THERE are times when you need to kick practicality out the door.
Like when you wear that impossibly high new pair of heels to a friend’s wedding because they elongate your calves. Sure, they will start hurting well before the bride walks down the aisle but you do it anyway.
Like when you answer in the affirmative for yet another beer before co-driver turns up to take you home. You know you’ll pay the sorry price in the morning but you do it anyway.
Like when you stretch your budget to nab that dilapidated Queenslander. It will take years to renovate and a whole day to mow but hey, it’s acreage so you do it anyway.
Or even like fitting two car seats in to the Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet. You dong your head, twist your back but this is a cabriolet, baby, so you do it anyway.
Space is obviously at a premium but that probably goes without saying. Front-seat occupants are relatively comfortable with a fair bit of legroom and cushioned seats.
Those in the back though will struggle, especially tall adults who will agree that finding the perfect position is quite challenging. There are a few nooks and crannies, including a chilled glovebox, for those store away items while the boot is a respectable 417-litres with the roof up and 211-litres with it stowed away.
Renault has stayed with the wave-like dashboard which while funky means that some dials slope away from the driver. The trim is good and the overall feel is pretty refined.
On the road
This edition of the Megane Cabriolet is much heavier than its predecessor which helps it sit more comfortably on the road and affords a feeling of stability. It rides well and handling is sharp with good manners around corners and on the straight. The CC is only available as a petrol CVT at present and though manual selection is possible, it still feels a little like something is missing. It delivers a good all-round performance while you are waiting for an exhilarating one.
What do you get?
The CC comes standard with Bluetooth, sat-nav, dual zone climate control, hands-free keycard, rear parking sensors and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.
Safety inclusions are pretty good, too with the CC equipped with front, side and anti-submarining airbags, stability control, traction control and understeer control. Rear hoops can pop up in case the car rolls while the roof is down but there are no rear side or curtain airbags.
The Volkswagen Eos ($51,490) is probably the car to beat but competition also comes from the Peugeot 308CC ($49,690) and Audi A3 Cabriolet ($50,500).
The Coupe-Cabriolet boasts some exceptional features.
There’s a glass wind deflector behind the rear seats and a removable mesh screen behind the front seats which allows for wind-free driving at speed.
There are the PRS airbags that adjust according to the size of the occupants and the crash intensity and the clean-hands integrated fuel filler cap.
But a personal favourite is the see-me-home lights that stay on for two minutes after you exit the car so you can make it to your front door and search for the keys at the bottom of that bag.
The manufacturer claims 8.1 litres/100km but we found our test vehicle to be a great deal thirstier. New Renaults come with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and three-year roadside assist.
The glass-top roof not only looks good and lets the sky in but also can be lowered in just 20 seconds. Sleek lines, 17-inch alloys and funky lights will turn heads. It will turn them again with the top down.
The Coupe-Cabriolet is a solid, sporty-looking addition to the Renault stable. It performs well, can hold four in relative comfort, has clever inclusions and one of the more affordable cars in its class. It’s worth a look, even just a quick one, to get the heart racing.
Model: Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet.
Details: Two-door front-wheel drive coupe-cabriolet.
Transmission: Six-speed continuously variable.
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 103kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 195Nm @ 3750rpm.
Consumption: 8.1 litres/100km (combined average).
Bottom line: From $45,990.
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