Renault Megane e Tech Review: Is This the Future of Electric Cars? Read Our Review Now!

Our team has tested and that’s why CubzAuto presenting a renault megane e tech review for you. Check it out and let us know your feedback.

The new generation of the Renault Megane will arrive at dealerships in March 2022 as an electric model. But in the meantime, the fifth iteration of the popular French compact is still available in traditional petrol and diesel versions and in an electrified version bearing the E-Tech surname. 

The current Renault Megane hit the market in 2016 as a new rival for the even more popular segment in Europe, that of the compact. The previous three generations did very well, and this one isn’t disappointing either, despite the rise of the SUV segment. Well, that has resulted in the version that will replace it will have a more robust appearance, just as the trends dictate, and will also say goodbye to internal combustion mechanics.

But, returning to our protagonist, it must be said that no one could buy the plug-in hybrid version until September 2020. And then, it was yes or yes with a really practical family body, as my namesake proved a few months ago. And it was not until before the summer of 2021, in March when this mechanical configuration reached the five-door version, which Renault refers to as “Berlina”. Technically, this body should win the most sales, but will it do it?

Because that does not mean that this will be the last best seller in the range since, like almost any plug-in hybrid, the starting price is not the most attractive. We are talking about 35,694 euros, which can go up to almost 40,000 euros that the unit you see on the screen costs. Some of its details are worth it, while others may only be to the liking of some audiences. So is it a worthwhile product? That’s what we’re going to try to find out.

But, returning to our protagonist, it must be said that no one could buy the plug-in hybrid version until September 2020. And at that time, it was yes or yes with a really practical family body, as my namesake was able to prove a few months ago. And it was not until before the summer of 2021, in March when this mechanical configuration reached the five-door version, which Renault refers to as “Berlina”. Technically, this is the body that should win the most sales, but will it do it?

Because that does not mean that this will be the last best seller in the range since, like almost any plug-in hybrid, the starting price is not the most attractive. We are talking about 35,694 euros, which can go up to almost 40,000 euros that the unit you see on the screen costs. Some of its details are worth it, while others may only be to the liking of some audiences. So is it a worthwhile product? That’s what we’re going to try to find out.

Renault Megane e Tech Review

Renault Megane e Tech Review

Exterior of Renault Megane E-Tech

This generation of Renault Mégane is already giving its last lashes before its replacement arrives in a few months. However, with the recently received update, it holds up well to face the latest models from other manufacturers, such as the Peugeot 308, the Ford Focus, or the SEAT León. Please take a good look at it, it’s recognizable as the Mégane we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015, but it’s still capable of turning heads thanks to subtle changes.

The external dimensions are maintained, with a length of 4.36 meters, a width of 1.2 m, and a height of 1.44 m, with a wheelbase of 2.67 m. However, the small details make the latest evolution of the Mégane still attractive. For example, a grille gains prominence with a horizontal pattern of diamond-cut sheets. At the same time, the bumper has been redesigned with ribs that emphasize the line of the 100% LED headlights –more stylized– and the inner grille.

The profile view is the one that receives the fewest changes beyond the design of the alloy wheels. At the rear, the headlights follow the headlights, with a new pattern of LEDs that provide a more refined touch. The rear bumper has also been slightly redesigned with more prominent features, and in the case of the RS Line (former GT Line) side, the trapezoidal exhaust outlets are completely false. The exhaust is located on the left side, hidden behind the bumper.

The only details that distinguish the Mégane E-Tech from the rest are given by the emblems “E-Tech | Plug-In Hybrid” present on the B-pillar and on the tailgate, so if you see it parked, this will be the only way to tell it apart. Another is listening to it or getting on board and seeing the distinctive details. That is what we are going to do now.

Interior of Renault Megane E-Tech

On board, we find a dashboard practically traced to the pre-restyling model, but it has been improved more than it seems at first glance. Although before, the upper part was made of plastic that was not so pleasant to the touch, with the facelift, it has gained a much softer and more delicious surface to touch. Not so much the bottom, which retains the hard plastics. Although in its favor, it must be said that there is no creaking or mismatch between them. Without a doubt, we can say that it is the most pleasant Mégane to date.

