New Renault Modus
Three years after its launch, the Modus has been extensively facelifted and a longer Grand Modus model slotted into the product line up. A wider range of low CO2 engines brings the product offering bang up to date.
The suspension of the Modus draws its inspiration from that of the Mégane II, itself one of the better riding cars in its class. Both its ride and road-handling match best-in-class levels and there’s a wide engine choice available to UK customers. The petrol engines comprise two 1.2-litre units: a 75bhp 1.2-litre and a 100bhp 1.2-litre turbo. Plus there’s a 111bhp 1.6 VVT automatic. The Modus diesel engine range includes the 68bhp and 86bhp 1.5-litre dCi units. The Grand Modus gets the 86bhp and a 106bhp diesel. The 5-speed manual gearbox is taken from the Mégane II, with gear ratios adapted to the Modus, but there’s an optional Quickshift5 clutchless set-up for the dCi86. Renault has worked hard to ensure low noise levels and the Modus features a significant amount of noise insulation material.
The 1.2-litre Turbo Control Efficiency (TCE) engine is probably the pick of the bunch and will get the Modus to 60mph in 10.9 seconds on the way to a maximum of 113mph. No car in this class can cut it these days without generous safety provision and the Modus adopts a belt and braces philosophy. It benefits from Bosch 8.0 anti-lock brakes with brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist as standard. Buyers can also opt for a new-generation ESP electronic stability control with ASR traction control.
The Modus gets revised headlights, bumpers and rear screen amongst other details while the Grand Modus weighs in with an extra 16cm in length and up to 410 litres of luggage space. The wheelbase has been increased over the standard Modus by 93mm, which means better rear leg room and a quieter ride. The interior is exceptionally airy, the huge amount of glass up top and the low waistline brightening the cabin. The driving position feels more like a mini-MPV than a conventional hatch and the centrally mounted instrument panel allows the designers to make a feature of the smooth sweep of the fascia, again giving a clean, minimalist look.
Customers choose from either entry level Expression or better equipped Dynamique trims with prices for the Modus kicking off at £9,650 and £10,250 for the Grand Modus. Core features on all versions include ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), auto adaptive airbags for driver and front passenger, lateral airbags, brake assist, double optic headlights with a ‘See Me Home’ function, ISOFIX seatbelt fixings, a R.A.I.D. (Renault Anti Intruder Device) alarm, remote central locking, height adjustable headrests, a 60:40 split-folding rear seat (Modus) and a 60:40 split folding and sliding rear seat (Grand Modus).
Expression models feature air conditioning, 15" ‘Aria’ wheel trims, a 2 x 15W RDS radio CD with wheel mounted controls, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, a height adjustable driver’s seat, electric front windows and a multifunctional trip computer. Go for the Dynamique and you’ll get 15" alloy wheels (‘Spoke’ on Modus and ‘Barioca’ on Grand Modus), curtain airbags, heated/body coloured/electrically folding and adjustable door mirrors, electric rear windows, front fog lights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, rear seatbelt pretensioners on outer rear seats and a soft touch dashboard.