Renault Megane E-Tech review
The all-electric Renault Megane E-Tech is an impressive family hatchback; practical, good to drive and offering the latest on board technology
The Renault Megane E-Tech hatchback offers the efficiency benefits of all-electric drive, along with a renewed focus on interior quality and an infotainment system that is up there with the best in its class. It’s practical, too, with a generous boot and decent interior space, while its stylish looks provide enough kerb appeal to help it compete with close rivals.
We think the electric Megane’s overall efficiency could be better, and some may feel that its rear space is a little tight compared to the zero-emissions family SUVs in the same price range. But, as an overall package the Megane E-Tech is a fine effort and definitely one worth considering.
About the Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault has not been a manufacturer to shy away from trying out different design approaches. Its Espace was first produced in the mid-eighties and brought MPV practicality to the masses while, at the other end of the scale, giving the green light to models such as the Spider roadster and the rear mid-engined Clio V6 showed that Renault placed great value on its sporting heritage.
Back in 2002, the second-generation Megane created a stir with its rear-end design and found increasing fame shaking its derriere on TV screens across the country. It proved to be successful in cementing the Megane’s presence on the UK motoring scene, and led to the stylish hatch finding a regular place in the top-ten best sellers list.
However, with the demand for traditional hatchbacks now on the wane, and an automotive industry moving steadily away from petrol and diesel power, Renault made the rather bold decision to make the fifth generation of its familiar family hatch all-electric, using the same bespoke EV platform as the Nissan Ariya SUV – our 2022 Car of the Year.
There are lots of rivals aiming to win over buyers in the EV family hatchback market, all with different selling points. The Volkswagen ID.3 is attempting to guide Golf customers towards battery power, while its sporty Cupra Born stablemate offers a more dynamic edge and striking looks to match.
The Kia e-Niro has now been replaced by the Niro EV and is sure to remain a strong contender in its class, as is the new Hyundai Kona Electric, which took home Car of the Year award and two other titles in our 2023 New Car Awards. The bold Smart #1 and BYD Atto 3 crossovers also have potential to steal sales from the Megane E-Tech, if buyers desire something more spacious.
The enduring Nissan Leaf and comfort-focused Citroen e-C4 and e-C4 X offer further options, but a real challenger is sure to be the sharp-looking MG4 EV, which combines decent range and generous equipment levels with a more affordable price tag.
Renault offers a single power option for the Megane E-Tech: a 60kWh battery with a front-mounted electric motor, providing 217bhp. Equipment levels are similarly straightforward, with just Equilibre, Techno and Iconic trim levels available to choose from, now the limited Launch Edition has been removed from the price list.
Standard kit includes a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and nine-inch touchscreen running Renault’s OpenR Link infotainment system with Google apps built-in, LED headlights, rear-view camera, cruise control and traffic sign recognition, plus heated front seats and steering wheel. As well as the usual luxuries such as larger wheels and upgraded stereos, top-spec Iconic models are also fitted with a heat pump to more efficiently warm the cabin in winter without eating up the car’s range.
Prices start from around £37,000, which is on par with the Kia Niro EV and recently refreshed VW ID.3. Some buyers may look towards the MG4 as offering more value for money, but it feels cheaper than the Megane in quite a few areas, so we’d advise a test-drive in both before making a decision.
Renault Megane E-Tech Techno long-term test
In the first six months of 2023, our group website editor, Steve Walker, ran a Renault Megane E-Tech Techno for long-term test. Steve has two children and the rear legroom proved to be tight for them on long journeys - especially behind his preferred driving position (he's just over 6ft tall).
He also found the cold weather range of the test car, which was not equipped with a heat pump, was greatly reduced compared to the range in warmer conditions. On the plus side, the Megane's interior quality and design stands out from the other cars in the class with a high quality feel. The driving experience also impressed, the Megane giving a great balance between comfort and responsive handling. You can read the full long term test here...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe all-electric Renault Megane E-Tech is an impressive family hatchback; practical, good to drive and offering the latest on board technology
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe Megane E-Tech is refined, good to drive and offers just enough power
- 3Range, charging and running costsStrong residual values and reasonable insurance costs are welcome, but the Megane E-Tech’s efficiency could be better
- 4Interior, design and technologyEven the entry-level Megane E-Tech comes packed with kit, while onboard infotainment technology is superb
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA good-sized boot, decent interior space and a lots of practical standard kit mean that the Megane E-Tech will appeal to family buyers
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Megane E-Tech’s five-star Euro NCAP rating and lengthy safety kit list is reassuring