The Renault Megane family hatchback is now available in E-Tech plug-in hybrid form, with prices starting at £29,495. The Sports Tourer estate version has been on sale in plug-in form for some time, but this is the first time the technology has been fitted to the more conventional hatchback.
As with the Sports Tourer, the E-Tech hatchback comes with a 1.6-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine and an electric drive motor. That motor is fed by a 9.8 kWh battery that holds enough juice to power the Megane for up to 30 miles on a single charge.
Thanks to that zero-emission range, the new Megane manages up to 235.4 mpg on the official economy test, although you’ll have to make mostly short journeys and charge the batteries regularly to get anywhere near that figure. The official CO2 emissions of 28 g/km, however, allows the Megane to slot into the 11 percent company car tax bracket for the 2021/22 financial year.
In addition to the impressive environmental credentials and the potential for ultra-low running costs, Renault also claims the Megane E-Tech will achieve solid performance figures. The French company says the 158 bhp E-Tech powertrain will allow the hatchback to get from 0-62 mph in 9.4 seconds before reaching a top speed of 109 mph.
However, the transition to hybrid power does rob the Megane of some practicality. Where the standard car has a massive 473-litre boot, the E-Tech has just 308 litres of capacity, although that can be increased to 1,200 litres if you fold down the rear seats.
Megane Hatch E-Tech customers will get a choice of two trim levels, with the Iconic trim joined by the sportier R.S. Line. Prices start at £29,495 for the former and £31,495 for the latter.
Opt for the Iconic and you’ll get 16-inch alloy wheels, a digital instrument cluster and front and rear parking sensors, plus a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a ‘hands-free’ keyless entry system and push-button start. The car also comes with cruise control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a host of safety gadgets including lane departure warning.
Going for the more upmarket R.S. Line gets you larger 17-inch alloy wheels and the sportier, more aggressive R.S. Line bumpers. Inside, the cabin is adorned with a sportier steering wheel, red stitching and R.S. Line dashboard trim, as well as sports seats with built-in headrests.
As well as all those style additions, the R.S. Line also provides extra technology, with a larger 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a rear-view camera. The car also comes with additional safety tech, including a ‘hands-free’ parking system that will steer the car into a space automatically.