In our last blog, we talked about Gav's desire to own an i30N because of its appeal as an all-rounded performance car, very much the perfect antidote in today's automotive lifestyle.
This time we take it even further with fellow i30N enthusiast Ben, only this time we're talking about his other steed, the Megane RS.
The thing with Ben is that his life has been centred around motorsport and performance vehicles from the get go. "My uncle was a race driver and my family worked at the race tracks so it was in my blood," he recalls of his youth, "I tried going down the pro karting route but it was so difficult to get sponsorship".
When you speak to Ben you notice a distinct English accent, and that UK car influence is evident in his current garage choices. He reflects with nostalgia, "hot hatches were mega back home, and I've actually had two Corsas and a Fiesta before the i30N and the Megane".
He and his partner share the vehicles for daily duties, which makes sense in buying two of the same type of vehicle. However, both appear to be left field choices for the majority of the market, so what had them gravitate towards the Korean and French products?
"There are just too many Golfs!" he laughs as we dig into his hot hatch history. That's very true, for every ten Rs and GTIs you'd be lucky to spot a single RS or N product, while the shapes and design of both are significantly different to the traditional notion of the modern hot hatch. Ben's N is a since-discontinued fastback, while the Megane looks like a standard car post-steroid cycle.
Yes, being different is important but surely nobody makes a purchase decision solely on one benefit compared to the plethora of positive reviews and impressions for competitors such as the Golf R, M140i and S3. Where does someone take that additional value from the Renault?
Ben takes over for this, "4-wheel steering, the tonic orange colour and the styling of the car is something that you can't find anywhere else in this price range".
He's not wrong, look at the photos! Curves and angles in all the right places, the car looks incredibly premium by comparison to its competition with a colour finish that is unrivalled in its class.
Performance wise, it loses slightly in displacement, but makes it up with an incredibly responsive dual-clutch and a 4-wheel steering system that isn't offered in the majority of vehicles under six figures.
As for the cockpit, drivers are afforded the comfort of Alcantara RS bucket seats, complementing a touchscreen unit and a plethora of neat lighting options. "Super important', Ben comments, "all the fun is spent inside the car so it's a bit of a priority".
Sales pitch for Renault complete and for the most part we are sold of the Megane RS. But considering we're comparing apples to apples with the i30N, there's one question that needs to be asked.
Your house is burning down and you need to take one car to escape, which one is it?
Ben's response is one of conviction, "Megane because the launch control out of a burning house would be fire".
Game. Set. Match.
The temptation is always there to strip one down for dedicated track use, a pastime Ben continues to enjoy on the regular, but just like Gav last write up, he can't because these cars just do everything well!
"I've decided with my partner that a house comes first... then the dedicated track car."
Ha! We're keen to see how long they'll be able to hold off that track car purchase...