HomeREVIEWSRenault Megane E-Tech Review

Renault Megane E-Tech Review

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With a starting price of £35,995, the Megane E-Tech is a stylish, good-to-drive, tech-packed family hatchback based on the Volkswagen Golf.

Renault took this long to introduce the Megane R-Tech, which is surprising. The French firm’s pioneering Zoe supermini was introduced in 2013, giving it plenty of time to capitalize on its EV expertise. As a result, rivals such as Volkswagen’s outstanding ID 3 stole a march on it.

Although Renault has taken some time to launch its second all-electric model (we’ll forget the flawed and unpopular Fluence), it looks like the wait was worth it.  Megane is also a clean sheet design, and it uses the brand’s new CMF-EV platform (same platform as Nissan Ariya). From the ground up, it is designed to be an electric vehicle. It has lithium ion batteries under the floor, but unlike the ID 3, its motor is mounted at the front. In either case, this layout allows the interior to be more spacious, which is always a plus. 

Moreover, it’s around 200kg lighter than the ID 3, which affects how it drives and how efficient it is. As with all good family cars, the Megane E-Tech comes in a variety of battery sizes and motor options.

The styling is fantastic, as you can see by looking at it. As EVs progress, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing head-turning styling, but we think the Megane stands out.  With a bespoke electric car structure, the designers have been less constrained than with an internal combustion-powered car, so they can let their imaginations run wild.

Despite its high-riding stance, the Renault looks like it stepped straight off the pages of a stylist’s sketchbook thanks to its swoopy lines, bold LED light signatures, and huge 20-inch wheels. Like the much more expensive Jaguar i-Pace, the flush door handles pop out as soon as you approach. In addition to its good looks, the Megane is a pleasure to drive. When you drive the Renault, the first thing you’ll notice is how easy it is to drive. From view out, with a light and precise steering system that makes it easy to maneuver on the road.

You don’t have to worry about gears. Using the stubby gear lever, simply select Drive and away you go. Its near-silent motor provides instant and beautifully progressive acceleration, allowing it to take advantage of traffic gaps that traditional internal combustion cars may miss.  You may be unfamiliar with regenerative braking, and the way the car decelerates when you lift off the accelerator can be unnerving. The Renault, however, allows you to choose how much braking force you want by simply pulling on one of its steering wheel paddles.

In addition to being fun, the Renault zipped along twisting roads with enough poise and precision to make you genuinely smile. Despite this agility, it offers a soft and comfortable ride that makes it relaxing when you want to take it easy. There are few competitors who can lower your heart rate as quickly as you.

With the Megane, Renault keeps things simple by offering two battery sizes, each with a different motor.  A 40kWh battery with 186 miles of range will be available in some markets, leaving it behind the entry-level ID 3 and Citroën e-C4. The UK will only receive the EV60 model at launch, which has a 60kWh battery with 280 miles of official WLTP range – making it among the class leaders.

With the bigger battery, you can get to 80 percent capacity in around 30 minutes with DC CCS rapid charging at up to 130kW. You’ll have to pay extra for the CCS upgrade on the 40kWh model in order to achieve the same state as the 20kWh model. However, you’ll most likely charge your car overnight using a 7kW wallbox, which allows you to leave it to charge overnight. You’ll need nine hours for a full charge of the 60kWh battery compared to seven hours for the 40kWh battery.

Although we’ve touched on the Megane’s brisk performance, its powerful 217bhp motor makes the 60kWh version far faster statistically. The 0-62mph time is 7.4 seconds, which is more than fast enough to make you a traffic light grand prix world champion. The 129bhp of the 40kWh car may appear a bit underpowered by comparison, but its instant power allows it to leave drivers of more powerful internal combustion engines trailing in its wake.

You will love the Megane if you love technology. Renault’s interior embraces its hi-tech heart, unlike rivals such as the ID 3. In front of you is a 12.3-inch instrument display, while next to it is a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The widescreen experience rivals far more expensive models, such as the Mercedes EQS’s Hyperscreen display.

Despite the infotainment being a bit tricky to use on the move since there’s nowhere to rest your hand, the graphics are crisp, it reacts quickly, and the menus are logically laid out. It also runs a Google operating system, enabling even greater connectivity and over-the-air updates. It’s a family car, after all. Due to its bespoke EV platform, the Megane has more interior space than you’d expect from a traditional car since it is not constrained by the same packaging compromises as traditional vehicles.

Although it’s not quite as spacious at the back as an ID 3, and the smaller windows make it less airy, there’s still enough room for most families. There is a large seven-liter compartment between the front seats, where the gear lever normally would be, which Renault clearly thought about what buyers need. There are also numerous cupholders and USB-C charging ports. The boot is 440 liters, giving it a healthy advantage over the ID 3.

In the UK, the Megane will be available in EV60 firm and with three trim levels: Equilibre, Techno, and Launch Edition.

Featuring 18-inch wheels and LED headlights, the Equilibre trim starts at £35,995. A heated steering wheel and front seats, par assist, a rear-view camera, 12.3in instrument cluster, and 9in infotainment screen are included in the interior kit. From £38,495, the Techno trim adds driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and 20-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, and signature dynamic turn indicators. Also included are synthetic leather and recycled material trim, tinted rear windows, and dual-zone climate control.

As for the Launch Edition, it comes with 20in alloy wheels, a gold ‘F1 blade’, a 360-degree camera, and nine speakers from Harman Kardon. Aside from looking great inside and out, the Megane E-Tech is fun to drive, practical, and, in 60kWh form, unlikely to induce range anxiety. There will be some sleepless nights ahead for the ID 3.

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