Jack Evans test drives the new Megane E-Tech.
What is it?
The Megane E-Tech Electric is the first of a new generation of Renault EVs, and arrives with a load of new technology and a cutting edge platform. Electrifying a Megane is a big deal. After all, it’s one of the most recognisable names in Renault’s stable, so people will have high expectations of it.
So, what can it deliver?
Crucial to the new Megane E-Tech Electric is the CMF-EV platform underpinning it, which is dedicated to electric cars and results in better packaging and a more efficient layout.
Fitment of the batteries underneath the car’s floor should give better handling and improved cornering.
What’s under the bonnet?
There are two powertrains, offering either 129 or 215bhp, plus options of a 40kWh or 60kWh battery bringing respective ranges of 186 or 292 miles. 0-60mph takes 10.3 seconds or 7.2 seconds respectively. Renault gives an eight-year battery warranty and it’ll replace it should the battery drop below 70 per cent of its nominal capacity. Drivers are able to check this through a dedicated app too.
It can accept a charge of up to 130kW, meaning 186 miles of range added in 30 minutes to the smaller battery option via a rapid charger. A full charge via a 7.4kW home wall box will take just over six hours for the smaller battery version or just over nine for the larger.
What’s it like to drive?
Our most powerful version of the Megane E-Tech has good power and brisk acceleration. There’s a decent amount of pace away from a standing start, but at moderate speeds, the Megane feels pretty normal – and that’s no bad thing. Renault has quickened the steering and though this is helpful around town, it can feel a little light at greater speeds.
Through fast, flowing bends it felt composed and settled, and it’s also fantastically quiet and refined with the vast majority of exterior road and wind noise isolated from entering the cabin.
How does it look?
It’s great-looking, with interesting features and futuristic touches. At the back is the now ever-present light bar and a quite high boot line, giving the car a raised-up appearance.
What’s it like inside?
Sitting up front you’ve got a nice view of the road ahead, with both passenger and driver well catered for in terms of space.
The 440 litre boot has a very high load lip that drops into a deep area. There’s under-boot-floor storage for the cables, though you’ll need to empty the boot to access them.
What’s the spec like?
The Megane E-Tech adopts a new, good-looking, twin-screen wrap-around—the main infotainment screen is detailed but easy to operate and the driver display is much the same. The infotainment setup adopts Google’s technology and this is a smart move as features such as Maps or Spotify are very well-integrated and will be second nature to most drivers.
The Megane E-Tech Electric is a progressive step forward for Renault. It looks great, will have enough performance for most and has a good rate of charge that’ll mean you shouldn’t need to be stood at the plug for too long.