All about the 100% electric Megane E-Tech. We will tell you about it after a first dynamic road test, with an examination of how inside and out. Text + VIDEO.
All about the Megane: it starts with the Zoe experience
Renault is betting heavily on its own first average BEV, segment C. And it does so on the strength of a ben sales experience 400,000 battery-powered vehicles in the last decade. Decade in which Renault has trained over 30,000 people specializing them in dealing with this type of vehicles. And in which they have been traveled further 10 billion km in electricity. All this has led Renault to gain the position of market leader 2021 to individuals: a fundamental role has been played by Zoe. Car whose image is now consolidated as that of an electric for the city, but which does not disdain a few short trips from time to time. Versatile, reliable, on a human scale. And it is precisely from here that Renault started to develop its new C segment, Megane precisely: from desire to put man and his time at the center. Or at least that’s what the Renault men explained to us. But also what the car largely tells about itself.
All about the Megane / First price € 32.100 (with bonus)
There are two versions. The first with an engine 96 kW and 40 kWh battery (300 km autonomy WLTP). The second with engine 160 kW and 60 kWh battery (470 km). The set-ups are 3 for the basic version and 4 for the top version. Prices currently range from 37,100 euros from the EV40 Equilibre Boost Charge up to 47.700 from the EV60 Optimum Charge Iconic. Lhe version of attack is however already very well prepared. With, among others, 18-inch alloy wheelsparking camera, Full Led headlights, keyless access and start, Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility. The incentives allow you to buy Megane in the preparations Equilibre or Techno as regards the EV40 version. While, if you aim for the EV60 version, the only possible set-up is the Equilibre. Basically: by scrapping, the EV40 Equilibrium takes you to the house with 32,100 euros, net of any further discounts. A quick comparison with the direct German competitor, the ID.3: in the attack version, the Pure Performance (battery from 45 kWh), price list costs 34,850. And, net of the incentives, it is taken with 29,850 euros. But without some of the pluses offered by Megane, such as alloy wheels and parking camera.
The (counter-current) choice of front-wheel drive
The Megane E-Tech is based on the CMF-EV platform. A technical basis of type skateboard, which houses a very thin battery (110 mm thick) on the floor, in a lowered position. The effect is one very low center of gravity, to the advantage of agility and spaciousness on board. The Renault designers, despite starting from a blank sheet, are gone counter-current, placing the electric motor on the front axle. An obligatory choice when starting from a platform shared with the thermal. But when, as in this case, you start from scratch, the obvious choice is rear traction. In this way the car enjoys greater traction capacity, especially on low-grip surfaces. This was VW’s choice for ID.3, direct competitor of Megane. The Renault men, questioned by me about the reasons for this choice, explain that this she is not a sportswoman. But a car whose behavior must be of immediate interpretation for the general public, accustomed to front-wheel drive. Furthermore, we are told, the front engine allows for more space to be reserved for the trunk. We do not know if these are really the reasons. Or whether Renault has favored the use of already engineered and industrialized components, to optimize costs.
How are you? No burning shots, but superior comfort
What is certain is that, while driving, the wow effect departing from stationary it is completely absent. From this point of view the ID.3 is more fun to drive. And this is also due to the steering, which is decidedly more direct and precise. But this is not necessarily a defect. Although the 160 kW version covers it 0-100 in under 7.4 seconds (the same time as the ID.3 58 kWh), departures at traffic lights are necessarily very soft. It is then recovered! But you have to start avoid skidding in all ways. So Lelectronics doses the couple. And the driving feeling is closer to that of an excellent one turbodiesel, than to that of an electric one. But this is not necessarily the right key to seek the consensus of a public more inclined to be frightened by news than intrigued by them. Who knows if Renault has not seen us for a long time … The Megane, while not surprising for its driving dynamics and sportiness, offers comfort clearly superior to the ID.3. Technicians used a layer of shock absorbing foam between the car floor and the entire surface of the battery. The effect is one of isolation, damping And absorption. This, combined with the use of double watertight door seals, careful aerodynamics, and a soft calibration of the multilink suspension at the rear, gives a high level of comfort. Isolating well from uneven bottoms and giving away so much silence on board. Excellent work.
How is it done inside?
