Nav on Australian version - available in Europe but you lose the RS Monitor.
    [*:29kcq35p]Turbo cooling, the standard intercooler is quite small and reports from UK show up the limitations with tracking. Might be an issue in our climate. Forge do a slot-in replacement IC which is 80% bigger.
    [*:29kcq35p]Local support for mods - most appear to be off-shore.

 

The test drive wasn't long enough to make any final decision, but more than any other non-S3 option I've considered this car is ticking the boxes in both my head and heart.

 

The more I think about it, the more the I felt the RS250 felt like my previous RX-8. You could feel the road and the car's interaction with it and the feedback was far more direct and emotive than my current A3 (and most Audi's I've driven). Only unlike the RX-8 you don't need to "rev the **** off it" to feel the power.

 

So anyway, I posted something similar to the above on ozAudi forum and one of the members - NCRAW - pointed me this way.

Glad to see a vibrant and enthusiastic local forum for support and information.

So here I am to get some information, advice, possible pointers for a good deal, and if I get the RS250 make a contribution.

 

Cheers

 

Aaron

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Welcome, Aaron. Don't be too concerned about contributing - you've made a great start already. Would appreciate an equivalent run-down on anything else you try.

While there's not a huge number of us, we're mostly friendly and open-minded about other marques - we even tolerate an Echo at the Sydney meetups...

 

Anyhoo, glad you found us (and that I've not said anything to upset NCRAW lately)!

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Hey man which dealer did you go to for the test drive?

 

I test drove a Silver 250 a few weeks ago @ Cartwright down the coast. It was a great test drive; we were gone for a good 1/2 hr. The sales lady...who was awesome! Came with me and really let me "drive it" too.

 

I too didn’t like the rear view vision, speedo needle, and gear shift felt a bit average thought.

Think I'll wait till they iron the bugs out before I commit

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Hi Aaron

 

Your summary of the pros is exactly why I have the order placed. In relation to some of the issues such as rear window view, average gearshift/not short throw, rear 3/4 view and some issues around rear seat access and space, it is all relative. I am coming out of an SS Crewman with a manual gearbox. Back seat space is crap and rear view is a shocker given the standard rear height - and worse with racks mounted to an alloy lid. As for a comparison to the SS holden gearbox - well just no comparison. Seems your biggest issue is the Mrs and kids. I guess I am lucky in that the Mrs has just got a new car that will take the 4 of us, wanted a 2 door 'sports" car and my eldest has her own car so number 2 can fit in the back for the occassional round towner. Now to fuel consumption. Looking forward to getting between 8-10litres per 100 km around town compared to the 14-16 in the crewie. I am not a fan of factory sat nav - no value and would rather spend the money on some other stuff. Anyway just my 2 cents. Good luck with the choice

 

Pete

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The standard FMIC is alot smaller than the Megane II but it's alot thicker. The cars get hot weather tested and the part wouldn't have been fitted if it didnt pass those tests. It may not be the most efficient item and every car will benefit from an upgraded intercooler but for day to day driving it's fine.

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Thanks for the welcome and the replies.

 

I think there is still quite a way to go before I will make a decision either way regarding the RS250. Definitely need to drive it more, and get a better grip on the pros and cons, especially the latter.

 

To be honest, if a Sprint Blue or Red Audi S3 Sportback with the options I wanted popped up for a good price, I would probably pull the trigger on that.

 

I've had a good look around at the market and within the budget constraints I've set myself, there's little that meets enough of my criteria.

 

Discounted - Mazda 3MPS (plastic, lacking composure), Focus RS (nope - not enough for the money), Mini Cooper S (blegh!) Volvo C30 (nicer than than the Ford XR5 but didn't connect), Subaru (nope - corporate ugly dept not design!), Alfa's (don't connect with them).

 

Maybe - Golf R (would rather an S3), BMW 135i (engine to die for, body to be buried in)

 

Last 2 standing - S3 Sportback (where I started), Megane RS250 Cup Trophee.

 

This saga may run for a while.....

 

Cheers

Aaron

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Hi Aaron,

Good final 2...you know which way we sway, so it comes down to you're personal preference.

