Renault’s drive for clean school air

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

More than half of drivers would be willing to take a different route on their regular commute, if it meant avoiding and reducing congestion outside schools, claims new data.

This congestion, which leads to vehicles sitting with their engines running (also known as idling), is a key contributor to poor air quality – and there are more than 8,500 schools, nurseries and colleges in England, Scotland and Wales located in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution.

The findings, which form the latest part of Renault’s ongoing “Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” campaign, also revealed that a third of motorists (37%) said they know of a different route which doesn’t involve driving by a school, while 39% said the reason for not driving a different way to avoid a school was because they do a set route.

Despite the improvement in air quality that could be achieved through such a detour, 62% of drivers who had an alternate route to avoid a school said they don’t take it as it adds more time to their journey.

“Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” 

An idling engine contributes the equivalent of 150 party balloons-worth of emissions unnecessarily into the atmosphere every minute.

Renault found idling during the school drop-off and pick-up is more common in urban areas – with 50.1% admitting to doing it – compared to 12% in rural locations. More than 28% of people of those who admitted to idling said they leave their engines running for 6-10 minutes.

Renault's drive for clean school air

Renault is a pioneer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles and is now Europe’s number one manufacturer for electric cars and vans.

In total, it sold more than 115,000 EVs across the continent in 2020, with the Zoe E-Tech 100% electric becoming the best-selling electric car (sales of more than 100,000).

It has broadened its electrified offering further to include the Renault Captur and Mégane Sport Tourer E-Tech plug-in hybrids as well as the Clio, Captur and All-New Arkana E-Tech hybrid.

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Dacia Sandero review

Dacia Sandero review

Brace yourselves badge snobs, you’re in for a shock. You see, we’ve just driven the all-new second-generation Dacia Sandero and it’s something of a revelation.

Priced from just £7,995, the Sandero is still the UK’s most affordable new car, yet the latest version sports fresh new looks, a jump in quality, more tech and it drives surprisingly well.

What’s more, it offers supermini space for significantly less than the cheapest city car on the market, plus low depreciation.

Dacia Sandero review

Based on the same platform as the impressive Renault Clio (the French car giant has owned Romania’s Dacia brand since 1999), it’s no surprise that the Sandero is a much-improved car.

The shape may be familiar, but it’s much sharper than the outgoing model with horizontal Y-shaped daytime running lights that flow into the chrome bars of Dacia’s corporate grille, a moulded bonnet and new rear lights.

It’s both longer and wider than its predecessor, which has boosted space inside the cabin and in the boot. There’s now 328 litres of luggage space (1,108 litres with the back seats folded) and there’s plenty of room in the rear for adult passengers.

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

As before, you can choose between the standard Sandero or the Sandero Stepway which has a more rugged appearance, a raised ride height and clever roof rails which cleverly convert into a roof rack to carry loads up to 80kg.

The Sandero is better equipped too. Entry-level Access models come with LED headlights, front electric windows and a phone docking station. Mid-range Essential gains air-conditioning, cruise control and remote central locking, while the range-topping Comfort gets electric rear windows and an 8.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen.

The cabin generally is more appealing than before, but it’s still fairly basic with hard plastic surfaces. That said, the seats are comfortable, the driving position is good (avoid Access trim which has no height-adjustable driver’s seat), while visibility is average for its class.

Dacia Sandero review

Powered by a range of three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engines of varying outputs (64bhp and 80bhp), plus a 99bhp Bi-Fuel option which can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as regular unleaded and is capable of more than 800 miles of range when both tanks are full.

We tried the Bi-Fuel Sandero in top-grade Comfort specification, which is capable of up to 52.3 mpg (petrol) or 39.8mpg (using LPG which is around half the price of unleaded).

Emissions are 123g/km for the petrol engine and 109g/km when operating on gas. With a 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds, it’s no hot hatch, but quite adequate for everyday driving. It’s also smooth and refined for its size.

Dacia Sandero review

It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox (the base level 64bhp engine only gets a five-speeder), which works well. The ride isn’t the most sophisticated, but it’s perfectly comfortable, while the handling is composed, if on the soft side.

We also tested the Sandero Stepway in top-of-the-range Prestige trim, which came with an 89bhp petrol engine and six-speed CVT automatic gearbox.

For us, the bigger-selling Stepway variant doesn’t just win on looks, but it also offers a more engaging drive. The automatic gearbox is just the job, especially for easy city driving, and it offers fuel economy of up to 45.6mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km.

Dacia Sandero review

So, the reality is that despite its headline-grabbing entry-level price point, there are lots of reasons to avoid the smaller engines and lower specs, meaning your end purchase is likely to cost between £10-15,000.

Still, even in that price bracket, the Sandero siblings easily undercut other (base-level) superminis.

Dacia Sandero review

The only fly in the ointment is when it comes to safety. Euro NCAP awarded the Sandero a disappointing two stars out of five.

Among the criticisms was that the car’s radar-only Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system reacts to other vehicles, but lacks the capability to prevent crashes with pedestrians or cyclists.

Euro NCAP also criticised the Sandero for not being available with active lane-keeping assistance.