The quality of the materials inside is very very good. And here the comparison with the competition is truly unequal. Especially when looking at some of the finishes of the under the dashboard or at the bottom of the interior door trim. There is no story. On Megane the overall quality is higher than that of the ID.3. It has been done extensive use of soft and high quality plastics. Even the eco-leather used are of a good standard (although I personally appreciate the eco-leather fabrics more). Much pleasant are also the color combinations. Ample space, even for the passengers in the back, thanks to the flat floor e a very large trunk complete the positive picture. A little less care for the closing mechanisms of the doors behind, beating which the noise is really unpleasant. Great attention is also paid to the research of some innovative solutions. Like the virtual interior mirror (integrates a high definition monitor connected to a rear view camera), or the on-board system with OpenR interface Link. It’s based on Android OS, with all the solutions of the Google ecosystem (making the connection via Android Auto or Apple Carplay, although present, almost superfluous). From navigation system, based on Google Maps. Megane has two monitors on the dashboard: the first behind the wheel from 12.3 thumbs, the second, serving, among other things, the navigationfrom 12.
The planning system looks promising …
Excellent idea of integrate the Google Maps navigation system in the car. It is fantastic the function it allows to plan routes by also proposing stops for recharging. But Renault was very rough in their response when I asked what data it takes into account the system in the calculation. In fact, we know that, with the exception of Tesla, at least until now, this is one of the Achilles’ heels of the electric. Not having a reliable planning system. Who knows if the choice to base the system on Google Maps is that right to be able to guarantee more and more support over timeupdates, and precision? I will be curious to test what the level of reliability of the platform is already today. In the meantime, I limit myself to pointing out that, both in terms of fluidity and quality and operability, we are light years ahead of the Volkswagen ID.3 systems. Excellent interface. Super usability. Excellent voice command recognition. Very good!
Everything about the Megane E-Tech: how much does it consume?
As I often point out, in these first contacts it is not possible to make gods reliable consumption measurements. But we just take (with pliers) some data. In our path of 74 km from Turin city until in Baroloalong the regional road 29, covered in about 1 hour and 20 minutes, the average consumption was of 15.1 kWh / 100km. Temperature always around 20 degrees. Two people on board. Air conditioning set at 20 degrees. In the trafficking from Barolo to Cerreto Langhefurther 17 km of curves on the provincial road 57 and a overall positive difference in height of about 500 meters, the average consumption was 19.8 kWh / 100km. Using a battery with an energy density 20% higher than Zoe’s allowed Renault to limit the overall weight. Which turns out to be on average more than 100 kg less to that of the competition. This will certainly also help fuel consumption and autonomy. But we reserve the right to deepen on the occasion of the first extensive road test.
How much top up?
Also in this case Renault does not miss anything. And indeed, play his ace in the hole: keeps a feature dear to all Zoe owners, the recharge in AC up to 22 kW. The Volkswagen ID.3 stops at 11 kW. This also allows the version with battery from 40 kWh to fully recharge from scratch in less than two hours. And to the version with battery from 60 kWhto recharge completely from scratch in just over two and a half hours. By exploiting the AC columns to their full potential. 85 i kW supported by FAST charging for the version with 40 kWh And well 130 i kW for the version with battery 60 kWh (the version with 58 kWh of ID.3 stops at 100 kW). To the question relating to charging curve, Renault’s men glossed over. Just saying that in 25 minutes it is possible to recover 250 km of autonomy (at what speed? routes where?). We would have preferred to see the graph of the charging curve, but anyway … We will take care of it with direct evidence as soon as possible. As usual, the battery warranty is 8 years or 160,000 km. Interesting that Renault make available to customers the ability to check the status of battery health. And to receive a certificate that certifies the conditions. For example in the case of the sale of the vehicle.
CONCLUSIONS – It is a car that has what it takes to play its game on the market. Many of its numbers will have to be verified on the road, but consumption looks good and in line with the competition. Quality of materials and silence on board are superior up to category standards, at an attack price only slightly more expensive. But the real strength of this car could lie in the choice to rely on OpenR Link, which is based on Android OS. With all that that comes with it in terms of flexibility and upgrades. Self the travel planning system works properly, this could decree Megane’s superiority over the competition. Allowing the customer the full exploitation of the vehicle.
—- Sign up for the Newsletter and to the canal YouTube from Vaielettrico.it —-