The Renault Mégane 1.2 TCe (130) Dynamique Nav

This is the 2017 Renault Mégane 1.2 TCe Dynamique Nav. From the outside it looks quite up-to-date, particularly with the outsize, horse-shoe on-its-side-shaped daytime running lights on. And there’s more than a hint of Hercule Poirot’s fine moustache in the illuminated tail lights’ extravagance. The general feel though is of a sensible pair of shoes, ones which would be equally suited to a spot of gardening, or out for Sunday lunch. Long gone are the days of the eye-catching, plump-rumped second-generation car. Inside this particular silver vessel, there lies waiting a sea of depressing, not quite matching black. The seat facings come clad in three different materials, with leather-look bolsters and two different cloths, which prove very grabby. Be careful how your behind makes touchdown, you won’t shift it once it’s down.   Setting off, the first thing you’ll notice is that the clutch has a ridiculously high biting point and a very springy action, which catches you out first few

The BMW 318d M Sport Saloon

  The BMW 3-series turned 40 years old in 2015. It defines its class, having been the founder member. Still today, though its many rivals storm up like Achilles in Zeno’s paradox behind the 3-series’ tortoise, they have not yet managed to sweep the board on any of the six generations, nor dim the allure of the blue and white propeller.   The model on test today may show a more straightforward understanding of that tortoise analogy, if it’s fifth generation predecessor was anything to go by. Unlike the tortoise, this 318d M Sport may only win a sprint in a fable. At the heart of this F30 3-series is the 2.0-litre B47 diesel engine, in 150hp tune. It was introduced with the Life Cycle Impulse (LCI – we’re BMW and we don’t do facelifts, thank-you) which the model received in 2015. It’s output is up 7hp over the old N47 motor, and while the peak torque remains at 236 lb/ft, BMW have doubled the range through which it’s available, coming in at 1,500 rpm and lasting to 3,000 rpm. The resul