This safety rating shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though because the tests were carried out after the more stringent safety regime was introduced in 2020. A year or two ago, the Sandero would have been a high-flier. Dacia also deserves praise because AEB is standard across the range.

Verdict: Overall, the Dacia Sandero and Sandero Stepway represent fantastic value for money – compelling, no-nonsense propositions, offering practicality, comfort, low running costs – and now some much-needed kerb appeal.

Dacia UK

Dacia Sandero review

Alpine 110 review

To say that the Alpine 110 has been one of the most eagerly anticipated new cars of recent times would be an understatement. It’s not just the return of a legendary French brand after more than 20 years, but it’s proof positive that there’s plenty of mileage left in the concept of lightweight, mid-engined sports …

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Lowers Price

Renault are set to make their all-conquering Mégane Renaultsport even more irresistible by introducing a new entry-level model, slashing the price to under £24k.

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Preview 09

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S

The Renaultsport 275 Cup-S distills the Mégane’s essence into its purest form, ditching creature comforts in favour of the Cup chassis (usually a £1,350 option) and the same 275hp turbocharged petrol engine as the limited-edition 275 Trophy-R, and it’s all yours for just £23,935.

Personally I wouldn’t be satisfied with that. Having driven a Trophy-spec Mégane I’d have to add the optional Ohlins dampers. They may be expensive at £2,000 but they transform the ride, improving both body control and the Mégane’s ability to handle bumps and compressions. You’ve then got the best handling chassis in its class for less than £26k, less than the price of a 227bhp Golf GTI.

The headline figures can be a bit misleading though. In ‘normal’ mode the Megane’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops 250hp at 5,500rpm. It’s only when you start playing around with the Renaultsport Dynamic Management system that you can unleash the full-fat 275hp. With peak power comes 360Nm of torque, covering the mid-range from 3,000 to 5,000rpm.

If the thought of a modern car without so much as air-conditioning puts you off then take a look at the other end of the Mégane spectrum. The new 275 Nav replaces the 265 Nav and represents the softer side of the Mégane’s character. For £25,935 you get the same engine and straight-line performance but sacrifice the Cup Chassis (still available as an option) for the slightly softer Sport setup and lots more toys in the cabin. It adds dual-zone climate, auto lights and wipers, R-Link V2 multimedia system with navigation, better sound system, keyless entry and tinted rear windows.

Both the 275 Nav and Cup-S are available to order now with deliveries starting in November.

2015 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Specifications

Performance & Economy 2015 Mu00e9gane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S 2015 Mu00e9gane Renaultsport 275 Nav
Engine 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 360 / 265 at 3,000-5,000rpm 279 / 275 @ 5,500rpm
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 6.0 6.0
Top Speed (mph) 158 158
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 174 174
VED Band H H
Combined Economy (mpg) 37.7 37.7
Kerb Weight (kg) 1,376 1,376
Insurance Group 40E 40E
Price (OTR) £23,935 £25,935

Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Lowers Price

Renault are set to make their all-conquering Mégane Renaultsport even more irresistible by introducing a new entry-level model, slashing the price to under £24k.

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Preview 09

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S

The Renaultsport 275 Cup-S distills the Mégane’s essence into its purest form, ditching creature comforts in favour of the Cup chassis (usually a £1,350 option) and the same 275hp turbocharged petrol engine as the limited-edition 275 Trophy-R, and it’s all yours for just £23,935.

Personally I wouldn’t be satisfied with that. Having driven a Trophy-spec Mégane I’d have to add the optional Ohlins dampers. They may be expensive at £2,000 but they transform the ride, improving both body control and the Mégane’s ability to handle bumps and compressions. You’ve then got the best handling chassis in its class for less than £26k, less than the price of a 227bhp Golf GTI.





The headline figures can be a bit misleading though. In ‘normal’ mode the Megane’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops buy nexium 20 250hp at 5,500rpm. It’s only when you start playing around with the Renaultsport Dynamic Management system that you can unleash the full-fat 275hp. With peak power comes 360Nm of torque, covering the mid-range from 3,000 to 5,000rpm.

If the thought of a modern car without so much as air-conditioning puts you off then take a look at the other end of the Mégane spectrum. The new 275 Nav replaces the 265 Nav and represents the softer side of the Mégane’s character. For £25,935 you get the same engine and straight-line performance but sacrifice the Cup Chassis (still available as an option) for the slightly softer Sport setup and lots more toys in the cabin. It adds dual-zone climate, auto lights and wipers, R-Link V2 multimedia system with navigation, better sound system, keyless entry and tinted rear windows.

Both the 275 Nav and Cup-S are available to order now with deliveries starting in November.


Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Preview 09

Performance & Economy 2015 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S 2015 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Nav
Engine 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 360 / 265 at 3,000-5,000rpm 279 / 275 @ 5,500rpm
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 6.0 6.0
Top Speed (mph) 158 158
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 174 174
VED Band H H
Combined Economy (mpg) 37.7 37.7
Kerb Weight (kg) 1,376 1,376
Insurance Group 40E 40E
Price (OTR) £23,935 £25,935

The post Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Lowers Price appeared first on Driving Spirit.

Continue reading Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Lowers Price