A sexy, comfy little gem

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Whenever I think of the French, I think of a nation of people who know how to enjoy life.

Good food and fine wine are as much a part of their daily routine as waking up to that early morning espresso and a Gaulois cigarette.

Lazy days spent on the French Riviera, watching the rich and famous go about their lives. Yep, the stuff dreams are made of.

But the French are also a very emotive people and that probably goes a long way to explaining why they design and build some of the best cars in the world.

Their designs may not always be everyone's idea of beauty, but what they have come up with in the Renault Megane Convertible is a little gem.

I can imagine the broad smiles on the designers' faces at the Renault plant in France when the instruction came through for them to design un petit nombre sexy (a sexy little number).

And that is exactly what they have done.

Equally at home in St Tropez in the south of France, our own Camps Bay or simply cruising the boulevards of Sandton, there is no doubt the vehicle is a bit of a poser's car.

At the press of a button you drop the glass top and instantly you attract more stares and comments than Paris Hilton at a Las Vegas nightclub.

The thing about the Megane, though, is that it is equally attractive with the roof either up or down.

Renault has also managed to do away with the clumsy business of physically securing the roof with clamps so often used in other convertibles.

The lines of the vehicle are smooth and sleek and the leather interior provides a comfortable ride.

As with other vehicles in the Renault stable, the car operates with a key disc which is inserted just below the on/off button.

This elicited much amusement from the staff at my local watering hole and admittedly did take a little getting used to.

The car is advertised as a four-seater, but in reality if you're any taller than Baby Jake Matlala you will feel cramped sitting in the back.

What is impressive, though, is because so much glass is involved in the construction, it gives you excellent visibility.

Under the bonnet is a two-litre, six-speed manual that turns out an impressive 98kw and a top speed of 205kmph.

All in all it was a really fun car to drive but all that fun does come at quite a steep price - R282000 to be exact.