I like convertibles, but I think Singapore’s weather is not the best for driving topless (cars). The sun is too hot, there’s too much humidity and I end up feeling sticky after dressing up to look pretty in the stylish cabriolet.
In the night where there is less traffic and the air is cooler, taking the roof down for a moonlit drive is fine. Hence, I am grateful for coupe-cabriolet models that offer the best of both worlds – a coupe to still look cool in the heat and a cabriolet for that top-down experience.
One such example is the Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet (or Renault Megane CC for short). It is the third topless Megane model and comes with a hard top. Its predecessor has been around for seven years so I’m sure you will agree that it is high time a new generation is released.
The latest Megane CC has a glass roof just like before – supposedly to offer a nice view of the sky even with the roof up – that takes 21 seconds to unfold into the boot. However, I cannot help feeling some form of greenhouse effect. Then again, there is quite a surreal feeling when it rains.
Fitted with a six-speed continuously variable transmission, the Megane CC makes quite a good city cruiser, especially if you are not in a hurry to get anywhere. At its maximum, you can squeeze 140bhp (at 6,000rpm) and 195Nm (at 3,750rpm) from the 1,997cc engine. It also takes a reasonable 11.7 seconds to get from rest to 100km/h.
To help reduce wind noise and any turbulence for speeds, the Megane CC has a glass wind deflector behind the rear seats so passengers can have their hair intact. Having generous space in the rear is not a given for cabriolets or coupes. In the case of the Megane CC, you can fit two adult passengers in there but ideally it should only be for a short journey.
A compromise that comes with looking cool in a cabriolet or a coupe is the reduced boot space. With hardtop models like the Megane CC, the roof takes up space in the boot – reducing it from 417 litres to 211 litres when the roof is retracted. Something I liked about the boot though, is this button that you can press so the boot can close automatically.
Within the Megane CC is a list of usual features such as cruise control, keyless operation, MP3 player connectivity, dual zone electronic climate control, rain wiper sensors, headlight sensors, a navigation system that comes in various languages and dialects, and reverse parking sensors.
The Megane CC does make a rather functional coupe-cabriolet and has the solid build quality that continental cars usually have. I spent most of the 24-hour test drive time driving with the roof up as the weather was either too hot or too wet, but I did have a chance to take the roof down in the wee hours of the night. I still cannot decide if I prefer a coupe or a cabriolet better so cars like the Megane CC offers the best solution.
Renault Megane CC 2.0 (A)
Engine: 1,997cc 4-cylinder DOHC
Transmission: Six-speed CVT
Max Power: 140bhp at 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 195Nm at 3,750rpm
0-100km/h: 11.7 secs
Top Speed: 195km/h
Price: $158,888 with COE
Distributor: Wearnes Automotive