Megane E Tech looks good and will go far with 400km range

Stunning to look at, it sits higher than a crossover hatchback type car, meaning it gives you an advantageous perch and a greater command of the road than you expect.

The new Renault Megane E Tech

Daragh KeanySunday World

Renault Megane E Tech

​Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way from the very beginning. This car costs a smidge over €45k and because it does, it may put a few people off.

That is around the same as a fully-loaded regular combustion Megane so you would need to really want to make the move to EVs to justify the asking price.

But if you do, you will not regret it.

On paper, my test week in the brand new Megane E Tech should not have gone as well as it did.

It was a cold and miserable seven-day road test in January and the car was sandwiched in between the VW ID Buzz and the brand new Range Rover.

But this sprightly fighter cared little for the running order of my test cars and never once stopped fighting for my adoration.

Stunning to look at, it sits higher than a crossover hatchback type car, meaning it gives you an advantageous perch and a greater command of the road than you expect.

It is helped by a slightly lower design to the dash too. The seats are gorgeous to sit in and even nicer to look at. The designers went nuts here and have created some really impressive features.

The steering wheel is pretty chunky to have between your hands and has a slightly squared off finish and an in-your-face retro-style Renault badge slap bang in the middle.

One thing I didn’t like is the fact that there are too many controls behind the steering wheel. Like all Renault cars of late, there is a ‘remote control’ stem for volume control and song/channel shifting. That means there are a total of four separate arms (I’m including the gear change paddle) behind the steering wheel on the right hand side, which is too clustered for my liking.

I know if I owned one, I would eventually get used to it and be able to have no-look reaches for anything back there. But over the course of the week I found it hard to navigate. That’s all.

Other than that, this was a dream to drive. It was fun and comfortable, and I was proud to take it out on the road. The asking price justifies a high-end quality inside with a really good finish in the cabin with lovely Alcantara suede-like panels included.

There are two USB-C sockets for the driver and lead passenger and when you opt for the Techno and Launch Edition models you also get two in the back.

When I eventually figured out how to get into the boot (it’s a tiny square in the rear panel under the badge) I discovered a very convenient 440 litres with a deep design which comes in very handy for the multiple bags of shopping and school runs.

There is a small underfloor area too for the charge cables, which shouldn’t be a thing worth shouting about but it is because some car companies have not considered that for their EVs.

And before I get to the driving experience you should know that there is a pretty good reversing camera also included. Which is needed, because you should know that visibility out the rear-view mirror is small enough.

And so on to the reason you are still reading this… the range. Unsurprisingly, Renault has created a big one here. 450km is their proposed range but in truth it isn’t going to be achieved. But even in the depths of winter I reckon you could get close to 400km which still puts it much higher than other cars that this electric Megane will pitch itself against.

You should also know that they have loaded this stunner up with a whopper of a battery that, in theory, should happily sit receiving a maximum 130kW DC charging speed. Unfortunately, you don’t get many chances to enjoy that here in Ireland but it’s nice to know you can.

It’s a relatively light car, making it quite nimble but not in any way jittery at speed or around corners, helped in part by the low centre of gravity, giving you a sense that you are glued to the road.

I will be in the MG4 in a few weeks which will be a real test for me after loving this so much. Entry level is €38k, so don’t be completely put off by the €46k asking price of my test car.

The verdict: It is a very impressive car overall and I would certainly choose it over some of the more established EVs in the market.

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