The Renault Megane E-Tech electric is a car made on a human scale, fun in traffic, with a beautiful interior and satisfactory technical performance, even if it is not perfect in everything. There are two engines available, the EV40 equipped with an engine capable of offering 131 horsepower, with a 40 kWh battery pack, and the EV60 (which is the one we drove), with a 218 horsepower engine and a 60 kWh battery pack. Three configurations make it easier to select the various accessories: “Equilibre” is the basic version, and is combined with the EV40 engine, “Techno” offers the possibility to choose between EV40 and EV60, as well as “Iconic”, the most complete, which as a base it is proposed with the EV60 engine.
Prices start at € 36,800 for the basic version and go up to € 45,300 for the Iconic version with the EV60 unit. The amount of important accessories to install are not many on the most equipped versions, and in addition to some aesthetic details such as paint and rims, the advanced ADAS package weighs a thousand euros or so. In short, with about 45 thousand euros, to be discounted at the dealer (the suggested price is just under 42 thousand euros) you will have a full optional Megane Full Electric.
We spent about ten days aboard this reinterpretation of the classic Megane, they were pleasant days and now we tell you what we liked and what we liked least about this car.
What there is liked
Let’s start with everything we liked, and we tell you right away that the scale is definitely biased towards this category, leaving only a few entries in the category of things we didn’t like.
The interior and the driving position
The cockpit of the Megane Full Electric welcomes us in a space where everything seems to be done to be within reach. The seat is made to be comfortable rather than snug, and the various electrical adjustments allow you to find the perfect driving position, even if it took some time and testing.
Once you are seated you can appreciate the elbow support and the steering wheel cut, above and below, as well as the lightness of the steering wheel itself. The digital instrument panel has essential graphics that we quickly appreciate, there is the information you need and nothing more. The large central display, slightly inclined towards the driver, with Android Automotive is a feast for the eyes. Even after plugging in an iPhone and turning on Car Play wireless, we liked the connection speed and the fact that the full screen was used. The smartphone compartment is very convenient, with wireless charging, located just below the central screen, shaped in such a way as to support the smartphone if you decide to position it vertically.
All the controls fall under your hands after gripping the steering wheel, even the steering wheel gear selector is comfortable, even if it is positioned a little higher than desirable. Probably Renault did it to distance it a little from the position of the hands on the steering wheel to prevent it from being operated with respect to the other lever with the wiper activation functions, but as we were used to other positions, we repeatedly operated the wiper instead of shift into gear.
The interior is beautiful to look at, with a slightly different and innovative design, and despite being promoted, we would have preferred to see soft-touch materials everywhere, while Renault has made a little economy here and there. Convenient steering wheel button for selecting driving modes, while we find the classic lever behind the steering wheel for volume and music playback control.
The 220 horsepower model is able to unload this power onto the front axle with a torque of 300 Nm, enough, in sport mode, to make the tires screech on the asphalt. Although Megane E-Tech is not a car with a sporty soul, at least in terms of mechanics and set-up, it is possible to drive it in a very lively way through the city streets, and sometimes the engine power is too much compared to the way in which behaves on the street. After all, the 0-100 acceleration in 7.4 seconds is almost like a sports car.
In practice, when you sink the accelerator, the cue is felt, thanks above all to the instant torque, not exaggerated, but that you feel. No problem if you have the wheels parallel to the road, while if you are exiting a bend, for example, accelerating fully means lightening the front just enough to make the wheels screech on the asphalt and lose grip. We’ve never been in dangerous situations, but if you’re not used to it, Megane’s reaction will be enough to remind you not to overdo it.
In any case, the power comes in handy when overtaking, coming out of a stop or in all those conditions where you need a little more power that maybe you do not expect from the appearance of Megane E-Tech, which seems plus a Crossover with which to travel in peace.
Regenerative braking on più levels
Together with the various driving modes, from Eco to Sport, which act on the way in which power is delivered when the accelerator is pressed, it is interesting to be able to set regenerative braking on several levels using the levers on the steering wheel. Again this is not an absolute novelty, but we liked the way in which Renault has set the braking intervention on four different levels. Level zero, i.e. where regenerative braking is not required, activates a sort of soaring power supply, i.e. when you release the accelerator the pace will continue with maximum fluidity, allowing you to travel several hundred meters with a limited loss of speed. By setting the various levels, however, you can modulate the aggressiveness with which the car is braked when you release the accelerator.