The top Mégane (with permission of the RS) would not have a “true” premium interior without piano black and faux carbon fiber trim. These components do not marry as well. Neither does the command dedicated to the control of the audio system, which has been part of the Renault parts catalog for more than a decade (such as the dials for the panoramic roof or the button panel to adjust the mirrors and lower/raise the windows). What is new is the multimedia system.

This 9.3-inch screen hosts the French brand’s latest operating system, EasyLINK. This includes a new interface that, although it is more fluid than the model it precedes, still needs to get close to the latest launched by its competitors. In it, multiple screens can be customized with different widgets, such as a screen dedicated to navigation and shared with the audio and the link to the mobile phone, another dedicated to the functions of energy management and climate control, and others for travel details.

The air conditioning system is also new, and, following in the footsteps of the Clio, it debuts a set of buttons that mixes analog with digital. I like it, although I would also appreciate it if the air direction controls were physical. Also to appreciate is the arrival of ambient lighting (present in the doors and center console), the classic layout of the controls, and the feel of the gear lever, with a center section milled in aluminum and a leather cover with contrasting red stitching.

A tone is also present in the door armrests (very nice) and in the seats, which are specific to the RS Line finish. The headrest is integrated into the set, and the lateral petals gather the body well unless they are of a narrow complexion, as is the case; that derives in that you will dance in it when you take a curve something quick. These are fabric and manual adjustments in all settings, with the Renault Sport logo embroidered on a label. That same logo is also visible on the steering wheel.

Once seated, the driver has a 10.2-inch fully digital instrument panel which, thanks to being encased in a box like a needle instrument panel would be, largely prevents glare from the sun. This is a fairly complete screen, although it does not allow great customization beyond the aesthetic change when selecting the “Sport” mode. The tachometer takes center stage there, with the rest of the information presented more dynamically.

In general, the interior of the Mégane is well-finished and correctly adjusted. Finally, one step closer to its competitors! It is spacious for the front passengers, while those in the second row will have no problem as long as they do not exceed 1.90 m and there are not three people traveling. 

What do we miss? At the technological level, a screen with better sensitivity capacity, a wireless charging base, some other more polished detail [one to the roof lining and the door handles] or a larger storage compartment.

Trunk of Renault Megane E-Tech

renault megane e tech review

We come to one of the weak points of the Renault Mégane E-Tech, its trunk. The plug-in hybrid version loses 123 liters compared to any other version of the Berlina range. The reason is that both the battery and the hole dedicated to the charging cables are housed there. 

As standard, the plug-in hybrid Renault Mégane is equipped with a Schuko-type cable, and as an option, there is a Mennekes cable (500 euros), which is used to connect to a WallBox station or some public charging points.

For its part, the puncture repair kit goes in a small side drawer accessed by removing the upholstery. In total, we’re talking 261 liters of usable storage capacity, though that’s pretty close to what the competition has to offer. And the rest of the gaps on board are reasonable, as I have just mentioned. The door pockets can hold a one-liter bottle, the co-driver glove compartment documents and reflective vest, and in the center console, we have another small glove compartment and space for cans and mobile.

Another consequence is that the battery and much of the wiring in the trunk results in a fairly brief fuel tank, 39 liters, 11 liters less than the internal combustion Mégane. If you are not a fan of going to the gas station often, feeling it a lot, you will have to do it with the plug-in hybrid Mégane if you do many kilometers (or you do not have a charging port at home or work).

Motor of Renault Megane E-Tech

The Renault Mégane E-Tech houses a system under bodywork similar to the one already in the Clio and Captur plug-in hybrids but with a higher power, torque, and a more capable battery. According to Renault, the main unit is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder petrol block that delivers 92 hp and 144 Nm of torque, operating under a “slightly Atkinson” cycle. 

This works with two electric motors, one of 67 hp and another of 34 hp, with an additional 50 Nm that delivers 160 hp and 280 Nm together.

