Alongside six other world debuts from French marque Renault, this year's Geneva motor show also witnessed the unveiling of the latest member of the New Mégane family, with the arrival of the Sport Tourer version.

In addition to its dynamic looks, New Mégane Sport Tourer has a distinctive character and lives up to the pledge made at the time of the hatchback version's release that every member of the New Renault Mégane family would have its own, clear-cut personality.

New Mégane Sport Tourer features identical frontal styling to that of the hatchback version, including the characteristic lines that swoop down from the windscreen pillars to converge on the logo at the centre of the bonnet. Seen from the side, however, New Mégane Sport Tourer is very different thanks to its extended wheelbase (+62mm). The newcomer's total length (4,558mm) is also 263mm longer than that of New Renault Mégane Hatch, and its width stands at 1,808mm. Following this increase in wheelbase and rear overhang, special care has been taken to maintain balanced, dynamic proportions: the slope of the roofline, the steeply-raked rear screen and the elongated, rearward-sweeping side windows give New Mégane Sport Tourer an elegant, racy profile, and these fluid lines are set off by the longitudinal roof bars.

The broad shoulders exude sporting appeal and an impression of robustness reinforced by the car's generous forms and low positioning of the side protective mouldings. New Mégane Sport Tourer's unique character is further expressed by features such as its rear light clusters and the form of the rear screen, the bottom edge of which picks out the Renault logo.

Special attention has been paid to quality thanks to a careful choice of forms and materials. In the cabin, the accent has been on the durability and quality of the materials – which have been selected to be pleasant to the touch – and on exemplary fit-and-finish.

Thanks to its generous dimensions and elegant, dynamic styling, New Mégane Sport Tourer exudes sporting appeal without detracting in any way from its user-friendliness or carrying capacity.

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Renault Megane Sport Tourer Geneva (2009) - picture 1 of 4
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PRACTICAL AND TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED New Mégane Sport Tourer features a roomy, modular interior, plus generous carrying capacity which can be adapted to suit a broad variety of uses.

New Mégane Sport Tourer's boot volume of 524 litres (up to parcel shelf) ranks it among the best in its segment. Total carrying capacity can be extended up to 1,595 litres with the rear seats fully folded, while access to the boot is facilitated by its low sill height: 561mm, the lowest in its class.

In addition to its generous proportions, New Mégane Sport Tourer's boot is practical, too, and gives owners the ability to divide it into two separate zones: one large compartment, and a smaller compartment at the rear which enables the boot's layout to be adapted to the needs of the moment. For example, a small item can easily be slipped into the smaller compartment, which has the double advantage of preventing it from sliding about and ensuring that it is readily accessible. Two additional stowage bins are available under the floor of the rearmost compartment.

Tipping the front passenger seat and rear benchseat forward enables items of up to 2,550mm in length to be carried. To facilitate the loading of lengthy objects, the foremost part of the boot floor is raised when the rear benchseat is folded to produce a single, uninterrupted surface. This clever feature frees up space for the baggage cover in a compartment underneath the boot floor behind the rear seats.

Rear passengers also benefit from the extended wheelbase since they benefit from comfortable kneeroom of 218mm. The driver, meanwhile, will appreciate the comfortable, practical driving environment. Front elbow room figures among the segment's best at 1,476mm, and the height-adjustable driver's seat travels through a segment-topping 70mm.

New Mégane Sport Tourer range features a choice of two GPS navigation systems and a long list of high-tech equipment. The first, Carminat TomTom®, is the first fully-integrated navigation system for a price of less than £500. Particularly easy to use, and ready to run as soon as the car starts, it delivers all the functions expected of a top navigation system, including: precise, detailed maps, a large 5.8-inch screen, birdview display and reliable guidance complete with traffic information, alternative routes, speed restrictions, speed camera location alerts, a plethora of points of interest and a wide range of customisable parameters.

The SD Card makes it easy for owners to update their Carminat TomTom® to be sure of having the very latest navigation data and customisation options. New Mégane Sport Tourer is also available with the Carminat Bluetooth® DVD navigation system.

Like its Hatch and Coupé stablemates, the Mégane Sport Tourer range features a raft of equipment, most of which is more commonly associated with the next segment up:

  • Renault Hands Free Card with automatic central locking when the driver walks away from the car,
  • automatic handbrake,
  • dual-zone automatic climate control with three temperature adjustment modes (Soft-Auto-Fast),
  • directional bi-Xenon headlamps,
  • innovative combined digital/analogue instrument display,
  • new colour-coded interface for the cruise control with speed limiter,
  • customisation of the activation and adjustment of certain functions (daytime running lights, volume of audible parking proximity sensor warning),
  • 3D Sound by Arkamys® audio system,
  • connectivity: standard RCA socket and optional TunePoint system (USB and jack connections).

