Even though you’re acutely aware it’s making you look like a yob, you just can’t help but downshift and floor it through tunnels with this car. The reason? All the silly pops and bangs - they’re addictive. Plus, the noises coming from the centre exit exhaust are more natural than what you get in the Hyundai i30 N - the hot hatch we ran last year.
Fun though they are in the Hyundai, it’s a little too engineered. In the Megane, on the other hand, there’s more of a sense of unpredictability to the exhaust racket, making it seem more natural.
One of the things we dislike most about the RS300 is the way it rides. As it’s seen use as a film crew car, the Trophy has been roped into tracking car duties a few times, something it’s no good at - there’s no way to get a steady shot. More relevantly, the firm ride really hampers everyday comfort. At least the seats are supportive.
The moment it was delivered, the Trophy really stood out thanks to its Liquid Yellow finish. Granted, at £1300 it’s a very spendy option, but a tempting one nonetheless. The colour enhances the RS300’s handsome and aggressive looks.
Like most modern cars, the Trophy loves to bing and bong at you when giving out various warnings, like when you’ve reached the fuel reserve. One noise we can’t stand, though, is the little welcome jingle that plays when you first get into the car. It’s pointless, soon gets tiring, and there’s no way to make it STFU.
When you’re driving the RS300 fast, you need to be prepared for a workout. Particularly if you’re on an uneven road - if you’re hitting tarmac imperfections while trying to put the power down, the steering wheel becomes particularly animated.
What’s frustrating about this is rivals are much better at combating torque steer. When we tested ‘our’ Megane against a Golf TCR a few months ago, it was clear almost immediately that the VW could get its 286bhp down to the ground with far less fuss.
Learn to keep on top of the torque steer, however, and you’ll find the Trophy to be an utter weapon on the right road. In the dry, the mechanical limited-slip differential and bespoke Bridgestone S007 tyres work together brilliantly, giving a feeling of endless traction and a great sense of confidence behind the wheel.
Renault’s latest-generation infotainment setup is pretty poor. The menu system isn’t particularly well laid out, and the screen is noticeably less responsive than most rivals. If you make the most of the Apple Car Play/Android Auto connectivity life gets much easier, but we’ve had problems making and receiving calls with Android devices plugged in.
Videographers don’t pack light. Ever. Thankfully, the Megane has a decent boot, offering 384 litres of space which we’ve frequently filled with tripods, cameras, gimbles and more. Drop the rear seats - which is nice and easy to do - and you can even fit a modern geometry, long-framed mountain bike in with only the front wheel off.
The ride issues mentioned earlier are a potential deal-breaker, so if it was our money, we’d consider going for an RS280 with the standard ‘Sport’ chassis. Forgoing the Cup pack - which is fitted as standard on the Trophy - means you have a softer suspension setup. It does also mean you lose the limited-slip differential.
To find out how much of an issue that is, stay tuned for our 280 Sport Vs 300 Trophy comparison test, which lands in the next few weeks.