Looks wise, it's game over as the RS is pure porn. I'm partial to the white.

Mods, yes offshore, but becoming more and more accessible. As too OEM parts.

Whereabouts in Brisneyland are you?... these boys love to get out for drive days, and some good maps at that.

Good luck with it, hope to see you around.

Cheers,

WOLF

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I popped back into Metro Renault in Windsor on Saturday for another look over the RS250. Not for a test drive, but to revisit my initial impression and research some more - particularly around my concerns.

 

They have 3 in stock - White (up on the display ramp), Sports Yellow (demonstrator), and Extreme Blue (in showroom).

 

I really don't like those 19" wheels......I think I'd order 18's if I pull the trigger.

 

The dark grey front edge insert really doesn't sit well either. My order would have to go for the optional black trimmings in place of the dark grey.

 

Rear space is pretty cramped, not necessarily a deal breaker as we have a Peugeot 307 Touring for trips and moving duties. My A3 Sportback (or an S3 Sportback) is certainly more practical.

 

Probably the most disappointing thing was the car paint quality on the Extreme Blue one inside the showroom. Despite only having 17km on the clock, the lip below the bonnet had several pits and marks (not dis-similar to stop chips) and the paint quality was extremely poor. The drivers door has a chip on the edge (obviously caught a wall or something) and the passenger door has what I can only describe as defect - a 2-3 cm straight line that is only visible from certain angles through a full coat of paint.

 

I still worry about built quality especially interior. I just cleaned my A3TQ today and gave the inside a quick vac and wipe down. My 2006 A3 is now in its 6th year and apart from a few scratches (mostly pre-my ownership) and some minor wear on the leather, the interior does not show it's 6 years/70K life. Sounds superficial - and perhaps meaningless if you change cars frequently - but it's one of the key attractions of an Audi to me.

 

I'm not cooling on the car, just trying to view things in the clear light of a second view, rather than the smitten blinkers of initial lust.

 

Based on current thoughts I would go for a fully loaded Cup Trophee in Capsicum Red with 18" wheels (can we get the Keza wheels or only the satin black AX-L?) with Black colour coding.

 

Price is an important criteria for me too....the RRP is about $55K - can you get these down to $50K drive away? I never pay full price for a new car...I saved 12K (16%) off my RX-8 invoice and quite a bit less in the UK when I had access to fleet pricing.

 

I note that the RS250 just picked up "Drive Car of the Year: Best Performance Car under $60,000" beating out the usual suspects.

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If you want a Cup Trophee with 18's (no cost option) and nothing else, I am confident you can get it for under $50k drive away. The $55k driveaway is for a fully optioned Cup Trophee. According to Renault Australia's website, in Brisbane, a stock Cup Trophee is $50 796 drive away. Push them for at least 2k off that price.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the forum. Renault in general made a big upturn in quality/reliability at around the time Clio III was launched. If you have any doubts, check out the Clio III Technical Section. Very few common issues. Megane III should be no different. Honestly, you 'd find a lot more to read about in this respect on the VAG forums.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took the wife and son to see the Megane RS250 and also looked at the RS Clio 200 too.

 

No fatal approval issues - rear space is a bit constrained but isn't used too often so shouldn't be an issue. Think my wife liked the seats in the blue RS Clio Gordini but hated the white wing mirrors.

 

Renault Windsor have sold all their previous RS250 (Yellow, White) and now have single White Cup Trophee with the 18" Black wheels and the cloth interior.

 

Definitely getting more serious about the purchase.

 

Have now discounted the yellow unless it can come in Liquid Yellow as per the LE AGP Clio!

So now looking at fully Loaded RS250 Cup Trophee

Option 1 - Capsicum Red, 18" Ax-l alloy wheels, Black Mirrors and Bumper

Option 2 - Extreme Blue, 18" wheels (would love the Keza wheels), Black Mirrors and Bumper

 

Extremely likely to have to be a factory order (with wait) to get those specifications.

 

So in preparation for selling or trading the A3, the APR TBE is coming off on Monday and the stock exhaust is going back on.

 

Still need another drive though.

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Getting closer....

