2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh

2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh

Every manufacturer will tell you that the latest car it's launching is its most important ever. While that’s probably not entirely true in this case, there is a sense that the Megane E-Tech represents a new start for Renault and one that it absolutely has to get right.

At first glance, it’s an intriguing car. It’s significantly smaller than any photo suggests, measuring just 4.2 metres in length (which is 15cm shorter than the current Megane) and stands just 1.5 metres high, 6cm lower than the tiny Renault Zoe supermini. However, with huge 20-inch wheels pushed as close to each corner as possible, there’s a really chunky presence to it. The Renault badge sits in the centre of a contrasting blade that merges with wafer-thin headlights, which in turn have the LED daytime lights dripping down, zig-zagging to an aggressive lower grille. A high waistline that tapers upwards at the rear and a horizontal blade of red LED lights at the rear all combine to create something that looks surprisingly imposing, despite its relatively diminutive exterior dimensions.

2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh

It’s all built around a chassis designed for electric vehicles and shared with the forthcoming Nissan Ariya. There’s a 215bhp motor under this models’ bonnet (a 129bhp option will be available) that drives the front wheels. With 221lb ft of torque to match, performance is potent, with the 0-62mph dash despatched in just 7.4 seconds. Intriguingly, Renault says that the platform is four-wheel drive capable, but they won’t admit to any plans to create something spicier with more traction.

Renault might need to look at fitting sportier tyres at that point. While the Megane E-Tech does handle pleasingly well, staying well balanced and neutral in all situations, there’s not a lot of grip. It’s disappointingly easy to break traction under acceleration, and the electronics have to step in far earlier than you would expect on most other cars. It’s difficult to explain why. Despite carrying a 394kg battery pack, the Megane is surprisingly lightweight, with the heaviest model tipping the scales at 1,636kg — more than 100kg lighter than a Volkswagen ID.3. The suspension is conventional and rather good at absorbing bumps in the road, too. Still, despite the dynamic limits, it’s more engaging and entertaining than a Nissan Leaf.

Around town, it’s a breeze, with the compact exterior making it easy to squeeze into parking bays or down narrow streets. The regenerative braking is adjustable, from ‘barely anything’ to ‘as strong as using the brakes’ which will aid efficiency and save wear and tear on the car, too. That efficiency, alongside the super-slick bodywork and low resistance tyres, means our test Megane will run for 281 miles before needing to recharge, at least according to official figures. The lower power model will run for 293 miles, or 187 miles with the smaller 40kWh battery pack. Those figures might not be far off, either; as after a day’s driving, including some rather more adventurous efforts than you might normally expect, the car showed an energy use of 3.4 miles per kWh. That translates to 204 miles from a full battery. Recharging can be carried out at up to 130kW, so if you can find a charger that recharges that quickly, you’ll be able to top up from empty to 80% charge in well under half an hour.

With less time spent charging and a long-range battery, you get to enjoy the Megane’s cabin for longer. It’s quite lovely, with a mix of interesting textures — all of the upholstery is made of recycled materials — and some cutting-edge technology. Screens dominate the dashboard with a 12.3-inch instrument panel for the driver, which is crisp and clear but could do with a display option that better replicates traditional dials, while a 12.0-inch screen sits vertically in the centre console to look after everything else — although Renault is going to cut that to 9.0 inches when the cars arrive in the UK. It’s powered by Google’s Android software, so you get voice control that works, easy access to streaming music services and an impressive navigation system. If you’ve got an Android phone then it’s all second nature. Those coming from an Apple background will be at home, but can switch to wireless CarPlay. A wireless charging pad also sits beneath the screens, although it’s a little temperamental and you need to place your phone in exactly the right position.

There’s lots of room for passengers in the front, and a little less but still a perfectly acceptable amount in the rear. Thick A-pillars limit visibility at times for the driver, while that swept waistline and shallow rear windows make the back feel rather more enclosed than it is. By pushing those wheels out quite so far, Renault has managed to extend the wheelbase and free up a surprising amount of interior space, so all but the tallest should find a position that suits.

The boot measures 420 litres and most of that looks usable. It is very deep and located behind a very tall lip, so loading heavy items is hindered. The rear seats fold down, but leave a huge step so, while the room available is significant, it’s not perfect. A small irritation is the boot release button on the outside; it’s flush with the metalwork, leaving a smooth and uncluttered look, but will get dirty quickly. The same goes for the rear view camera that’s mounted down by the number plate.

Little niggles aside, the Renault Megane E-Tech is a thoroughly accomplished machine, offering a near-silent take on family motoring that feels more sophisticated and more modern than even Volkswagen’s ID.3. Unless practicality is your biggest demand from a car, then the Megane’s got it beaten with its relaxed and refined nature, and usable technology. It looks like Renault's gamble will pay off.

FACTS & FIGURES2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh

  • On sale April 2022
  • In showrooms September 2020
  • Prices £ tba
  • Bodystyles 5-door hatchback
  • Powerplants Electric automatic (129bhp and 215bhp)
  • Trim levels Equilibre, Techno
  • Also consider Citroën ë-C4, Volkswagen ID.3
  • Model tested Techno 60kWh
  • Price £ tba
  • Built in Douai, France
  • Codename Megane 5
  • Generation 5 Platform CMF-EV
  • Bodystyle 5-door hatchback, 5-seats
  • Layout Front-wheel-drive
  • Powerplant Electric motor and 60kWh lithiumion battery pack
  • Gearbox 1-speed automatic
  • Max power 215bhp
  • Max torque 221lb ft
  • Top speed 100mph
  • 0-62mph 7.4secs
  • CO2 emissions 0g/km
  • Range 281 miles
  • Recharge time (Domestic socket/7.4kW fast charger/130kW rapid charger) 30 hours 28 minutes/9 hours 11 minutes/1 hours 14 minutes
  • Insurance tba
  • BIK rate (2022/2023 tax year) 2%
  • Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,199/2,055mm
  • Boot space (min/max) 440/1,332 litres
  • Kerb/max towing weight 1,636/900kg
  • Euro NCAP rating
  • Spare wheel (Full-size/spacesaver/run-flat/ self-seal/repair kit) No/no/no/no/yes
  • Warranty – car 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Warranty – battery 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Verdict As stylish as it’s ever been, the new Megane is now quiet, refined, comfortable and efficient. Conventional but brilliant.
  • Rating ■■■■■■■■■■8/10
Article type:
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
2023 Renault Megane E-Tech Techno 60kWh
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