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Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, the new Renault Megane Estate will go on sale at European dealerships this September. Order books for the C-segment wagon opened in June.

Based on the Megane IV five-door hatchback that was revealed late last year, the Megane Estate packs in a larger cargo area, naturally. At 580 litres, the boot gobbles up as much stuff as before, but its ‘easy-to-use, modular’ style is highlighted by Renault. Like the hatch, Kadjar SUV and large Espace, it sits on the CMF (Common Module Family) C/D platform.

There’s a choice of two positions for the boot floor. The higher position creates a flat floor when the rear seat is folded to facilitate the loading of bulky items. In this configuration, there’s an extra 55 litres of storage under the boot floor. Setting the floor in its lower position creates maximum load volume in a single area. The Megane Estate has the longest load area in its segment, at 2.7 metres, after the front passenger seat is tipped forward.

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There’s a system to separate the boot into two compartments, front and rear, to prevent items from sliding around. In addition, Renault included lateral storage bins on each side of the boot, next to the wheel arches, plus a hook on both sides from which bags can be hung.

The soft luggage cover can be rolled up easily, and there’s a dedicated storage area for it under the boot floor that does not reduce carrying capacity. Folding the 60:40 split rear seats is an easy job, thanks to handles in the boot area. As an option, a luggage safety net that can be used vertically is available.

For human cargo, the French carmaker says that rear legroom among the best in the segment at 216 mm. Also, the rear seatback has slightly more rake than before (27 vs 25 degrees). Shoulder width (1,441 mm front, 1,377 mm rear) is amongst the best class. The dual-density foam front seats have improved comfort.

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The Megane Estate comes with five diesel engines, including a diesel-electric powerplant known as Hybrid Assist, and three petrol engines. The range starts with an Energy dCi 90 (90 hp, 220 Nm, six-speed manual) and continues with the Energy dCi 110 (110 hp, 260 Nm, option of a six-speed EDC automatic with 250 Nm). The Energy dCi 110 ECO2 is the eco champ with just 90 g/km C02 emissions and 3.5L per 100 km fuel consumption. The most powerful Energy dCi 130 has 130 hp, 320 Nm and a 6MT.

The dCi 110 Hybrid Assist with 6MT gets an electric motor-generator and a 48V battery. The system recovers energy under deceleration and the electric motor assists the engine during acceleration.

In the petrol camp, one can choose from the TCe 100 (100 hp, 175 Nm) and TCe 130 (130 hp, 205 Nm, seven-speed EDC available), with the naturally-aspirated SCe 115 petrol engine with five-speed manual (115 hp, 156 Nm) available in some markets.

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The Renault Sport-developed Megane Estate GT comes with either a 1.6 litre TCe 205 petrol (205 hp, 280 Nm, seven-speed EDC) or dCi 165 (165 hp, 380 Nm six-speed EDC), the latter twin-turbo unit due before the end of the year. The GT also benefits from launch control (petrol only, 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds), 4Control four-wheel steering, sportier RS-tuned suspension and 30 mm bigger brakes (320 mm front, 290 mm rear).

The GT Estate’s exterior sports a unique front bumper, honeycomb-pattern mesh for the upper and lower grille, wider air intake flanked by lateral scoops, 18-inch GT wheels, diffuser and Dark Metal accent trim. Inside, the GT gets unique seats, sports steering leather wheel, unique gear lever and plenty of blue stitching and trim. Alcantara upholstery is available.

The distinctive Megane Estate’s chief rivals in the European wagon scene are the Volkswagen Golf Variant, Ford Focus Estate, Peugeot 308 SW and Opel/Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.