If you currently find yourself in the market for a stylish, yet functional compact coupe the there really is a wealth of choice out there for you to pick from. Amongst the contenders are the highly impressive Volkswagen Scirocco, the zippy Peugeot 308 and the new Ford Mondeo Coupe that should be making a hotly anticipated appearance in 2010. However, in the here and now, there are really only two viable models that encompass everything that a compact coupe should be and still come in at a reasonable price. Consumers may make their choices on a whim or previous buying habits, but for my money the educated choice is in-between the Volvo C30 and the Renault Megane Coupe. The only problem is choosing one over the other; which in all honesty, could be quite a difficult challenge.
Let’s start with the Volvo. The C30 is, for all intents and purposes, a restyled Ford Focus. This is in no way a criticism as the Focus has proved itself to be a marvellous beacon for manufacturers to hold themselves up to. The Volvo C30 is everything you would expect from the Volvo stable; well built, well styled and with enviable performance and reliability. Volvo’s reputation for safety in all their vehicles is backed up by the accredited NCAP safety rating, for which the C30 received 5 stars. As it is the most affordable of all Volvo’s vehicles, the C30 should appeal strongly to young executive types and those amongst us with fledgling families. So far, so good.
The only fly in Volvo’s ointment comes when you check the aforementioned competition. The Renault Megane has proved itself to be a phenomenally popular car, selling extraordinarily well since it was released. The Coupe version has added a sleeker style to the range that will only prove more popular with those already converted to the Megane’s cause. Renault’s excellent reputation for fun, responsive and eager drive standards is more than evident in the new Megane Coupe, which will appeal more to the younger crowd and those who want a vehicle that is more than capable of slapping a silly grin on their faces.
In a methodical comparison, it is very hard to distinguish a superior candidate between the Renault Megane and the Volvo C30, both look great, both drive great and both will probably sell by the barrowful. Essentially I think they will appeal to vastly different markets. The Volvo has built a great deal of credibility in terms of reliability and safety; two factors which will appeal to the family men and women in the market for a coupe. Adversely, the Renault Megane will appeal more to the younger, more exuberant car drivers; maybe even seeking a market with those who have recently graduated from the hatchback genre.
Either way, you are getting a quality coupe that looks as good as it drives; the only distinction that can possibly be made between them can be found in the people who drive them. So are you a sleek and stylish Volvo, or a fun and funky Renault?