For its part, the battery manufactured by LG has a capacity of 9.8 kWh, although the useful one is 7.5 kW. It is not very big, almost half of what its competitors give, but like them, the autonomy without emissions with it fully loaded will be at most 50 kilometers. And depending on the charging station you use, it can be recharged in three hours (with a charging power of 3.7 kW) or in five hours (at 2.3 kW), something that you can see through the mobile application “My Renault”.

And with the battery charged, all this is managed by a four-speed automatic gearbox that does not even have a clutch (something that lowers maintenance costs) because the electric motors take care of that, which matches the rotation speed. Of the engine crankshaft and that of the shafts of the box itself. 

For this reason, the car can never start using the thermal engine; it always does it like an electric one. And in addition to the four speeds of the gearbox for the thermal engine, the electric ones have two additional ones.

Likewise, the Mégane E-Tech has four driving modesPureSportMySense and MySense E-Save. The first prioritizes the use of electrical energy as long as the last “click” of the accelerator is not used. With it, you can cover more than 40 km with charged batteries and drive up to a maximum speed of 145 km/h on electricity alone

In MySense mode, the behavior is replicated until the battery charge reaches 5%, or the “last hairline”, as many would say. From there, it behaves like a normal hybrid.

In normal driving, the management of the electrical system keeps the battery with a minimum charge so that the electric motors can contribute to the gasoline motor if a lot of acceleration is requested promptly

Driving in a demanding way (for example, if several consecutive and intense accelerations are made or you drive above about 145 km/h constantly), that energy reserve is momentarily depleted, and the electric motors stop supporting the gasoline one constantly. That means that we only have 92 CV for 1,605 kg.

For its part, in My Sense E-Save mode, the battery maintains its charge between 40 and 50% of capacity, limiting the use of electrical energy if the charge is above this level when selected. Below this range, the gasoline engine acts as a generator until that percentage is reached and then reserves the charge for when the driver decides to use electric power or intends to use maximum performance for a long time.

Finally, the most active mode, Sport, prioritizes maximum performance and more reactive driving. Here, the combustion engine gains prominence, and the electric ones serve as support to guarantee maximum acceleration. 

In the best case, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h covers it in 6.7 seconds, while in My Sense E-Save mode, it goes up to 7 s, and in My Sense mode (without battery) to 10 .5 sec. In Pure, with only 67 hp, you need up to 18s to complete the same record. The top speed is 180 km/h, electronically limited.

The behavior of the Renault Megane E-Tech

The plug-in hybrid Renault Mégane can be a very interesting product if our idea is to circulate the city and its surroundings, and even more so if you have a charging station to fill its batteries daily. The unit we’re sitting in comes with the RS Line trim, which has some oddities like a set of 17-inch alloy wheels instead of 16″ and a “Sport” driving mode that improves the steering feel and the response of the hybrid system.

Even with this setup, the extra mass is noticeable. Because the plug-in hybrid Mégane weighs the not inconsiderable figure of 1,605 kg, to put it in perspective, the 140 hp gasoline Mégane with automatic transmission marks 1,330 kg on the scale. And you may be wondering, how does it affect carrying almost 300 kg more? Well, in many areas. 

At an emotional level, for example, we notice more inertia when braking or cornering, with slower support changes and slower recoveries when leveling the body.

Even with the “Sport” mode activated, it is not a car designed to go on stretches to a mountain pass. Some of that extra weight is located in front of the front axle (and the batteries above the rear), so any resemblance to approaching slow corners expecting anything like the RS’s response is purely coincidental. 

Still, on highways and highways with fast curves, it demonstrates great poise, and at no time does it feed back with poor ride quality thanks to those small changes in steering and suspension.

A greater mass also implies higher consumption when the battery is not charged, even though the brakes generate a greater amount of energy during decelerations. And speaking of the discs and the calipers, although they are more than enough to stop the vehicle safely, the braking distances are longer than the combustion slopes due to those extra kilos. And another detail that we will talk about shortly also affects performance.

