Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid Review

The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid is good to drive, practical, decent value for money, and has an official fuel economy figure of 217mpg.

  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
  • Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Renault Mégane Sport Tourer R.S. Line E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid 160
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  217 mpg

Summary

  • Good to drive
  • Practical
  • Decent value for money
  • Plug-in hybrid control system could be clearer

Background

Renault was a leader in electric cars with the ZOE, which was launched back in 2012, but since then there hasn’t been much progress with other pure electric models from the brand aside from the Kangoo Van and the Twizy, and there have been no Renault plug-in hybrids – until now, with the appearance of the Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid.

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in HybridRenault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid

Design & Engineering

The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid 160 has a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission, together with an electric motor delivering 205Nm of torque powered by a 9.8kWh battery that you can plug in to charge.

The Sport Tourer is an estate so it’s practical thanks to its decent-sized (447-litre) boot. It also looks good in R.S. Line trim, which includes 17-inch R.S. Line diamond alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, dashboard and trim.

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in HybridRenault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid Driving Experience

Most new cars these days seem to be SUVs so it’s quite refreshing to drive a car that sits lower to the road. This means a good driving position, with a thick-rimmed R.S. Line steering wheel. And it results in the Mégane Sport Tourer going round corners in an impressively sporty way. The steering is good, as is the handling. The ride quality is good on smooth surfaces, but the car can crash into potholes. The Megane is refined on the motorway although there’s some road noise.

The Mégane is front-wheel drive so there’s always the risk of wheelspin when accelerating from standstill on wet roads.

Acceleration is smooth on electric power, but it’s also smooth on petrol power, when the electric motor appears to fill in for any turbo lag from the petrol engine. However acceleration isn’t particularly rapid, and if you press the accelerator too hard in electric mode the car fires up the petrol engine. You can select D or B via the gear selector, the latter providing more brake regeneration.

Next to the handbrake is a button with a flower symbol – this allows you to access the ‘Multi-Sense’ drive modes. These modes are Pure, Sport, MySense then eSave and On or Off. If you select Sport it appears to put eSave on (ie. it saves the battery charge), but you can override this. The Megane appeared to start off in petrol/hybrid mode, which is bad, as PHEVs should always start on electric power. So you need to use the Multi-Sense drive mode button to select ‘Pure’ (this means electric) rather than what appears to be the default ‘MySense’ (what does this mean?!).

However there is also an EV mode ‘shortcut’ button placed somewhat randomly at the bottom of the dashboard centre console, and it’s easiest to press this every time you start the car to ensure you’re on electric rather than petrol power with just one button-press. A EV symbol appears on the right-hand instrument dial to tell you that you’re in EV mode.

The car really needs clearer drive modes to help ensure people drive on electric power for the maximum amount of time. The Megane isn’t the only car that this applies to – this is a big issue with the design of many PHEV controls.

There’s a central touchscreen, and there are separate climate control buttons, which is good. Trying to change radio station when you’re driving is a bit of a challenge, as you have to swipe moving icons on the screen.

The Mégane was tested in mid-December, and it felt like the interior took a long time to warm up, and there were no heated seats or heated steering wheel – two features that are really helpful to avoid the battery range being eaten up quickly by cabin heating.

One final feature that was very annoying was the car putting on the handbrake by itself every time reverse gear was selected.

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in HybridRenault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid Economy and Emissions

The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid has an official electric driving range of 30 miles, combined official fuel economy of 217mpg and 30 g/km CO2 emissions.

As above, the car was tested in mid-December, and there were no heated seats or steering wheel, all of which is likely to contribute to a disappointing average real-world range of 17-21 miles. At motorway speeds on the petrol engine the Mégane was averaging 51.9mpg. After a week of mixed driving, the Mégane averaged 58.1mpg, which is good – even if predictably a long way short of the official 217mpg. The total driving range on petrol and electric was a useful 540 miles.

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in HybridRenault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid

Price and Model Range

The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid costs £32,995. Our test car had options of metallic paint (£660) and safety pack (£700), taking the total cost of our car to £34,355.

Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in HybridRenault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid

Conclusion

The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid is basically a good car to drive – steering, handling and ride are all good, and the powertrain is smooth, unlike many plug-in hybrids. It’s also practical and reasonably good value. The main issue is that the PHEV driving modes aren’t that clear, which is likely to result in many motorists driving on petrol rather than electric for too much of the time, and this is a serious failing with many PHEVs at the moment. Also, the infotainment system isn’t that easy to get around – clearer buttons are needed. The Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Renault Mégane Sport Tourer E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid Review

  • Test economy: 58.1 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 30 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  £0 Year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2020/21): 10%
  • Price:  £32,995
  • Insurance group:  TBC
  • Power:  90 hp (Engine) 65 hp (Electric)
  • Torque:  144 Nm (Engine) 205 Nm (Electric)
  • Max speed:  111 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  9.8 seconds
  • Weight:  1669 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor