What Car? says...
As electric cars continue to grow in popularity, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is big news, both for Renault and for anyone considering a pure-electric family hatchback.
It’s big for Renault because this is the first of its cars to sit on a new, bespoke electric vehicle (EV) structure that will form the basis of many models in the years to come. At the same time, it’s big news for anyone shopping for a family car, because the Megane E-Tech Electric only comes in fully electric form.
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Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric's two battery options are a 40kWh and a 60kWh. The former is paired with a 129bhp electric motor and offers an official range of 186 miles, while the latter has 215bhp and a 292-mile range.
We’ve yet to try the smaller of the two batteries but the more powerful 60kWh Megane feels sufficiently potent, sprinting from a standstill to 62mph in 7.4sec. As with other electric cars, power is delivered instantly and you’ll have no issues surging up to motorway speeds.
Another positive is the lack of excessive body lean through corners on a winding road. It’s not really the kind of car you drive quickly, though, and it doesn’t take much to reach the Megane’s limit of grip, but it’s nimble enough that you can have some fun. It’s not as dynamic as the Cupra Born, but it’s certainly more enjoyable than the Nissan Leaf and Volkwagen ID.3.
The steering is fairly light, even in the Sport mode, but it weights up consistently and makes the Megane feel wieldy around town, yet confidence-inspiring at higher speeds.
Small steering wheel paddles allow you to adjust the level of regenerative braking (there are four settings to choose from). This not only sends energy back into the battery under deceleration to improve range, but can also greatly reduce the need to use the regular brakes, especially around town. All in all, the Megane is a very easy car to drive smoothly.
Renault is very proud of how the batteries are packaged to reduce cabin noise, a method it calls ‘cocoon effect’. It has worked well, and the Megane E-Tech Electric is a very quiet car to cruise around town in. It’s much the same story when speeds increase, with only slight tyre noise creeping in.
- The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric was too new to feature in our 2021 What Car? Reliability survey but Renault as a brand claimed a middling 16th place out of 30. That places it ahead of Ford and Peugeot but behind Kia, Skoda and Toyota. For peace of mind, all Renaults come with a five-year warranty. Read more here
- Yes – in fact, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric comes exclusively as an electric car. You have two batteries to choose from, either 40kWh or 60kWh. The 40kWh car has 129bhp and an official range of 186 miles, while the 60kWh version delivers 215bhp and can officially do up 292 miles. Read more here
- Renault has yet to confirm the standard equipment and pricing for each version of the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, so it’s hard to say which is the best. Even so, we expect there to be three trim levels – Equilibre, Techno and Launch Edition – and they will all come with plenty of standard kit. Read more here
- All versions of the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric come with plenty of standard safety equipment, including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking (AEB). To give you added peace of mind, Euro NCAP awarded the model five stars out of five when it was tested for safety this year. Read more here
- There are two infotainment system options for the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. If you go for the entry-level Equilibre trim, you get a 9.0in touchscreen system, while the other trims come with a 12.0in touchscreen. All versions come with software that runs on Google’s Android Automotive OS, which means you get integrated services including Google Maps and Google Assistant.Read more here
- The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric’s boot is big enough to take a large shop or a couple of buggies, and is deep but relatively short. Because of its shape, it provides less usable space than the Kia e-Niro and Volkswagen ID.3. To maximise the space there is, there’s a handy cubby under the floor for storing the charging cables. Read more here