 

Had the full turbo back exhaust removed from my A3 on Monday and the stock one put back on.

 

Sold the custom exhaust today so a not insignificant chunk of money into the kitty.

 

Still can't decide on the colour - down to Red or Blue. Am finding the 19" "Speedline" wheels growing on me - especially on the Blue car - still a concern about replacement tyre cost though.

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Hi Aaron,

I can definatley get the Keza wheels direct from overseas, but would like to see if we can work something out for you with with Metro as they are my local suppliers and thus there is a chance we organise them as an alternative to the standard 18s.

No promises, but if you're interested, the offer is there.

If you prefer to have both, then that's even easier.

email me directly or call me and we can chat.

Cheers,

WOLF

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Wolf,

 

Thank you very much the reply.

 

The possibility of getting the Keza wheels on the car would be great. Even better as a factory order.

 

One of my concerns is ensuring the tyre pressure sensors work. A factory order should include them even for the 18" wheel options.

 

Does anyone know if the sensors can be retro-fitted?

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I think the wheel design needs to have a precise hollowed out section for placement of the sensor, otherwise you will need to have more counterwieghts installed to balance it out.

 

Oh and welcome if I haven't said so already! So many new members lately, it's hard to keep up!!

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Well I might need to make a decision sooner rather than later....

 

I was in an accident today. I was travelling in a T2 lane with clear road in front, a stationary non-T2 lane to my right, and a car from the opposite direction tried to turn across me into a side street.

 

There was no time to react , all I remember is the impact/airbags going off. My front right collected the other car's front left.

 

Fortunately all the people involved in both cars are shaken but with only minor injuries from the impact.. My son was taken to hospital as a precaution from the impact of the seat belt but after an x-ray and tests is okay. No doubt we will both be a bit sore for a few days.

 

All three emergency services attended and were fantastic.

 

My car was not so lucky but insurance will take care of that.

 

5608877107_4e6986095f.jpg

 

The airbags deployed in my car - the lessons learnt at employer provided Driver training before Christmas certainly rang true. I had my hands in the correct position and even then they were forced from the wheel, my glasses knocked from my face, the rear view mirror snapped off, and the passenger airbag actually broke the front windscreen when the dash cover was "fired" into it. The impact and airbag deployment were instantaneous.

 

Drive safe everyone.

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oh man, that is a sorry sight, but very glad to hear the injuries are limited to soreness at this point.

 

Sorry, but the first thing I thought of when after reading about the emergency services and seeing the pic was "call da Amber lamps - he's leakin'!"

 

What was the other car?

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Hi Aaron,

So very sorry to hear this and it really got to me when you talked about your son. I would be a rock for my boy, but an absolute freaking mess inside. May i ask his age?

Anyways, made it be a speedy recovery and keep us posted as to what you do.

Truly all the best to you and your family...keep in touch.

Cheers,

WOLF

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Thanks for all the kind wishes.

 

Insurer rang on Thursday morning to confirm that they wrote off my car ($29K of parts before fitting and painting on a car insured for $34K).

 

Money should be with me next week.

 

Severely conflicted over what to buy. Under considerable pressure to get a 4 or 5 door car (and have been given a discretionary extension to budget to fund this :twisted: ).

 

Still want to give the RS250 serious consideration, but may actually have permission to get into a new S3 Sportback (which was a non-starter when I first started looking at a new car).

 

Will need to make a decision shortly due to having no car (have to return insurance rental car next Wednesday).

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I bought a new Audi S3 Sportback in Brilliant Red on Monday, sight unseen over the phone from a Sydney dealership.

 

I was sorely tempted by the RS250 but in the end the extra doors, visibility, interior quality, 7 speed S-tronic gear-box, 3 year free servicing and a cracking price (a significant 5 figure reduction discount off RRP) swung the decision.

 

Paid for it today by bank deposit and hoping that funds clear tomorrow so it can go on the transporter and head North to me to arrive the week after Easter. If it doesn't go tomorrow then it may be the week after that.

 

Thank you to everyone who offered help and advice, it has been greatly appreciated and you have much to be proud of here on OzRenaultSport.

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