Renault’s new electric car is a tempting, eye-catching car with lots of clever tech features — and a touch of Gallic flair writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? This week’s test car, the Renault Mégane E-Tech, caused quite a stir and it seemed no age group was immune to its charm. Everyone from random passersby to teenage girls had something to say about the striking exterior
Is it a looker? With concept-car looks and a very distinctive new ‘Nouvel R’ logo, the Mégane stands out from the crowd. While the height, spaciousness and boot volume are reminiscent of traditional hatchback models, the wide tracks, sleek roofline and flush door handles feel more like a coupé.
What’s the interior like? Inside, the dimensions of the Mégane E-Tech Electric are similar to those of the regular Mégane, but actually the interior space has increased. Overall, it’s not too tall, long or wide and it’s just the right balance of comfort and practicality. It’s also awash with all the creature comforts you might expect, including a 12.3in dashboard display, nine-inch multimedia display, and Android Auto with Google services.
On the road? It’s really good car to drive, the steering is light and there is a nice amount of feedback with just enough poke. The suspension is on the firm side and the handling is secure and predictable. The battery, at only 110mm, is 40% smaller than the Zoe battery and is the thinnest on the market.
What are my options? Buyers can choose between two batteries: 40kWh or 60kWh. Our test car was the 60kWh version, capable of up to 450km (300km on EV40 version) on a single charge. While in the real world you can expect to achieve less than that, either version will cover most daily driving needs comfortably.
What about charging? How fast a car can charge is rapidly becoming a key selling point and the good news is the Mégane is able to accept a rapid DC charge at speeds of up to 130kW, which means you can add up to 300km of driving range in just 30 minutes. The Google-based infotainment tech means you can avail of Google’s electric route planner which makes long journeys easy by planning an optimal route, suggesting charging points along the way and constantly updating the route according to energy use. The system will even warn the driver should a proposed charging station be out of order prior to arrival and advise of its compatibility with the car.
How does it compare to rivals? Snapping at the heels of Volkswagen’s ID3 (€42,162), the Cupra Born (€39,020) and the Kia Niro EV (€43,550), the Mégane is well priced and starts from €37,495 for EV40 versions and €41,995 for the longer-range EV60. Three trim levels are offered: Equilibre, Techno and a range-topping Launch Edition available exclusively with the EV60 powertrain.
How safe is it? Awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, the car comes with up to 26 advanced driver-assistance systems as standard, from automatic emergency braking with junction assist that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, to emergency lane-keeping assist with oncoming traffic and road-edge detection
So what’s the verdict? The Mégane E-Tech is stunningly good looking and will tick many family car boxes. And, yes, there are quibbles: space in the back isn’t great and rear visibility is pretty bad, but if you’re looking for an eye-catching, zero-emission addition to your driveway, the new Mégane is very tempting.
Mégane E-Tech EV60
Starting price: €37,495 (€41,995 as tested)
Engine: Single electric motor
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Co2/Motor Tax: 0g/km/€120
Battery Capacity: 60kWh
16th Novemember 2022