Time may have suddenly been called on Renault’s famed small car in Europe – but it will live on in Australia.
19 July 2022, 10:30am: The 2022 Renault Megane hatchback has reached the end of the road in Europe, according to an overseas report – taking with it the final car from the Renault Sport performance division.
British publication Autocar reports the final Megane hatchbacks, sedans and wagons have rolled off Renault’s production lines for some markets, after four generations and 27 years in Europe’s small car market.
UPDATE, 19 July 2022, 2:00pm: Since publishing, Renault Australia has indicated Megane RS production will continue for Australia into 2023 in limited numbers.
The Autocar report is instead likely to refer to production for the UK. We’ve updated this story accordingly.
Renault HQ in Europe is yet to confirm the report. The Megane has disappeared from Renault’s UK website, though it remains on its French and Spanish pages.
The successor to today’s familiar Megane range will not be a new-generation petrol or diesel hatch, but rather the Megane E-Tech Electric: a new small ‘crossover’ SUV, with a higher seating position, fully-electric (EV) power, and a dedicated EV skateboard platform.
Since 2019, the Megane has been sold in Australia exclusively in RS hot hatch guise, with the range slimmed to a single high-output Trophy grade in facelifted form in 2021, with six-speed manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
The sporty mid-grade GT and GT-Line hatchbacks were axed in November 2019 – while all other models, including a range of sedan and wagon models, were killed off in early 2019.
Megane RS prices have risen significantly in recent months, from $53,990 plus on-road costs for a manual in early 2021, to $62,300 in July 2022.
While the Megane is being axed overseas, it remains to be seen for how long it stays in Australian showrooms.
Sales of the Renault Megane have slowed to a crawl in Australia as the range has been slimmed, with 80 cars sold in the first half of 2022 – compared to the 456 cars reported as sold a decade ago (first half of 2012).
Over the course of 2021, 123 Meganes were reported as sold – down from 233 in 2020 (despite a pandemic delaying deliveries), 937 in 2018, 1073 in 2016 and 1382 in 2014.
It now accounts for just 0.2 per cent of the mainstream (non-luxury) small car segment in 2022, down from 0.5 per cent in 2012. For comparison, 13,100 Toyota Corollas and 11,700 Hyundai i30s have been reported as sold so far this year.
It’s a similar story in the UK; 783 examples were reported as sold there in 2021, according to Autocar, compared to 21,800 Ford Focus and 30,800 Volkswagen Golf models.
Globally, about 70,000 Meganes were reported as sold in 2021 – down from the current-generation’s model peak of 168,000 sales in 2017, and the Megane’s overall peak of 465,778 in 2004 (via Autocar and carsalesbase)
The death of the traditional Renault Megane hatchback in Europe will spell the end of the Renault Sport performance division, with the Megane RS its last high-performance model (excluding ‘RS Line’ styling packs, as used on the Arkana and Captur SUVs).
Renault’s performance focus has switched to the Alpine brand, which will pivot to three electric performance vehicles due in 2024 and 2025: a city-sized hot hatch, a five-door medium SUV, and a two-door sports car.
There’s no word on a high-performance version of the new Megane E-Tech Electric – though rumours suggest a mid-tier Alpine Line styling pack could be in the works.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.