Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Renault Megane E-TECH hybrid (2021-2022) review

While it's efficient and spacious, the Megane plug-in hybrid suffers from a dated interior and infotainment system, which sets in back in comparison to rivals

Renault Megane E-TECH hybrid hatchback
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£34,495 - £38,495
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Comfortable ride
  • Good value
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Dated cabin
  • Sluggish gearbox
  • Clunky infotainment
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid30 miles217mpg30g/km

Renault launched this plug-in hybrid version of its Megane family hatchback eight months after introducing the plug-in variant of the Megane estate, but it wasn't on sale for very long, with both models bowing out of production in mid-2022.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Megane E-TECH was one of several electrified hatchbacks on the market, with plug-in versions of the Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308 and Volkswagen Golf also available. Under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled with a 64bhp electric motor powered by a 9.8kWh battery.

The combined output is 158bhp and you get a 30-mile pure-electric driving range – the same as the plug-in estate. However, the hatchback is more efficient, capable of up to 235mpg and just 28g/km CO2 emissions.

Rapid charging isn’t available on the Megane E-TECH; its top-up speed is limited to just 3.6kW, which translates to around three hours to fully replenish the battery. There are three driving modes in the Megane E-TECH: ‘Pure' keeps the car in electric mode for as long as possible, while 'MySense' automatically mixes electric and engine power for the best efficiency and 'Sport' offers you maximum power at the expense of some efficiency. By the end of our time in the car, we'd only just depleted the battery, with the dashboard claiming we’d achieved over 90mpg.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Unsurprisingly, the hatchback and estate versions of the Megane drive very similarly, with both performing best in town in Pure mode. That’s thanks to the electric motor’s 250Nm of torque, which allows you to pull away smoothly, in addition to the Megane’s light steering and comfortable ride at lower speeds.

Things are less impressive when you aren’t relying solely on the electric motor. It’s not the petrol engine that's the problem, as that's generally very smooth and quiet, unless you really put your foot down. The issue is the Renault’s clutchless six-speed automatic transmission, which isn’t the best we’ve experienced, but the only one available for the plug-in Megane. Occasionally the gearbox falters when transitioning from electric to petrol power, resulting in either a jerk in your momentum or a pause in power delivery.

Also, despite its up-to-date powertrain, the Megane is showing its age inside. This car’s smaller, and cheaper, stablemates like the latest Clio, Captur and Arkana hybrids all have a nicer cabin design. Plus, while you do get a seven-inch portrait infotainment touchscreen in entry-level models, or a 9.3-inch unit in higher-spec R.S. Line cars, the graphics feel tired and it’s not the most responsive system on the market. The digital dials also aren’t as sharp as some models in this class.

Practicality also takes a hit with the switch to plug-in hybrid-only power, with boot space dropping from 473 litres in the now-discontinued petrol version of the car down to 308 litres in the E-TECH. It’s still more than you’ll get in a Golf GTE, though, and there's still plenty of head and legroom for passengers.

The Megane -E-TECH's low Benefit-in-Kind rate was attractive for company-car drivers when it was new, and its comfortable ride and spacious interior are appealing to secondhand buyers today. But the dated interior was the car’s downfall, causing it to fall behind many of its rivals.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
hydrogen filling station
Your questions answered

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car in the UK
11 Apr 2024
Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology: specs, details and prototype ride of the new EV G-Class
G 580 with EQ Technology roadtrip photo front 3/4 on a hill
News

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology: specs, details and prototype ride of the new EV G-Class

The new G 580 will be revealed to the world on the 24th of April, we look at all the details of the forthcoming model and we ride in the prototype
12 Apr 2024
​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024
Top 10 best small electric SUVs Cover Photo
Best cars

​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024

Small electric SUVs provide low running costs, decent practicality and are more affordable than larger models, so they’re very popular. Here are the b…
8 Apr 2024