Although it may seem that the French Renault is a newcomer in the field of electric cars, the opposite is true. The small hatchback Zoe has been sold in selected markets since 2012 (it only found its way to the Czech Republic six years later), and at one time it was even at the top of European electric car sales! The domestic offer was later supplemented by the exotic Twizy vehicle.
Today, Renault’s range of passenger electric cars looks different and much more mature. Zoe was replaced in the range by Mégane, a car with a famous name but brand new technology. That the French have decided to build an independent electric family based on famous names from history is also proven by another novelty – the Scénic crossover. But about him some other time…
Behind the fifth generation Mégane, there will probably be no crowds on the streets, but you can’t deny the car an elegant coat. The designers won first and foremost with the lighting technology – the curved diode lines descend on the sides of the bumper, where they are optically connected to the lower bar. The rear light strip between the main lights is divided only by the car company’s logo in the middle.
But where to put it? Mégane has a length of exactly 4.2 meters, so it falls into the category of compact hatchbacks. A direct competitor is, for example, the Volkswagen ID.3, which, however, is slightly higher. As a rule, electric cars of this category have a bloated impression due to the battery in the floor. However, Renault benefits from a thin battery, and the silhouette is thus very similar to a classic internal combustion car. Below is a comparison with the previous, still internal-combustion Mégane.
|Comparison of dimensions
|4 200 mm
|4 359 mm
|1 768 mm
|1 814 mm
|1 505 mm
|1 447 mm
|2 685 mm
|2 669 mm
Rather for two
The interior space goes hand in hand with it. In the back, with a height of 178 cm, I sit “behind myself” so that I have a decent headroom, but only a small reserve in front of my knees. Anyone who is taller has to reckon with compromises here, after all, even the boarding area is not as giant as anyone would expect. But once you slide in, the seats themselves are soft and very comfortable. However, if you want an electric car from Renault with more family-friendly features, the Scénic will serve you better.
After opening the trunk, a space with a volume of 389 liters peeks out at you, which according to the table is not at all small, after all, the Golf 8, for example, has nine liters less. But the trunk is primarily deep (plus there is another 32-liter box for cables under the floor) and not that long. You can fold down the second row, but there will be a rather prominent step in the middle.
Digital with a stamp of premium
On the contrary, it is difficult to find weak spots in the front. Both passengers have enough space here, the seats are comfortable, and they are surrounded by soft and very pleasant to the touch materials. It does not throw anything, everything fits nicely and some places are processed better than in modern premium cars. Artificial leather is available for higher equipment, but even the standard fabric doesn’t look bad at all. In this regard, the French deserve a big thumbs up! Some people criticize the large number of levers to the right of the steering wheel – in addition to the recuperation intensity paddle, there is also a drive selector, wiper lever and separate music control. But they don’t really interfere with each other, it’s more of a habit.
Digital alarm clocks and, above all, the central, vertically positioned screen in the middle are the center of the multimedia event. It no longer runs on Renault’s own system, but uses Google’s foundation. Infotainment is very reminiscent of a smartphone in terms of its processing and environment – it is fast, clear and you can download other applications in the store. For example, you can activate the Spotify music service without mirroring your smartphone.
Arrival? More than the charts claim
Mégane began a long stint in our editorial office this summer. And it was on sunny holiday days that he surprised us with his consumption. A single 220-horsepower electric motor can drive a 1.7-tonne car around the country with a consumption of 13 to 15 kWh / 100 km, so it could theoretically reach a range higher than the declared 450 km. We knew that if we didn’t drive exclusively on the highway, the electric car could handle around four hundred kilometers without any limitations.
As the speed increases, the taste of the electric motor also increases logically, but still not dramatically. It is most noticeable on the highway. While at a speed of 110 km/h the average consumption is about 17 kWh / 100 km, at the domestic highway maximum it is already 20 kWh for every hundred kilometers. So you still have 300 highway kilometers at your disposal, which is no shame in a car of this size.
All in front
The technical basis of Mégane is the CMF-EV platform, which includes a very thin 110 mm battery with a capacity of 60 kWh. Thanks to the flashlight in the floor, the car’s center of gravity has dropped by 90 millimeters compared to the combustion variant. Renault opted for an “all-front” layout with an electric motor on the front axle and therefore front-wheel drive. Under the hood are powerful electronics and an on-board charger, so the charging connector can be found in the front fender.
And charging in real conditions? When you arrive at a sufficiently powerful charger with a few percent, the power quickly climbs to about 125 kW, but it does not last long. At twenty-five percent, it drops below one hundred, halfway through you are already at 75 kW. In three quarters, 50 kilowatts of energy “flows” into the battery. Therefore, the most effective way is to charge from the minimum to about 70%.
The Mégane’s summer conditions are evident – very pleasant consumption and a decent speed of recharging the batteries. But the freezing winter came and with it the sobriety. The biggest extreme was when we charged a ridiculous 22 kW at a 150 kW rack. And even with the passage of time, the performance did not increase. So a bizarre situation arose – we disconnected the car from the fast charger and pulled out our own AC cable. The charging performance remained the same, but the kilowatt-hours obtained were many times cheaper. The winter range is a separate chapter, but we will get to that in the next part of our long-term test.
Very nice car
We have already clocked up thousands of kilometers behind the wheel of the Mégane, and we evaluate its driving behavior positively in principle. The chassis is very comfortable even on the huge twenty-inch wheels (which is only good, you can’t buy smaller wheels these days). The steering itself is steep, only the feedback is zero. Thanks to the significant help of the booster, it is perfectly tuned for comfortable travel, only fans of a more sporty ride will be surprised.
In addition to driving, also because of the overall concept. Over 200 horses and 300 newton meters, that’s quite a lot for the front axle. So all you need is a slightly damp surface under the wheels and the car will react to a more significant depressing of the accelerator by digging in the front wheels. Solution? Do not step on the gas so quickly.
Overall, however, the positives from the ride prevail. In addition to comfort, agility in a straight line, noise reduction at higher cruising speeds, as well as sensitively tuned assistance systems are also worth mentioning. For example, lane guidance is very good – it is easy to activate and drives between two lines without jerky movements with maximum confidence.
Now in action
When the Mégane lost its basic equipment, the mid-level Techno became the basis. It has twenty-inch wheels, rear parking sensors and camera, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, dual-zone air conditioning and adaptive LED headlights as standard. More than decent equipment, for which Renault charged at least CZK 1,205,000. The higher Iconic version (in addition heated seats, front and side parking sensors, leather upholstery, Harman Kardon audio…) even came to 1,280,000 CZK.
A few days ago, however, Renault reacted to the current market situation with dramatic discounts. He made both equipment cheaper by a significant 215,000 CZK, which means that the base can now safely fit under a million crowns. Among other things, the French thereby maneuvered space for the larger Scénic, which starts at 1,085,000 CZK, while higher equipment costs 1,150,000 CZK and 1,230,000 CZK, respectively.
|Renault Mégane E-Tech
|synchronous electric motor
|160 kW (220 hp)
|permanent reduction gear
|1 711 kg
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h
|up to 450 km
|DC 130 kW, AC 22 kW
|Wheels and tires
|4 200/1 768/1 505 mm
|2 685 mm
|Volume of the luggage compartment
|Price in tested equipment from