Renault Megane e-Tech First Drive – New Megane eTech electric hatchback review / Electrifying
And just by that, that is the renault mcgann e tec, electric thats it you can stop watching now, but if you want to know why you should buy it, then youre going to have to stick with me youre still with me. Thank you and lets have a proper chat about this one in the comments, because this megan is unlike any megan that has gone before it and i think its a really solid effort by renault basics, its a ground up, electric car. There will be no plug in hybrids, petrol or diesel and its based on the same mechanical bits as the new nissan area, because renault and nissan share things to save money, but thats, not to say that this is in any way cheap. There are some extra ordinarily cool bits on this car and thats, mainly to do with the lessons that renault learnt from the mega selling zoe renault has taken all of that experience. All of that data from millions of miles of driving, zoes and applied it to this mcgann apart from the safety stuff, because, even though the zoes didnt do that well, in their latest round of crash safety exams, the megan is a five star car and thats. A top score, the battery itself is only about that thick 110 millimeters, which means the mega isnt. Actually that high, oh and the battery is both liquid, heated and cooled to make charging faster and preserve the life of the cells like goldilocks as porridge.
They need to be at the perfect temperature theres, also a heat pump to make it more efficient in winter, and the motor inverter and the charging system are all much smaller than similar setups from other manufacturers. That means itll be both more efficient and more economic because it makes absolutely the best use of the electricity that you put into it right now. Thats super important, and i think it looks just great weirdly, its actually a lot smaller than it looks in pictures. Its actually lower than a renault, zoe and marginally narrower until you take into account the wing mirrors and then its wider, its got big ears, but it is actually quite chunky. Now these wheels are the optional 20s standard or 18s, but because theyre pushed right out into the corners of the car and because theres this black wheel, arch, trim and deep body sides, it makes the car look quite imposing and chunky, but thats, actually a little bit Of a visual trick, because this car is shorter than a ford focus, its not so much an suv as a kind of crossfit hatch, i do like the front. The restyled badge is a big reminder of who makes it, and i think all these lines are quite flowing. That color trim is what you get in the better specified models by the way, and they call it warm titanium, honestly theres, a contrasting black roof, which you can have in one of three different colours: theres, also a hidden rear door handle here which keeps the side Profile clean and then, as you move around to the back theres, a very shallow rear windscreen which, if you look, is only the size of my actual hand and a full width rear light bar at the back.
Its actually a really handsome design. And it looks a lot nicer than when i first saw it online one detail. I really like these tiny little filigree lines in the rear lights. Its just really neat its all good in here too. The imposing bit is this set of screens thats directly in front of me. So youve got an information bit here: thats 12 inches then theres. Another 12 inch portrait screen thats angled quite aggressively towards the driver here, which just looks really good theres a set of often used buttons underneath, which is really nice. Cheaper versions get a 9 inch screen instead of this 12 inches, which im not sure how good that will look so well have to wait and see other stuff youve got kind of an oval squared off steering wheel with paddles for the brake regeneration behind it. The gear shift is column mounted so its up here, which means that you get an absolute ton of storage down in the center console here. Theres a wireless charging pad just here then down here, is kind of just a big open space with these configurable dividers, which is really useful, theres a cup holder and then a big deep center pocket in the middle. One thing to note, though: behind the wheel, there are four count: em four different sets of stalks. Now this one is for the radio, which is typical in lots of renaults. This one is for the windscreen wipers.
This one is the gear shift and then over on the left hand, side here, thats the indicators and the lights now im not saying it is that confusing, but i have actually put the windscreen wipers on whilst trying to get into reverse twice now, im sure that Youd get used to it. There is also some nicely trick. Things like a smart rear view mirror. So you flick that and it becomes a camera, and i thought that was just really nice little extra detail but thats until you realize just why you need it, because this rear windscreen is essentially a slot. You need that camera just to see where youre going. I couldnt put my dog in the boot of this car because hed be massively claustrophobic and probably wet himself. My seating position was really easy to get nicely sorted and generally the materials feel really nice theres. Some lovely contrast, stitching theres this wood, which is basically laser etched so thats a nice bit of texture and everything feels really nicely put together. You can also option everything made out of 100 recycled material, so you can feel like youre doing your bit as usual. Theres, a full suite of driver assistance systems, but the one thing thats been standing out for me is the fact that all of the on board multimedia is google powered now its exactly like the system in the pollstar 2, but actually slightly slicker, and it is really Good, you can have everything from apple carplay, android auto.
You can download different apps, its really intuitive its really clear its really slick, and it is really fast its one of the best things about this car because it just makes it super convenient super clear. I just really enjoy using it. It also integrates with the google maps on the sat nav, so what this car will actually do is it will do things like tell you how much percentage of battery youve got left in the car itll suggest convenient charging stops. Tell you how fast they are, and if you pick one of those charging stops, it will then either preheat or cool the battery to make sure that its at optimum temperature for fast charging when you get there honestly, i dont know why everyone doesnt do this. Its absolutely brilliant as far as space goes, there are a few things to talk about so theres plenty of space for the two front, passengers and absolutely no problem, but once you get into the back its a little bit more complicated. So that is my driving position up front and one thing when i got in here, i had to duck under this header rail, which is actually quite low, and when im sat up its underneath my eye line, though it is padded. So if i was feeling sleepy, i could have a bit of a kip with my head resting against it. But if you look down here, my feet, cant actually get underneath the seat in front the way i sit there.