REASSURING ROADHOLDING All the handling-related enhancements seen on New Mégane Hatch have been carried over to New Mégane Sport Tourer Technically, it shares the same genes as the rest of the New Mégane family, including MacPherson-type front suspension combined with a horned subframe, plus a closed-section torsion beam at the rear, while New Mégane Sport Tourer's extended wheelbase also contributes to its remarkable stability. The electric power steering has been entirely revised for enhanced response and driving comfort thanks to more reliable feedback of information from the road. Together, these improvements ensure a precise, reassuring ride and best-level cornering stability.

New Mégane Sport Tourer is available with a wide choice of powerplants, including three diesel engines that boast CO2 emissions of less than or equal to 120g/km.

The petrol engine line-up comprises five powertrains, including the new TCe 130 engine which is available from launch. Developed within the framework of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the TCe 130 showcases the expertise that the brand has acquired in downsizing. This 1.4-litre unit boasts the torque of a 2-litre engine and the power of a 1.8, yet its CO2 emissions are less than those of a 1.6. The TCe 130 also figures at the top-end of its class in terms of running and maintenance costs. Its reliable, durable timing chain favours acoustic comfort, while oil change intervals are every 18,000 miles (or every two years).

New Mégane Sport Tourer can also be ordered with 100hp and 110hp 1.6 litre engines that drive through manual five- or six-speed gearboxes respectively.

The 2.0 140hp engine is available with gearshift-free CVT (continuously variable transmission) for even greater driving comfort.

The petrol engine line-up is rounded off by the TCe 180, an evolution of the 2.0 litre which combines outstanding response with outstanding flexibility at low revs.

The extensive range of diesel engines available for New Mégane Sport Tourer illustrates the ongoing work Renault continues to put in to ensure that its customers profit from the market's best trade-off between performance and fuel consumption, as well as lower running and maintenance costs and longer servicing intervals.

The 1.5 litre dCi engine comes in a choice of three power outputs, with or without a particulate filter (dCi 86, dCi 106 and dCi 110 FAP). In addition to their sprightly performance, all these engines stand out through their low CO2 emissions (118g/km for the dCi 86 and 120g/km for the dCi 106).

The dCi 130 engine is the only engine of its class to claim CO2 emissions of less than 140g/km, which consequently qualifies it for tax incentives in certain countries.

The dCi 106, dCi 110 FAP and dCi 130 engines all figure among the best in their class in terms of running and maintenance costs, with oil changes recommended every 18,000 miles (or two years) and timing belt changes every 100,000 miles. The particulate filters now benefit from a lifetime warranty.

The diesel engine range is topped by the 2.0 dCi which is available in a choice of power outputs, namely 160hp (mated to a manual six-speed gearbox) or a 150hp version with six-speed automatic transmission that will become available in the course of the second half of 2009).

QUALITY AND SAFETY EXPERTISE Like all the members of the new Mégane family, New Mégane Sport Tourer has been designed to deliver impeccable passive and active safety. A long list of equipment is available to help drivers anticipate risk situations:

  • seatbelt reminder warning lights for all five seats,
  • tyre pressure monitoring system,
  • bi-Xenon headlamps with cornering lights,
  • automatic headlamp activation,
  • automatic windscreen wiper activation,
  • cruise control
  • speed limiter.

New Mégane Sport Tourer is equipped with the full range of driver aids: ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESP with understeer control.

New Mégane Sport Tourer also comes with the same passive safety features and systems that helped New Mégane Hatch score the maximum possible score of 37 points (from 37) in the Euro NCAP crash tests, namely a programmed deformation structure combined with the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3) which affords best-level protection in accidents for all occupants.

New Mégane Sport Tourer also comes with the innovative twin side-impact sensors first seen on New Laguna. This system halves the time required to trigger the dual-chamber thorax/groin airbags for even greater occupant protection.

New Mégane Sport Tourer benefits fully from the considerable progress achieved by Renault in terms of quality and durability. For example: as seen on New Laguna, the hands-free card – complete with automatic central locking as the driver walks away from the car – has been redesigned to make it even more robust. The battery is now located in a sealed compartment to enable it to stand up to the increasingly demanding validation tests (e.g. washing machine test).