A few years ago, ‘economy diesels’ were very popular on the business market. Renault thinks it has the ideal successor with the new Mégane E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid. Is that right?
Renault has been offering fully electric Z.E. models for a long time, but now hybrid models are being added. They are called E-Tech and have a completely newly developed powertrain on board. There are two versions: ‘regular’ hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The drivetrain is identical, the difference is in the larger battery for the plug-in version.
Renault Clio models
The Clio, Captur and Mégane are the first three models to receive an E-Tech powertrain. The Clio will receive the ‘regular’ hybrid version from E-Tech, the Captur and Mégane will be plug-in hybrids. The choice for specifically these models is conscious. For example, as many body styles as possible are offered: a hatchback, crossover and station wagon. More E-Tech models will follow later, including at least the Mégane hatchback.
Renault Mégane Estate practical redesign
As with the Captur, the battery pack of the Mégane is placed under the rear seat. This not only ensures a pleasantly low center of gravity of the car, but also preserves the entire interior space. In practical terms, you therefore have nothing to lose compared to the petrol or diesel versions. The luggage compartment still measures 447 liters.
Together with the introduction of the E-Tech powertrain, the Mégane also immediately undergoes a subtle facelift. For example, from now on the car always has full LED lighting and the use of materials and other finishes have been improved in the interior. So the usual facelift business.
Renault Mégane performance
The plug-in hybrid version of the E-Tech powertrain delivers a system power of 160 hp. The hybrid version, as can now be found in the Clio, delivers 130 hp partly due to the smaller battery pack. The Mégane E-Tech must be able to cover an average of 50 kilometers fully electrically (WLTP). The electric top speed is 135 km/h, above that the petrol engine always switches on.
In the Clio and the Captur we have already been able to experience both versions of the E-Tech powertrain in a ‘normal’ driving style. In the Mégane, in this case with R.S. Line, we are looking for the sportier characteristics. The general character of the Mégane E-Tech is the same as that of the ‘regular’ Mégane Estate.
That guarantees comfort, but the car is also in for a bit of fine steering on winding roads. You will not notice anything of the approximately 100 kilograms extra due to the battery pack. Moreover, as mentioned, the battery is incorporated in the floor and thus even lowers the center of gravity of the car slightly.
Well, the E-Tech powertrain is of course not built for sportiness in the basics. Nevertheless, a semi-sporty driving style is certainly possible. Thanks to the always electric start, you immediately have all the torque at your disposal, possibly supplemented by the petrol engine. The E-Tech powertrain even evokes a bit of an old-fashioned turbo feel. The soft ‘whistling’ sound of the electric motor, combined with an extra boost as soon as the petrol engine kicks in.
Renault Mégane Estate Fuel consumption
In theory, the Mégane E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid consumes 1.3 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers, or a consumption of 76.9 liters per 1 km. Given our sporty driving style, we have not achieved that by a long way, but the final consumption we find still neat: 3.0 l/100 km or 1 to 33.3.
E-Tech Estate driver mode
The E-Tech models also offer different riding modes. In Sport, everything is tuned to full power for maximum performance. E-Save aims to save as much power as possible for later on the route and in Pure mode the car always drives fully electric (as long as there is enough power).
In My Sense mode, the car decides for itself what the best propulsion is for the conditions. The current energy flows can be followed on the model-specific, fully digital instrumentation behind the wheel.
Renault Mégane Estate brake mode
With the E-Tech models, the automatic transmission is expanded with an extra B-mode: the Brake mode. Then the car brakes extra strongly on the (electric) motor, in order to recover energy for the battery. The Mégane seems to react differently in Brake mode than the Clio and Captur. Where the Clio always slowed down strongly to recover energy, the Captur mainly did so below 50 km/h.
The Mégane seems to choose a middle ground in that regard. Maybe it depends on the specific circumstances. Be that as it may: within built-up areas, ‘one pedal driving’ in the Brake mode quickly becomes our preference. You don’t have to touch the brake to slow down enough. The brake is only required to come to a complete stop: the Brake mode works up to 7 km/h.
As mentioned in the intro, Renault sees the E-Tech models as the ideal successor to the ‘economy diesels’, which were so popular on the business market a few years ago. Those diesels were helped at the time by additional tax benefit, something that unfortunately no longer applies to plug-in hybrids.
Nevertheless, the E-Tech models are still a good way to get a lot of miles affordably. You do not have the higher road tax of a diesel and at the same time a much lower consumption. In addition, plug-in hybrids are a good alternative for those who drive fully electric is still a step too far.
Renault exclusive for The Netherlands
For this business market – and exclusively for the Netherlands – Renault is introducing new E-Tech Business versions. For the Mégane there are even two: a regular Business version based on equipment level Zen and for the introduction also an extra decorated Business Edition One. There are also non-hybrid Business versions.
Renault Mégane Estate E-Tech price
The Renault Mégane Estate E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid is available from 33,090 euros (Zen), the R.S. Line is in the price list from 37,090 euros. The Business Zen is the most affordable version and costs at least 30,990 euros, with addition from 206 euros per month. The Business Edition One is available from 35,290 euros purchase or 235 euros per month addition.
The general Mégane price list starts at 23,590 euros for equipment level Life, which is the only one not available with E-Tech powertrain. The non-hybrid Zen version costs at least 25,590 euros. The Mégane Estate always has an additional cost of exactly 1,000 euros.
The E-Tech models can be ordered immediately and will be available at the dealer this summer.