You have to hand it to the French, when it comes to style they always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else.
And that applies just as much to their automotive creations as to the garments created for the catwalks of Paris.
Take the latest generation Renault Megane, now a racy little number with enough curves to earn it a place on the cover of Vogue.
The fourth generation of the popular family hatchback is not a car you will miss in the daylight or at night thanks to the dramatic wave of red LEDs lighting its rear and vivid white ones outlining its “face”.
Longer and lower than its predecessor the new incarnation retains the same width so there is still plenty of elbow room for passengers.
Step inside and you will find an interior which is just as stylish as the outside, with a nice quality feel to the seats - part leather and part cloth in the case of my Dynamique S Nav grade test car - and a futuristic dashboard design.
The dashboard is dominated by an 8.7 inch portrait touch screen which operates virtually everything except the temperature control so you have a clutter-free surface.
It takes a little practice to remember the correct sequence to lead you into what function you are looking for simply because there is so much available.
Via the screen you can also set the car up for your whatever style of driving you prefer, including eco, comfort and sport and each mode changes the ambient lighting colour as well as the look of the dials.
Opt for sport, for example, and you get red lighting on the dash and car interior as well as a dominant rev counter wrapped around a digital speedometer. Other choice settings allow for a conventional analogue speedo if that’s your preferred option.
The large screen also features Tom Tom live satellite navigation services as well as showing you what’s behind you when reversing, via the rear view camera.
The 110bhp model I tried is expected to be the best seller of the range and it doesn’t take long behind the wheel to find out why.
Not only is the cabin very quiet but there is a very impressive blend of real punchy performance and economy which makes the car rewarding to drive yet is easy on the pocket.
With a little bit if care I managed to easily achieve 65 miles per gallon even when driving in Sport mode. And with CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km this Megane will be popular with business users trying to keep their tax bills down.
When you need to move quickly the Megane doesn’t disappoint, with a surprisingly sharp response to the accelerator and good road holding.
On a practical level the Megane has a sensible size boot with 384 litres of space which can be increased to 1,247 litres with the split folding rear seatbacks lowered.
And useful on-board features include automatic low/high beam headlights, traffic sign recognition and a lane departure warning system.
The Megane has been around for 20 years in different guises and notched up more than 6.5 million sales but the latest one – as you would expect – has been taken to a completely different level and should ensure it’s around for many more years to come.
World: Renault Megane Dynamique S Nav dci 110
Mechanical: 1461cc, 110 bhp four cylinder diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 116 mph
0-62mph: 11.3 secs
Combined mpg: 76.4
CO 2 emissions: 96 g/km
BiK: 19 %
Warranty: 4 years/100,000 miles