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In-depth reviews

Renault Megane E-Tech - Electric motor, drive and performance

The Renault Megane E-Tech is refined, good to drive and offers just enough power

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

4.1 out of 5

  • Interior quality
  • Infotainment system
  • Good boot size
  • Low speed ride
  • Efficiency could be better
  • Rear space a little tight
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The Megane E-Tech uses the same CMF-EV platform as the all-electric Nissan Ariya, although Renault has designed its own electric motor, which drives the front wheels and provides sufficient power.

The French manufacturer has also focused on eliminating excess weight from the Megane, keeping the battery and motor as compact as possible and using lightweight materials, such as aluminium, for the doors. A kerb weight of 1,636kg isn’t exactly Lotus-like, but it saves around 200kg compared with rivals such as the Cupra Born and Volkswagen ID.3.

Refinement is a real strength of the Megane E-Tech, particularly at higher motorway speeds where little wind or road noise enters the cabin. It’s also good to drive on a twisty B-road, although not quite as fun as an MG4

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The throttle pedal is easy to modulate in its Normal driving mode (it can be a bit too sharp in its Sport setting), and the Megane also includes four levels of brake regeneration that you can flick between on the fly using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. The one downside is that the brake pedal automatically depresses when regenerative braking occurs, giving a disconcerting feeling of the pedal disappearing from under your foot when you go to cover the brakes when coasting downhill or towards a junction.

Light, quick steering helps when driving around town and manoeuvring in tight car parks, and even when riding on 20-inch wheels, potholes and bumps are rounded off nicely. Unfortunately, its low-speed ride is a little busy, but it’s never harsh or unsettled like it can be in the Smart #1, so the Megane E-Tech is generally very comfortable and composed.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

With the Megane E-Tech’s single electric motor producing 217bhp, 0-62mph takes 7.5 seconds, and it has a top speed of 99mph. Its 300Nm of instantly available torque means it feels quite spritely off the line, which can be beneficial in and around town. That is slower than the Smart #1 and Volvo EX30, but still plenty fast enough compared with traditionally powered petrol and diesel family cars.

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