Renault Megane E-Tech Electric in the test: is the range sufficient?

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Top Gear says: If you drive sensibly, that's enough

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric in the test: is the range sufficient?-electric

The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is apparently the first car based on the CMF-EV platform to hit the market. The Nissan Ariya and other derivatives (such as a crossover from Alpine and a Mitsubishi) should start later.

Top Gear has already tested the Renault.

At 4.21 meters and 1.50 meters high, the electric Megane is not an SUV, but a typical compact car, according to the testers. From a German point of view, we add: The car is five centimeters shorter than the current VW Golf VII and practically the same height. The VW ID.3 is also about five centimeters longer, but also seven centimeters higher.

Electric Megane: 1.50 m high, 4.21 m long

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric in the test: is the range sufficient?-megane

VW ID.3: 1.57 m high, 4.26 m long

Renault chief designer Laurens van den Acker explains the off-road look as follows: Originally there were two versions, a normal version and a sport version with larger wheel openings and more aggressive aprons. The corporate finance department didn't think much of the sports version. When Luca de Meo became the new CEO in mid-2020, he opted for the sports version and the normal version was deleted.

Drive and battery: a little short range

The Megane is available with a 40 or 60 kWh battery and with a 96 or 160 kW front-wheel drive. According to Topgear, the stated kWh values ​​are the usable storage capacity, i.e. the net value. The top version EV60 160 kW was tested.

  EV40 96 kW
Standard batch
EV40 96 kW
Boost Charge
EV60 160 kW
Super batch
EV60 160 kW
Optimum batch
Battery (net) 40 kWh 40 kWh 60 kWh 60 kWh
Range 300 km 300 km 450 km 450 km
Charge 7 kW AC, no DC 22 kW AC, no DC 7 kW AC, 130 kW DC 22 kW AC, 130 kW DC

As with the Renault Zoe, the motors generate their magnetic field not with permanent magnets, but with coils. This enables the car to accelerate cleanly from a standstill to 130 km / h, the colleagues in France couldn't drive faster.

The recuperation is set using the steering wheel paddles; As with the Kia EV6, for example, there are four levels from 0 (no recuperation) to 3 (hardly any brake actuation required). Similar to Tesla the brake discs only become active when the regenerative braking is no longer sufficient. This is also the case when the battery is full, so the regenerated energy has nowhere to go.

In terms of power consumption, Topgear achieved 18 kWh / 100 km, including a fast stretch of the motorway. With the 60 kWh battery, around 330 km would have been possible, while the WLTP figure is 450 km. In winter, a standard heat pump prevents the range from dropping too much.

Picture gallery: Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric in the test: is the range sufficient?-test

Chassis: Hardly sway, not really soft

Despite front-wheel drive, the drive does not pull the steering. The multi-link suspension is tight and the electric Megane hardly wobbles when cornering. The steering gives a good feeling for the road. However, the car does not offer a thrilling experience as in good combustion compact cars a la VW Golf GTI. The Renault makes a good noise level on bumpy roads, but the rolling behavior is not really smooth.

Renault would like to hear that the car drives as fast as a Golf GTI. According to the test report, that would be an exaggeration. Overall, the 160 kW version feels lively.

Cockpit: good ergonomics

While the ID.3 has a large touchscreen but rather small instruments, the Megane has a large infotainment monitor and decent instruments. There are also enough physical buttons, for example for the climate settings. The testers got along well with the Android Auto operating system.

You sit well in the front, but in the rear the knees of the occupants are up – as in many electric cars that lack the height to give the back seat a reasonable height from the ground. Sure, the battery has to go somewhere, even if it's only 11 centimeters high like the electric Megane.

Prices and Competition

The delivery of the Megane E-Tech Electric will not begin in Germany until March 2022. Renault has therefore not yet given any prices. But the tested engine should cost up to 40,000 pounds in Great Britain, a VW ID.3 with 58 kWh and 150 kW is similarly expensive in England, according to the test report.

The equivalent of 40,000 pounds is around 47,000 euros. In Germany there is an ID.3 Pro (58 kWh and 150 kW) for 10,000 euros less. But maybe your colleagues have factored in the equipment.

Conclusion from Topgear: Little range and space in the rear

The electric Megane offers so much driving fun that it is easy to drive a little too quickly – which reduces the range considerably. If you drive sensibly, the range is sufficient. We would add: The ID.3 naturally offers more with the 77 kWh battery, namely up to 540 km (compared to a maximum of 450 km with the Megane).

Another point of criticism from the testers is the space in the rear. Anyone who is bothered by it can go to one hope for a combination version, because it is simply part of the standard in this segment, according to the report. Otherwise, the interior offers easy operation and good workmanship.

Technical data of the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric EV60 160 kW

  • Drive: 1 electric motor at the front with 160 kW
  • Battery / range: 60 kWh / 450 km WLTP
  • Length / height / wheelbase: 4.21 meters / 1.50 meters / 2.70 meters
  • Price: not yet known
  • Market opening: in Germany March 2022

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