Renault Megane E-Tech Electric test: An almost perfect electric car
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Despite the “Megane E-Tech” name, it has nothing in common with the plug-in hybrid station wagon I tested last spring. It is a hatchback with a fully electric drive and a battery in the floor, no other powertrain is offered for it.

There is a choice between a 40kWh and a 60kWh battery – the current price list only offers the larger battery though – which is linked to the different output of the electric motor driving the front wheels, but that’s about it.

I tried the variant with a larger battery, which means 220 hp of electric motor power and up to 470 km of range – on paper. I was really curious as to how it would be in reality, because I was waiting for a trip across the country, including the highway, and electric cars usually “eat” a lot on that road.

Megane E-Tech Electric is the first Renault with the new logo and it must be said that it fits the design of the car beautifully. The body is elegant despite the short rear, the 20″ wheels mask the thick floor that hides the battery, the black color suits the silver roof and gold accessories.

I open the door with the hinged handle and get behind the wheel. I’m adjusting the seat and I have the impression that something is wrong. I soon find out about the fundamental drawback that spoils the impression of the whole car – I can’t find a comfortable position behind the wheel because of the protruding console under the central display.

Either I sit too far from the steering wheel and the controls and my right knee falls in front of the console, or on the contrary I have to sit very close to rest my knee somewhere other than on the sharp edge. But I would be afraid of the airbag, because the steering wheel is really close.

Back then at the Munich Motor Show I couldn’t devote enough time to it and I also didn’t drive the car, now I’m looking for a position for the first two days and in the end I choose the first option – to sit further and simply raise my knee here and there to better press the brake pedal.

It’s a really big disadvantage, but in terms of ergonomics, it’s basically the only one, the rest is excellent. Note the gear selector on the right side under the steering wheel at the top – great location, easy to use. I also acknowledge the radio control console down there. It is true that you have three things on the right under the steering wheel, but at least they are all at hand.

Both displays are also excellent; they have nice graphics and top sharpness and resolution. Infotainment handles both wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay well, and both of these systems can expand to their entire screen.

However, the native navigation is worth a longer mention here. This is Google Maps, which you can log into as if you were doing it in a browser on a computer, independently of the global infotainment user profile. It means you can see your saved POIs and there’s no need to use Android Auto if you don’t want to. Megane can also display this map in the instrument panel, but not the map from Android Auto.

Navigation handles charging stops

The integration with the car goes even further, which I am testing on the already mentioned route across the republic from Prague to Jeseníky. I deliberately set off without a fully charged battery, set the final destination – and the display immediately offers me charging stops, even with the time I will spend at them.

But there is a catch – in this case, you cannot properly choose the network of chargers and one of the charging stops is at Lidl, which recently charged a fee for its stations, in a rather incomprehensible way – it will block several hundred crowns on your payment card and money that you cannot use up by charging , will release in 5 days.

Photo: Marek Bednář, Novinky

The navigation automatically selects charging stops on a longer route, but you really don’t want to stop at Lidl after paying.

However, I drive the set route often and I know the chargers, so I plug in at Moravská Třebová and the car reports that I will reach there with one percent in the battery. “This will be fun,” I think, “maybe I’ll find out what it does when it detects that it’s running out of power.” So I set off on the D11, driving quite briskly to get the charging scheduler a bit on edge. But instead of 1% becoming zero, I gradually see 2%, 3%…

At the end of the highway, I erase the original route and again set the final destination in Jeseníky. The car says I can do it with one charging stop – and this time it gives me a choice of several on the way. So I choose the one I had set initially, and when I stop at it a few tens of minutes later, the display shows 7% battery.

I connect the car to a 75kW charger which reports that it will take me 51 minutes to charge to 80%. After half an hour of charging I am at 59% and the current charging power is 55.5 kW, it took 51 minutes to charge to 86%.

I reach my destination with such a large reserve that I don’t have to connect the car to a 230V socket – I know that the next day I’ll go shopping and there will be a 50kW charger. It gave me enough energy to make it back to Prague without recharging. So, in theory – since I don’t have the possibility to charge at home overnight, I stand for a little “juice” for 20 minutes just before Prague, during which the state of charge rises from 17 to 54 percent.

Average energy consumption per week of driving is very impressive – 16.8 kWh/100 km. The roughly 320 kilometers between charging at Moravská Třebová and entering the D11 at Holice on the way back to Prague even showed 14.8 kWh/100 km, and I was driving very briskly in places. As with most electric cars, the highway means an increase in consumption, but that’s understandable.

Like he was floating above the road

The low consumption is a pleasant surprise, but it is somehow symptomatic. Megane literally seems to be floating above the road, not driving on it like any other car. It’s not in ironing out the bumps, but rather in respectable sailing ability; sometimes it seems to me that the car has no air resistance. The impression of floating is also enhanced by the more lukewarm onset of the braking effect, but I quickly get used to it and learn to work with the pedal correctly.

When I mentioned the unevenness – the chassis filters them well, it is not affected by really bad asphalt even with such large wheels, and the car’s grip in corners on Goodyear EfficientGrip tires is decent. The car is well balanced and seems neutral for a long time, until at the limit the front wheels predictably start to touch the asphalt.

On the other hand, what bothers me quite a bit is that in the adaptive cruise control, the function of taking over speed limits from road signs is always set after “starting”. Not because of the car slowing down on its own, but because of automatic acceleration, for example at the end of the village.

For example, when leaving Uničov on Mohelnice, there are still houses, turn-offs, etc. behind the “End of the village” sign, and it is not reasonable to accelerate straight away to 90 km/h. Apart from having to reset it pretty deep in the menu every time, this is another reminder that reasonable speed and top speed are not related in any way.

I also don’t like it – but this is more of a minor thing – that the equalizer is adjusted only after selecting the music source. So when I play music from Android Auto, the only available equalizer is the one in the mobile player.

An almost perfect electric car

In conclusion, it remains to mention only fully functional assistants for semi-autonomous driving, decent spaciousness everywhere in the interior and well-lit LED lights, whose autoleveling cone does not pull too low when they are around the car.

Overall, the Megane E-Tech Electric is an extremely successful car – it has good driving characteristics, low consumption, a large battery and a range that is enough for the entire Czechia. Its only real downside is that I can’t find a really comfortable position behind the wheel. So my recommendation is only one – if it fits you well, take it.

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric Iconic EV60 Optimum Charge
Max. power and torque: 160 kW (220 hp)/300 Nm
Drive axle: front
0-100 km/h: 7.5 s
Top speed: 160 km/h
Average consumption according to WLTP: 16.1 kWh/100 km
Average display consumption at the end of our test: 16.8 kWh/100 km
Range according to WLTP in the combined cycle: 450 km
Charging time according to the catalog: 30 h 30 min (2.3 kW, domestic 230V 10A socket)
18 h (3.7 kW, secured 230V 16A socket)
9 h 15 min (7.4 kW, wallbox)
6 h 30 min (11 kW, wallbox)*
3 h 15 min (22 kW, wallbox)*
1 h 15 min (130 kW, DC charger)
Battery: Li-Ion, 60 kWh, 352 V, 394 kg
Operating/Maximum Weight: 1711/2158 kg
Length x width x height: 4200 × 1768 × 1505 mm
Basic luggage volume: 389 l
Base price: 1,127,000 CZK (Techno EV60 Super Charge)
Base price of the tested version: 1,240,000 CZK
Price of the tested car: 1,338,500 CZK
* – additional equipment

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