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Renault Mégane E-Tech test: Yes to 100% electric!

 

Renault Mégane E-Tech

Renault and electricity is already a long history, made up of 10 years of experience and 10 billion kilometers traveled by 400,000 vehicles. Leader of the electric market in Europe, the brand continues its “Renaulution” with the Mégane E-Tech.

The Mégane E-Tech is the first model to adopt the brand’s new stylistic canons, as well as the new logo. It also testifies to Renault’s desire to establish its reputation in the compact electric wagon segment. Because yes, the Mégane E-Tech only exists in a “battery” version. Cautiously, Renault continues however (for some time at least) to market the “old” Mégane in petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid versions.

 

On board

When we discover the Renault Mégane E-Tech for the first time, we are first surprised by its relative compactness. Its length does not exceed 4.20 m. Would Mégane E-Tech want to put an end to the dimensional inflation that characterizes so many models today?

From the outset, the modernity of the dashboard is not to displease us. Some elements, however, seem very inspired by major German brands. This is the case of the “square” steering wheel, initially discovered in the BMW iX, and the gear selector on the steering column, a solution prized by Mercedes. The catch is that in the Renault, the wiper control is just underneath. On several occasions, therefore, we found ourselves engaging the windshield wipers when we wanted to go backwards. However, we end up getting used to it.

At first, if the driving position seems very good to us, with a low seat and a large amplitude of deep adjustment of the steering wheel, over time, one detail bothers us: the accelerator is too close to the floor. We are therefore forced to drive with the right foot inclined enough, which ends up generating discomfort in the heel.

Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault Megane E-Tech – DR

For the rest, the materials (100% recycled for the Techno and Balance versions) are eye-catching and the storage is sufficient. We will also appreciate the small receptacle for the smartphone (with induction charging) as well as the presence of a control panel for air conditioning. As usual at Renault, the architecture of the menus of the various functions is clear, which means that you never look very long for your way.

The rear seats are not particularly spacious, and if the front seats are set to the lowest, it is no longer possible to slide your feet underneath. With an honest volume of 440 liters, the trunk suffers from a very large difference in height between the access threshold and the floor. Beware of kidney towers. A space of 32 liters allows you to store the charging cable. We would have preferred a small trunk at the front, but hey…

On the road

Renault offers the Mégane E-Tech in several variants. The basic version has a 130 hp and 250 Nm engine combined with a 40 kWh battery (300 km of WLTP range). Two types of internal charger are planned: Standard charge (from 2.3 to 7 kW) and Boost charge (from 2.3 to 22 kW or 85 kW in direct current).

This same motor can also work in combination with a 60 kWh battery (470 km of autonomy) and two chargers of your choice (from 2.3 to 7 or 22 kW or 130 kW in direct current), but with different names: Super charge and Optimum charge. For this test, we had the most powerful engine (218 hp and 300 Nm) automatically associated with the large battery (450 km of autonomy) and here too with the choice of the power of the chargers. Complicated all that!

Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault Megane E-Tech – DR

This engine obviously gives full satisfaction in terms of performance, including fairly efficient acceleration (0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 s). In terms of comfort, despite the large 20-inch wheels, the damping pleasantly surprised us with its ability to filter small irregularities. On the behavioral side, the mass of nearly 1.8 tons is not felt at all. It must be said that the setting of the power steering gives a lot of dynamism to the front axle. Too much for our taste for a family car, understand that we would have preferred a steering wheel with a quieter level of control.

 

Budget

Renault announces an average consumption of 16.1 kWh/100 km. After a week of testing, we recorded 15.6 kWh/100 km. It is true that we have constantly sought to make the best use of the freewheel function allowing the car to continue its momentum without consuming anything, while managing the regeneration of energy at deceleration with the brake pedal.

The intensity of the regeneration can also be modulated via the paddles on the steering wheel, but even when choosing the maximum intensity, the Mégane E-Tech cannot be driven by a pedal. By default (at start-up), the foot lift deceleration corresponds to the engine brake of a conventional car.

Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault Megane E-Tech – DR

Three trim levels are planned. We had a Techno model, the second level, with automatic air conditioning, induction smartphone charger, air purifier, directional LED headlights, steering wheel and heated seats at the front, openR link multimedia system with navigation and connected services as standard. With its options, our model cost 49.490 €. The entry-level is displayed at 37.200 €.

 

Conclusion

Certainly, the Mégane E-Tech has strong arguments. Aesthetically attractive, it offers a welcoming interior (although its rear seats are not particularly spacious) and has full standard equipment. It is also honestly positioned compared to its rivals in terms of price. In its most powerful version, the driving pleasure is also at the rendezvous with in addition, a well-controlled consumption. Too bad that the too sharp setting of its direction is at the limit of caricature.

Renault Mégane E-Tech test: Yes to 100% electric!
Renault Mégane E-Tech test: Yes to 100% electric!

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