2020 Renault Megane RS Trophy Review

2020 Renault Megane RS Trophy Road Test Review

Renault Megane RS Trophy

I vividly remember driving a Renault Megane RS full tick at the Nurburgring a few years back but it was “only” the 275(hp) model.

The one I drove last week was a 300(hp) Trophy and a completely different animal right down to the smaller capacity 1.8-litre engine compared to the 2.0-litre in earlier models and five-doors instead of three.

The “small block” RS Trophy doesn’t suffer one bit in terms of performance in fact, it’s a way sharper tool thanks in part to turbo improvements and direct fuel injection.

The bright metallic yellow test car had Renault’s dual clutch 6-speed “manumatic” transmission  called EDC driving the front  wheels via a mechanical limited slip diff’ and torque vectoring system .

One step down from the Trophy R, the Trophy model driven leaves little to desire in terms of performance from a hot hatch. Acceleration is rapid, roll on throttle response is crisp and the dynamics are sharp especially those big Brembo brakes behind grippy Michelin sporty tyres.

The fact that it’s a five door hatch doesn’t really matter but I prefer the three door from an aesthetic point of view. But heck, even the Civic Type R is a five door as is the Hyundai i30N and other competitors.

It’s a pricey beast at $55,990 making it a grand more than (manual) Civic Type R that has more power and is lighter though is somewhat ugly in comparison. This Megane has been around since 2017 but the latest changes were only recently implemented.

Renault’s links to Nissan and Mitsubishi have thankfully not diluted the Megane RS recipe leaving it a superb driver’s car with satisfying feel and individual styling.

Renault Megane RS TrophyExterior

The overall shape is pleasing but the fiddly curving headlights are contrived and look like an afterthought.

I like the large Renault badge in the middle of the grille, the wide stance and the hunched look of the Megane RS overall. It’s a bit like a bull lining up a matador I reckon.

Rear styling has elements from a number of European brands around the tail lights, particularly BMW but a large splitter under the bumper gives it a race car look especially with that large centre mount exhaust tip.

Vents let into the front guards look fast and those big 19-inch wheels are imposing especially with red highlights.

When you walk up to this car the profile has a familiar shape similar to other five door hatchbacks but I suppose there’s a limit to what you can do with this class of vehicle.

It’s a touch wedgey, sleekish and powerful looking. Not bad at all really.


Inside is fairly Spartan but functional featuring a portrait shape centre screen in the dash following a fairly flat curve with a bump over the driver’s instrument console. The sports seats have pronounced bolsters on the squab and sides in the front and are upholstered in a sort of alcantara sued e upholstery used elsewhere inside.

There’s a chunky wheel with paddle shifters mounted to the column and not the wheel (the right place) and minimal switchgear to fiddle with apart from some satellite wands around the wheel.

The tones are grey and black with some red piping to lift the look. Rear seating is relatively comfortable for two though head room could be an issue for some. Access is good thanks to the five door hatch design.

A decent load space under the hatch can take a couple of suitcases but there’s no spare, just a re-inflation kit.

The test car had copped a flogging at the hands of others which was possibly responsible for a rattle in the rear sway bar area.

Who rallys a car like this on a gravel road? Idiots.

Renault Megane RS Trophy


As a near range topping model, the Trophy gets plenty of goodies like:

  • Excellent R-Link infotainment system
  • LED headlights
  • Park Assist
  • Bose audio with sub
  • 4 wheel steering (passive)
  • Active exhaust valve
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Key card entry and start
  • Perfo-hub front steering to reduce torque steer

Renault Megane RS Trophy

Drive and Engine

This particular model is a hoot to drive apart from the hard suspension. It’s pretty solid and jiggles on roughish roads. That’s a trade-off for how it hooks around corners aided by the clever 4-wheel steering, torque vectoring, trick steering knuckles and limited slip diff. The grippy tyres are in that mix too.

It’s a lot of kit to overcome the deficiencies of front wheel drive but works… to a point. You have to go to extraordinary lengths in terms of wheel alignment and suspension set up to get a “frontie” to steer like a rear wheel drive car. And it won’t be any good for a road car potentially used every day.

Multiple drive modes are available ranging from Comfort through to Race.

I had the car in Sport most of the time because it gives the exhaust a crackle and some decel popping.

With Brembo brakes this size, stopping is never going to be an issue on the RS Trophy.

It launches hard and pulls strongly through to engine redline at around 6500rpm. Fuel economy on 98 is a claimed 8.0 litres/100km.

Some people bag-out dual clutch automated manuals but this one is good though still with an annoying “roll off the mark on a hill” trait. Take the RS Trophy for a fang on your favourite road and it all gels especially the slick shifting transmission….. or you can leave it in D and let the car take care of all that.

Love the RS monitor that provides performance data on demand.

Renault Megane RS Trophy


Surprisingly not rated by ANCAP. It should do well  boasting a full list of advanced driver assist technology including adaptive cruise and AEB, blind spot monitor and lane keeping. Some is switchable.

Then there are its reflexes that will help avoid a collision in the first place, as long as you have the required driving skills.

So take your RS Trophy to some track days and refine your driving skills…. simple.

Good Bits

  • Near the top of hot hatch performance
  • Looks good
  • Sounds awesome
  • Handles well
  • Well featured

Not So Good Bits

  • Too expensive
  • Annoying default-on safety features
  • Needs a softer mode on suspension.


Yep, really like this car. It looks good, goes great sounds impressive is safe and well featured. But against the Honda Civic Type R it’s too much money to say nothing of Hyundai’s i30N.

Renault Megane RS Trophy

Facts and Figures: 2020 Renault Megane RS Trophy

  • Engine: 1.8L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 221kW/420Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 5/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Origin: France
  • Price: from $55,990 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

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Renault Megane RS Trophy


Yep, really like this car. It looks good, goes great sounds impressive is safe and well featured. But against the Honda Civic Type R it’s too much money to say nothing of Hyundai’s i30N.

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