So it feels a little bit more cramped than it is. There is a flat floor and thats brilliant, although this middle seat is quite tight, so youre not going to get another adult in there very comfortably, and also this center console sort of pokes into their shins. So, even though it feels like theres enough room, it doesnt feel spacious, certainly not as spacious as some of the other pure electric cars that weve driven the boot is bigger than something like a nissan leaf: thats 440 liters litre fans and theres a drop bit underneath For cable storage, but no front, because the front is where all the electric bits go. It is a practical car for everyday stuff, though honestly, the driving part is one of the megans massive strengths and its immediately noticeable. The fact that renault has done a lot of work in keeping the weight down on this car theyve tried to make everything as light and small and as efficient as possible in terms of battery motors inverters, all that kind of stuff, and you really do notice it. When youre driving down a twisty road or just the average b road, and especially when youre braking, you notice it on the brakes more than anything else, because its not fighting its mass. All of the time mind you, i havent actually been using the foot brake an awful lot, ive been using the brake regeneration and thats accessed by these paddles behind the steering wheel.
So, on the left hand side you can increase the brake regen like that and then on the right hand, side you can decrease it, so you can basically use it like changing down in a car with a manual gearbox. So if youre approaching a junction like this, you pull the paddle see and you can increase the strength of the regeneration and then it it will do everything from basically freewheeling to one pedal, driving and its supremely well judged. And i really like it completely intuitive throughout two miles. The steering is really quite nice. The ride is also really good, though it would be better on the standard 18 inch wheels, rather than these massive 20s, which look brilliant. But the problems that i can find with the ride. Quality are almost entirely down to those inch rims, because its got a slight tendency to grumble the way that it slightly clumps through a pothole is down to the wheel. I can feel theres a lack of absorption through the tyre generally. The car rides really well, so it takes big bumps really nicely. The suspension works really well its just those big wheels. A little bit more granular id expect smaller wheels to be a lot better. It does make the steering very positive, with such big stiff, wheels and generally its clear and its accurate, though it is a little bit floaty for my taste. It makes the car feel quite sporty, but i would like a little bit more feel of what the front wheels are doing now.
This is the bigger 60 kilowatt hour battery with 215 brake horsepower, and it is plenty quick enough, its not exactly a hot hatch, but it gets from zero to 62 miles an hour in about seven and a half seconds, which is more than enough for just keeping Up with day to day traffic, and when you do feel like driving a little bit quicker, its got a set of driving modes. You access them through this uh little button here on the bottom of the steering wheel and youve got comfort, eco sport, personal. So the personal one is basically, you can set your own parameters. Comfort is comfort. Eco, just eeks out the last bit of range from your battery, and sport actually does make quite a bit of difference like it makes the car feel a lot perkier. Now, in a lot of cars, it doesnt make that much difference, but ive been playing with the brake regen from the paddles and you can slow the car down into a corner turn it in and its got a little bit of wheel spin but genuinely. I think this might be one of the most fun cars to drive in the sector, its not horrifically quick, but it definitely works and again its that feeling of lightness. The car feels quite perky. It doesnt feel like its fighting its mass all the time and because its got good ride, its got decent grip. Everything seems to work together to make the mcgahn e tec electric feel more sporty than it should and yet its got ride comfort.
This is a really well judged car, its like the best of all the french stuff, its also quiet and refined and relaxing. If i put this into comfort mode again, its very chilled out now renaults done lots of little tricks, like its put essentially like a sound and vibration, deadening, duvet between the battery and the metal bits of the chassis. So this car is very quiet even for an electric car. Everything about this car feels like that. Renault has upped the game slightly. Everything is just better slightly better than all the competition. The mcgann has definitely upped its game in this generation and im genuinely impressed its brilliant. The new megane will come with two possible battery sizes of 40 kilowatt hours and 60 kilowatt hours like this one. The smaller battery gets up to 186 miles of range. On the usual tests and 129 brake horsepower, the bigger power unit, 215 brake horsepower and up to 292 miles, theyre both front wheel, drive by the way and theres no all wheel, drive option if youre a zoe driver its worth, remembering that the charge point is no Longer in the nose, but here on the right hand, side you can get up to 22 kilowatts of ac charging and 130 kilowatts dc. So, as a general rule, the average home war box will see this bigger battery fully charged in just under 10 hours, 10 to 80 in under 30 minutes on 150 kilowatt charger or above a more common 50 kilowatt charger will see 10 to 80 in just over An hour and thats all fine, if not groundbreaking, whats really interesting here – is that even though ive been driving this car in quite low temperatures, sort of six to eight degrees celsius, the megan electrics is actually returning really good efficiency figures, so ive been getting between 4.
3 And 4.4 miles per kilowatt hour now im not doing a whole heap of motorway work, so that would probably drop it a little bit but thats really efficient. I did it on my phone and worked out and thats roughly equivalent to about 264 miles of real world range, which isnt that far off. What renault is quoting and thats really comforting. You know its cold and its winter and the cars getting very close to what the wltp figures are and something that i think gets missed a lot with. Electric cars is its not enough for them to just be electric. They still have to be efficient, so they have to be efficient with the energy that gets put into them, because dont forget the more efficient. An electric car is the more range you get for the same amount of charge and the more environmentally friendly. It is overall its not enough just to be electric youve got to be efficient as well, so the renault mcgann e tec electric. I actually think this is pretty much spot on. It looks great. It drives well its got a really nice interior and it would appear to be very, very efficient, its not dirt cheap, but then i dont think any pure electric car really is, and it is priced well in the face of the competition. Would i have one rather than a vw, id3 or kia e nero? Well, yes! Yes, i think i would, although there is a new nero ev coming, which should provide stiffer competition? Oh, my goodness, were being all definitive and consumer advice y thats never going to catch on.
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