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Driven: 2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.

Driven: 2023 Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault has put an SUV-style twist on the Megane hatchback, then given it electric power. Will the results prove appealing or appalling?

   



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2023 Renault Megane E-Tech

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

The Megane has become a big part of the Renault line-up, and it's just become even bigger. Now with SUV styling giving it a bulky kind of look, it's grown quite noticeably, and as if to make up for that extra bulk, it has gone electric, too. But will the zero-emission powertrain suit Renault's new family car? And can it really compete with the other, quite accomplished electric family cars on the market?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 Iconic
Price: From 41,995
Engine: One 160kW electric motor
Transmission: single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Battery: 60kWh lithium-ion battery
Power: 218hp
Torque: 300Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 280 miles
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Top speed: 99mph
Boot space: 440 litres

Styling

Immediately, it's apparent that the Megane E-Tech is nothing like any of Renault's other Megane-badged products. Standing taller than its predecessors, it's arguably the definitive crossover, offering something of a halfway house between an SUV and a hatchback. But it's a good-looking thing, with stylish lines and well-judged proportions, as well as more than a hint of spaceship modernity thanks to the accents on the front end. It's far from the most beautiful car on the market, but it's far from the ugliest, too.

Interior

As with the exterior, the Megane's interior is pretty clean and stylish, with a modern and quite solid design. But the whole thing is dominated by the twin screens, incorporating the clean digital instrument cluster and the touchscreen infotainment system. These days, Renault is up there with the best in terms of touchscreen tech, thanks to its Google-based systems, and though the Megane's screen isn't perfect, it's still one of the better systems on the market. Easy enough to navigate and assisted by physical switches below the screen, it works neatly with your smartphone and offers all the functionality you really need.

While the instrument display isn't all that remarkable, it is at least easy enough to read thanks to its clear display and layout, but it does its job. More remarkable is the cabin quality, which is much more akin to that of a premium brand than you might expect from a French manufacturer. Sure, some of the materials would look a bit out of place in a BMW or an Audi, but the way in which they're stitched together is more classy than the Renault badge would suggest. The only catch is the steering wheel, which has some plasticky buttons, but otherwise it's more solid than any of VW or Skoda's electric cars.

Practicality

Whether the Megane E-Tech looks especially practical rather depends whether you look upon it as a hatchback or as an SUV. Alongside the Cupra Born and MG4, it's very spacious, with a 440-litre boot and ample rear passenger space, but alongside the VW ID.4 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it isn't quite so spectacular. Nevertheless, there's enough room back there for a family's day-to-day luggage, and you could probably squeeze enough in there for a week away. Whether it's enough for the full two weeks in France for a family of four is another question.

Performance

Under the skin, the Megane gets a 60kWh battery pack and a 218hp electric motor, which drives the front wheels. It's a simple set-up, and one that provides ample performance, with 0-62mph taking a brisk, but not especially mind-blowing 7.5 seconds. With Sport mode engaged, the Megane is pretty perky, although the Eco mode dulls the throttle response quite noticeably.

With Eco mode engaged, however, the system promises a range of up to 280 miles on the official economy test. In our test, however, a real-world consumption figure of 3.2mi/kWh meant the real-world range works out at around 190 miles all told. That's fine for most journeys, but those regularly travelling long distances might prefer a little extra battery capacity. That said, this is a family hatchback, and driving around town, rather than on motorways, might provide a few more miles per charge.

Ride & Handling



Value

Megane E-Tech prices start at just under 37,000, which makes the Renault almost exactly the same price as the Volkswagen ID.3. Given it's a little more roomy, that doesn't look like bad value, particularly as you get plenty of equipment as standard. The infotainment system and digital instrument cluster are both standard, as is the rear-view camera, while 18-inch alloy wheels and a heated steering wheel are also included even on the cheapest models. Our range-topping Iconic test car, however, came in at around 42,000, which still seems to be good value, but it's slightly less convincing.

Verdict

The Megane E-Tech is a bit of an odd one. In many ways, including space and style, it's a very good car, but though the driving experience is perfectly acceptable and the range is just about sufficient, it doesn't set the world on fire in any particular field. Yet despite that, it's a very likeable electric car that will do a very solid job for a lot of drivers.



James Fossdyke - 21 Dec 2023



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2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.

2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.2023 Renault Megane E-Tech. Image by Renault.







 

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