There is just no stopping Renault these days. The hugely successful French automobile manufacturer has seen its worldwide sales rise to over 3.18 million vehicles in 2016 and has reported sales growth in every market that it sells its vehicles in. Playing its part in taking Renault to new heights globally is the wonderful new Mégane range.

My test car was a stunning new Renault Mégane GC (short for Grand Coupe) ‘Dynamique S Nav’ 4-door, fitted with Renault’s super-smooth 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine and mated to a precise & direct 6-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to its striking front and rear lighting signature with 3D- effect LED technology, this is certainly a car that stands out from the crowd.

This 1.6-litre engine provides 130bhp, 320Nm of torque and is capable of a 0-100km/h sprint time of just over 10 seconds, while achieving a top speed (where permitted) of 198km/h. Thanks to a low Co2 emission figure of just 103g/km, annual road tax is only €190, while a combined fuel consumption figure of just 4.0-litres/100km (or 70mpg) is achievable. Wind and engine noise are both well controlled and while you do notice a bit of road noise, it’s only because that’s all you can hear on the move.

The new Mégane GC’s dashboard is dominated by its touchscreen, which in my test car is an 8.7” tablet-style affair that handles all the car’s major functions. I found this ‘R-Link 2’ system to be intuitive, quick and responsive with the main functions immediately accessible.

The new Mégane GC offers plenty of head and elbow-room for front and rear seat occupants alike. There’s also lots of stowage for bits and bobs in the large central cubby and generously proportioned door pockets. The seats are even more impressive – soft enough to be welcoming, yet with enough support all over to prevent backache on a long journey. Boot space ranges from 503-litres with the rear seats in place to 987-litres with the rear seats folded flat.

The new Mégane scored well in the benchmark Euro-NCAP crash tests, with a five-star rating under the very latest test regime. That should make it a sturdy and safe place to be in a crash. As you’d expect from a car with such a score, it comes with all the airbags you could wish for, as well as systems to prevent skids in a straight line (and in corners) as standard on every model.

Designed as a replacement for the Fluence, the new Mégane GC is available in four trim levels – Expression, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav, while power is supplied by either a 1.5-litre (110bhp) or 1.6-litre (130bhp) turbo diesel engine. There is also a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a super-smooth 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Priced from as little as €21,990 the new Renault Mégane GC offers excellent value for money. Standard specification across all four trim levels is very impressive and is sure to attract buyers looking for a technology-laden, comfortable, safe and spacious family car.