The Megane has been reinvented as an all electric crossover, but as we have come to expect from Renault there is more to it than that. The crossover category covers a wide spectrum of shapes and Renault has chosen the car end of the range. It might look chunky in pictures but it stands a shade over 1.5 metres high which is bob on hatchback height. The other surprise is that it is just under 4.2 metres long which places it at the short end of this category.
Speaking of the styling, we think it looks good with short overhangs and a distinctive exterior which looks contemporary and has a hint of concept car about it. The interior is also stylish and praise be includes buttons for key functions including heating and ventilation controls below the 9 inch touchscreen. This combined with steering wheel buttons and permanently displayed shortcuts on the touchscreen for the main infotainment functions, makes day to day functions easy to select. This should be a given, but sadly isn’t anymore, so full marks Renault for thinking about functionality.
There is more good news on the electric front. A single front wheel motor produces 215 bhp which combined with a kerb weight of just over 1,700 kg provides brisk performance. Unusually Renault provides a 22 kW onboard charger so you are guaranteed the fastest AC speeds available, although it should be noted that almost all home chargers are rated at 7.4 kW and lots of public chargepoints are too. DC Rapid charge capability is rated at up to 130 kW which means that Ultra Rapid chargers can provide up to 186 miles in 30 minutes.
The standard 60kWh battery enables an official range of 280 miles. However we only managed 170 miles during a week with the car. Part of the explanation is that it was winter but a 40% reduction is more than the 20 – 30% reduction we would expect to see. Our car may have been an outlier, but it is worth an extended test drive to ensure that the real world range meets your expectations.
Speaking of driving, the Megane is no sports hatch, but it is decent to drive and combines this with an impressive ride quality and strong refinement making it an ideal family car. The only downsides are the thirst for electrons that we experienced and a strangely long start up procedure which means that you can’t drive off for at least 7 seconds every time you turn it on.
The Megane is a welcome addition to the very competitive small family car category. There is much to like from the stylish exterior, to the well thought through interior, to the compact dimensions, and the (130 kW) Ultra Rapid charge capability. If you can live with the quirks it is a refreshingly original take on the family hatch.
Estimated real world range: 170 – 280 miles
Official range: 280 miles
Official electricity consumption: 159 Wh/km
Battery pack: 60 kWh (net) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty
Recharge time: 7 kW charge approx 9 hours 45 minutes; 22 kW charge approx 3 hours 15 minutes; Rapid CCS 50 kW approx 56 mins (10 – 80%); Ultra Rapid CCS 130 kW 30 minutes (10 – 80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.