Open gallery Close by Illya Verpraet 5 October 2022 Follow @illyaverpraet Share
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Electrification brings big changes to mainstream cars, so what to do with the mainstream names? Volkswagen now has the ID 3, BMW has the i4 and Mercedes has the EQE, but when everything is electric, what happens to the Golf, the 3 Series and the E-Class?
Peugeot and Vauxhall are hedging their bets by making electric versions of the 308 and Astra to sit alongside the petrol, diesel and hybrid variants. Renault isn’t ready to kill off the Mégane name, either. On the contrary: it has completely reinvented its mid-size hatchback to look nothing like the outgoing model and to be completely different mechanically, too.
Renault has refrained from putting a big fake grille on the front and has instead created one of the sharpest-looking EV hatches of the moment with a recognisable light signature. Launch Edition has bronze side air intakes.Illya VerpraetRoad Tester
The new Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric – as the name suggests – comes only as an EV. As well as spearheading a new powertrain direction, it begins a new family look for Renault models and aims to fix one of the brand’s traditional weaknesses: outdated tech.
It’s not short of ambition, then, but it wouldn’t be the first time that lofty goals got the better of a big car manufacturer – just look at the VW ID models’ troubled launch. Instead, Renault has taken its time to finesse its Mégane EV. We were impressed by a late-stage prototype back in 2021, but in the past year we have seen the launch of the Cupra Born, Kia Niro EV and MG 4 – all impressive EVs in their own ways.
Range at a glance
In the UK, at least, Mégane buyers don’t get a lot of choice. It’s offered with just one battery size (60kWh) and one motor. A 40kWh variant is available elsewhere, and a performance version is likely to eventually join the range. At launch, there are three trim levels: Equilibre, Techno and Launch Edition.
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Renault Megane E-Tech Electric 2023 long-term test
1-spd reduction gear
Verdict Model tested: Rating:
Renault Megane E-Tech Electric
Likeable and eye-catching, but rivals have moved the EV game on GoodSharp looksLarge bootSlick infotainmentBadPoor real-world efficiencyPoor visibility Nervous steering
Model tested: Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric Price: £35,995 Price as tested: £39,545 Electric motor/s: AC synchronous Drive battery: Lithium ion, water cooled Driveline layout: Single motor, front-wheel drive Model tested Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric Price £35,995 Price as tested £39,545 View all specs and rivals Electric motor/s AC synchronous Drive battery Lithium ion, water cooled Driveline layout Single motor, front-wheel drive Power 215bhp at 5473-11,688rpm Torque 221lb ft at 100-4714rpm 0-62mph 7.5sec Top speed 99mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1636kg Battery size 60kWh (usable) Energy efficiency 3.8mpkWh Range 280 miles Max. charge rate 130kW Rivals Cupra Born Kia Niro EV MG 4 EV Power 215bhp at 5473-11,688rpm Torque 221lb ft at 100-4714rpm 0-62mph 7.5sec Top speed 99mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1636kg Battery size 60kWh (usable) Energy efficiency 3.8mpkWh Range 280 miles Max. charge rate 130kW Rivals Cupra Born Kia Niro EV MG 4 EV