The Megane E-Tech comes in two trim levels – the Iconic and R.S. Line. The Iconic sports a leather steering wheel, brushed aluminium finish on the dash and door panels and black velvet trim. The R.S. Line spec includes an even sportier leather steering wheel, gear lever gaiter with red stitching and R.S Line dashboard and trim.
Comfort and convenience features in both trim levels include front and rear electric windows, a rimless auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting. heated rear window, tinted rear windows and tailgate with heating function, lumbar adjustable driver seat, automatic dual-zone climate control with air recirculation facility and pollen filter plus two USB sockets in the front and rear.
The HVAC controls located below the portrait touchscreen now feature a temperature display inside the bevelled rotary controls. There is an EV mode button on the dashboard and E-Tech badge on the centre console with an e-shifter gear selector.
The 60/40 rear seatbacks can fold down completely to liberate 1,200 litres of luggage space or 308 litres (compared to 473-litres in the now-discontinued petrol version) with the seats in the upright position. The glove box has an unusual pull-out tray-like design instead of a hinged door. There are two cupholders in the front console area plus two in the back, integrated into the central armrest.
Connectivity and infotainment
Connected services and apps, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, is provided as standard across the range. The car’s 4G connectivity supports services such as an emergency call function that activates automatically in the event of an accident. It also means that the platform is always up to date, thanks to automatic updates from the likes of Google, Tomtom and Coyote.
Following its introduction on the Zoe, Clio and Captur, Renault’s Easy Link infotainment and navigation system has a crisp display and high-resolution graphics providing access to a choice of driver profiles and various online services. Over-the-air software updates ensure those functions are set to expand over time. The modular widgets allow the driver to customise the screen to give direct access to their favourite apps and features with fewer taps of the screen.
The driver and front seat passenger can access these features through a 9.3-inch touchscreen. All vehicle settings and functions are operated through this touchscreen, including multimedia, navigation and Multi Sense settings. Both models provide two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone integration via both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A reconfigurable 10-inch TFT cluster display can be adjusted to suit the driver’s preferences.
Advanced driver assistance systems
In the ADAS department, the Megane incorporates a suite of technologies, including adaptive cruise control, traffic and motorway assistance, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, hill start assist, automatic high/low beam headlights and traffic sign recognition. In addition, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a 360-degree camera with a bird’s eye view all help when reversing into some tight spaces.
On the road
Three driving modes are offered in the PHEV version: Pure electric mode, MySense and Sport. The standard driving mode, MySense, automatically adapts the hybrid powertrain to the driver’s style and conditions, switching between electric power and the engine. Sport makes use of the petrol engine and both electric motors for a responsive drive when the accelerator pedal is fully depressed. Selecting Sport mode displays a picture of the car on a track on the touchscreen. As well as changing the car’s engine and steering response, each mode adjusts the interior ambience to match by activating different lighting themes. A further E-Save setting preserves the current battery level for later use, perhaps when driving in urban areas, for example.
On balance, the Megane looks great with plenty of interior charm. It also comes with a generous list of standard equipment, an intuitive infotainment system and clever hybrid technology that mixes electric and engine power to maximum effect. Most of the surfaces are soft to touch with all the usual scratchy plastics hidden at ankle level. The seats not only look good but make long journeys feel painless. In short, there is very little that takes the shine off the interior. The E-Tech is also cheap to run, of course, allowing you to tiptoe around town in pure electric mode costing next to nothing. It takes approximately three hours to fully charge, providing about 30 miles of electric-only running,
The Megane is built at Renault’s Palencia plant in Spain, alongside the Kadjar SUV, with 85-90% of the vehicles manufactured exported to 50 countries around the world. Both Kadjar and Megane models are based on the Alliance CMF architecture. Rival models include the plug-in versions of the SEAT Leon, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf.