Renault Megane E-Tech review - Interior, design and technology
Even the entry-level Megane E-Tech comes packed with kit, while onboard infotainment technology is superb
Renault claims the Megane E-Tech has been designed to maximise its aerodynamic performance, with features such as its low overall height, sloping roofline, narrow-sided tyres and sculpted bumpers helping to reduce unwanted drag.
The result is that the Megane E-Tech benefits from a smart, modern look that provides decent kerb appeal, although it’s in the cabin where you’ll find a real sense of quality and improved ergonomics. There is 20kg of recycled material used in every Megane, including plastic bottles for the seat upholstery, which brings an understated cool to the interior. Proper physical dials for the air-conditioning are a welcome feature, too, and you won’t find any fiddly sliding controls like those in the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born, which are particularly awkward to use when on the move.
Standard kit is generous and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, rear park assist, a rear-view camera, a 12.3-inch driver instrument display and a nine-inch infotainment screen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.
Upgrading to the Techno trim adds 20-inch alloys, a wireless smartphone charging pad, dual-zone climate control, an upgraded audio system and additional Google services such as Google Maps built-in. Iconic trim builds on all that kit with a nine-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, 360-degree camera set-up, smart rear-view mirror, which uses a feed from a camera mounted on the rear window, and a heat pump. This recovers heat generated by the battery and the electric motor to more efficiently heat the cabin.
Car group tests
Springing for the top-of-the-range Iconic trim also adds gold ‘F1 blades’ on the front bumper and gives you more paint options, including a two-tone paint scheme with a choice of a diamond black or shadow grey roof.
Renault offers a brochure-worth of accessories for the Megane E-Tech, such as roof bars, roof boxes, bicycle racks and tow bars for when the school holidays roll around.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Renault’s new Android Automotive-based infotainment system, OpenR Link, is one of the very best in-car systems on the market and blows those in the MG4 and VW ID.3 clean out of the water. The Megane E-Tech’s screens that sweep across the dash are super-sharp and very quick to respond to inputs. All the menus are easy to navigate because they’re laid out exactly like those on an Android smartphone.
As mentioned, all but the base model also come with built-in Google services such as Google Maps and the Google Play Store, which allows you to download more than 40 apps directly into the car’s system. Meanwhile, the “Okay Google” voice commands can be used not only for route guidance, but also to adjust the drive modes and ambient lighting.
We’re already extremely impressed by the OpenR Link system, but Renault says there’s more to come, with future over-the-air updates set to bring further improvements and more functionality.
The My Renault App is another neat feature. Aside from providing general data on the status of your car’s battery and range, it also allows you to set the cabin temperature prior to beginning your journey and receive information on available charging stations, which is particularly helpful when planning longer trips.
In this review
- 1Renault Megane E-Tech reviewThe 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 technology - currently readingEven 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