CAR OF THE WEEK: Same name but new Megane is all-electric

May 5th, 2023 10:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Share this article


SOMETIMES when you check back on a car nameplate, you get a jolt. Like with Renault’s Megane. It has been around for almost three decades. 

The quintessential French carmaker must figure there’s an amount of customer appreciation invested in the name. Otherwise why would they keep it for the ultimate departure from four generations — a full electric Megane? New body, new platform, and no upcoming options with any form of internal combustion engine.

They have been phasing in electrification in Meganes, with e-tech monikered petrol hybrid versions available over the last while. And if that means you’re going to be confused by the E-Tech Megane, the full name of the latest generation, so be it. It will all strip down to just Megane in the end.

I had a short while with the new car just after it was launched here last autumn. Enough to be pretty positive about it, not enough to find any significant downsides. Now I’ve had a full review time — still positive but a few niggles discovered. ‘Niggle’ is far from negative, though.

I liked the style of the generation just finished. There was a good mix of elegance and an almost-premium feel about it. 


Whether in hatch, saloon or estate, it had presence. Now they have done a complete reset. Reset doesn’t automatically mean bad, but it can be abrupt, and take getting used to.

There’s just one format Megane now. Still a C-segment family car. Hard to know whether to call it a crossover, wagon, or just a long hatchback. In style it has a strong front, and they have managed to maintain a visual impact even with no traditional grille, in part because of the design of the bumper-apron ... and a big version of the Renault lozenge badge.

Large wheels with a very strong design, and very short overhangs front and rear, help with an impressive profile. 

At the back, ability to play with design in LED technology and a thin lighting strip right across the tailgate work well to offer some identity distinctiveness. Compared to the Megane IV, this one is taller, shorter, and narrower, but has a substantially bigger boot.

Inside, the styling is much lighter than in the last Megane. More techy, as befits a brand new technology car. It loses some of the sumptuousness of the older vehicle, but feels, and is, airier. More edges, less rounds. The screens for infotainment and instruments are big, bright, and colourful, and there’s a solid collection of proper buttons for climate and other key functions. 

The drive selector is a rather cheap-looking stalk out of the steering column. Niggle warning: it hides the regeneration strength indicator when one of the alternate instruments views is selected. 


The steering wheel is a softened hexagon, the control buttons on it clearly labelled and practical. A ‘floating’ ledge to hold and wireless-charge a phone means a large open space underneath contributes to the overall airy feel. The trim, well fitted, looks and feels more for long wear than cosseting. Seats front and rear look and are supportive, and a couple of longish trips left both me and my passenger positive about their overall comfort.

The drive is what we’re getting used to with all these electrics, somewhat heavy-feeling on non-motorway roads. Not so much that it bothers, though, and the also-familiar accelerative zip of an EV easily makes up for it.

The E-Tech Megane’s rated range is up to 450km. Again, it all depends on your speed, the kind of roads, urban or country, ambient temperature. My energy consumption averaged 18kW/100km. Setting out, the initial range is a deceptive matter. 

A typical commute trip of 56km started out showing 296km range. After some motorway, some morning traffic dual carriageway, and some suburban roads to my destination, I still had a notional 292km of range left! That was due to a combination of traffic and speed and judicious use of the regeneration, and worked out at an overall full range of 411km, getting close enough to the car’s rated figure. 

This Megane is no evolution from the past, it’s a whole new starting from scratch offering. In the burgeoning EV field, it should find its fair share of market.

Tags used in this article

Share this article

Related content