But, if we intend to circulate without sporting pretensions, the Mégane E-Tech sticks out its chest. The pair of electric motors offer the instantaneous torque we often see at a merge or the exit of a traffic light. In the range from 0 to 50 km / h, the plug-in hybrid Mégane pushes with solvency and increases the speed with dignity. However, even if only slightly, the acceleration numbers are significantly worse than in the Mégane with a 140 petrol engine hp and 240 Nm. Why? If this one has 20 hp and 40 Nm more.

Again, the answer lies in the increased weight and the gearbox. Because the plug-in hybrid Mégane does not have the dual-clutch transmission (EDC) of the rest of the range, this one is a bit more peculiar. The 160 hp and 280 Nm are delivered to the front wheels, like any other model in Renault’s product portfolio. But the transmission, without a clutch or synchronizers, is managed by the electric drives. Remember that it always starts in electric mode, and it does so because the heat engine does not push the wheels per se.

The transition between gears is something that we can notice when we accelerate with some momentum, although we will not perceive the equivalent “15 gear possibilities” in its turning ratio. It is smooth-running, and the rider can choose between two retention levels through the gear selector: in the forward position, “D”, the retention is very smooth; in “B,” it is more intense, and the brake lights come on. In addition, to go from position B” to D,” it is not necessary to press the key on the lever (not to do the opposite).

Now, let’s talk about consumption. The Megane E-Tech is never excessively thirsty, but it is more than a diesel Mégane and somewhat less than an equivalent gasoline Mégane. In our test, we have already traveled 785 kilometers, and the onboard computer tells us that the average consumption of gasoline has been 6.7 l/100 km and the electric 10.5 kWh

With a charge in the battery, it is easy to show us a figure close to 2 l/100 km, but if it is empty, it will be easy to see numbers close to two figures. Even so, on average, it isn’t easy to exceed 7 l/100 km.

That raises a question: is it worth a Mégane plug-in hybrid versus a gasoline one? That will depend on the preferences of each one since the first feels like a fish in water in urban sections, with continuous acceleration and braking and brief acceleration demands. If you do a lot of highways or motorways, the electric motors do not support you in the same way as they will in the city, due to the higher speeds reached and the lack of “braking”, which cannot recharge the battery thanks to the by-wire system.

This system works really well in the Mégane E-Tech, being able to charge up to a maximum of 6.7 kW when we hit the brakes. I would say that it is even faster to charge the battery by going downhill than by going to a charging station. In addition, the management of the combined energy between the thermal engine and the electric one is in a safe place without having to touch anything except what driving mode we want; the car does everything automatically, without complex menus to calibrate the car’s settings. Of course, with the battery halfway, no matter how much we brake, we will not exceed 300 km of autonomy with a fuel tank.

We wanted to know if the Renault Mégane E-Tech was worth it, and the answer will not surprise anyone: it depends. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a comfortable car they know will mainly be used in the city and outskirts, ideally with a charging station at home or work. With the battery charged, it is capable of low consumption, even with the internal combustion engine running. In addition, it is comfortable and meets almost all the requirements that the vast majority of us could want or need.

It also enjoys the CERO label from the General Directorate of Traffic, with all the advantages that this entails if you are a regular in urban traffic. It is a comfortable, practical, silent car and, in real life, it does not bleed your pocket, especially when you have a charged battery. 

The Mégane E-Tech also seeks to make life easier for its drivers with many technological features as standard and a full range of improved driving assistance systems. And although it will not make you fall in love because of its dynamics, perhaps it will because of its comfort and rolling quality.

On the contrary, I would not recommend it to those who regularly travel on expressways because more use is needed for its powertrain. Without electrical energy, consumption is close to that of the 140 hp TCe engine. In terms of pure and simple performance, its configuration and greater weight weigh it down when seeking maximum performance. However, regardless of how the Mégane plug-in hybrid is used, it isn’t easy to justify the almost 8,000 euros difference that separates it from the equivalent Mégane with a gasoline engine. Of course, with discounts, things change.

It is there, in our new car section, where the brand’s official dealers publish their discounts, updating them every month so that you always find the best price. To complete the combo, we have useful financing tools on the website to make the purchase process a painless experience. 

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