We still haven’t figured out, after ten days of testing, which mode is best to use, probably because it doesn’t exist. Depending on the type of driving or the type of road you are traveling on, you will want to change the level of intervention, completely removing the braking on fast roads and perhaps moving from one level to another in an urban environment. On many occasions we have used the steering wheel pads instead of the brake, modulating the speed with the different levels of regenerative braking.
Megane E-Tech is equipped with Android Automotive, that is the stand-alone version of Android Auto that manages all the infotainment, and not only, of the car. It goes without saying that it is a successful choice since you will find yourself in an environment with a clear and well-known interface, with which to access functions and applications that usually require a smartphone connection. The 12-inch central screen is beautiful to look at, you will be able to interact easily and the excellent ergonomics are the result of Google’s skills in creating user interfaces that work well. In addition, everything is always fast and responsive. This screen matches naturally with the digital dashboard in which little information is grouped, but all that is useful, or in which it is possible to view the navigator map.
Obviously not all applications are available on Android Automotive, and in fact you can still connect your smartphone and above all it is also compatible with Car Play. If you are an iPhone user you will be happy to know that the large vertical screen is fully exploited, everything is clearly visible and above all the wireless connection with the smartphone is very fast. You will even find Car Play active even before you sit down.
Autonomy and recharging
The 60 kWh battery pack allows you to travel about 400 km, a real value for a mix of urban and extra-urban, autonomy that drops you will travel on the motorway at high speed. On average, even with several kilometers on the highway, you will arrive at 320/350 km. For the more attentive, in Eco mode and with urban trips, it is possible to improve this value to settle between 400 and 500 km real. In our test we covered the first 300 km, often in sport mode, recharging the car with about 50 km remaining of autonomy.
Although we all dream of technologies that can make us travel many more kilometers, Megane’s result is not bad at all. 400 km of range using the car without paying too much attention to how you step on the accelerator is a good result, especially since they are real.
Charging can be done up to 22 kilowatts at a traditional public column, but reaches 130 kW on fast charging stations.
ADAS works well
The advanced ADAS package that enables level 2 autonomy driving works well. There is not much to investigate, once the system is enabled the car travels smoothly, follows the lane, adapts to the vehicle in front. The advanced package, which also includes various parking features, costs 1200 euros, and is well worth the money.
Camera and sensors
Beautiful parking camera which in the most advanced version offers a 360-degree view from above and a rear view, which moves together with the steering. Resolution is also good, offering optimal visibility overall. The idea of integrating the warnings of the proximity sensors into the Harman-Kardon audio system that reproduces the warning sound in the area where there are obstacles is nice. In practice, you will hear the “beep” coming from the passenger compartment area near the obstacle, from behind, in front and from the side.
What not there is liked
After seeing what we liked about Megane E-Tech, let’s see what we liked least, little sins we would have preferred not to see.
Do not is the usual Megane
Megane E-Tech is a crossover, a small compact SUV that has little to do with the design of the original Megane, which is still available in the more classic engines. We can understand the choice of Renault that for the full electric version has opted for a design that probably has more chances to sell, given that now the preferences of many go to this category. However, we believe it is a shame because we would have really liked to see the qualities we have appreciated on a lower car like the Megane that has accompanied us all these years.
It is not so much for the capacity, since they are just under 400 liters, developed more than anything else in height, a value in the segment average. However, the entrance and the lowered floor several centimeters above the threshold are uncomfortable.
It doesn’t stop completely
We appreciated the multiple levels of regenerative braking but Renault does not allow the car to brake completely, thus losing the possibility of a one-pedal drive. It is a pity, the highest level of regeneration should have put the car in full braking.
We liked Renault Megane E-Tech a lot, but it is necessary to get out of the idea of Megane that maybe some of you will have. The new Megane Full Electric is a crossover born to adapt to all situations but above all to be comfortable to use. The interior is well done, on a human scale, the infotainment system is superb, and it offers you a painless experience even if you want to connect an iPhone. The engine is snappy just right, and the range of 400 km is good, considering that you will be able to make this road without paying too much attention to how you step on the accelerator. The cost between 40 and 45 thousand euros (you should consider the model with EV60 engine and insert the advanced ADAS package) is justified by what it offers, especially after the driving experience, considering the average costs of the current market.