The Megane is going all-electric. Renault has been over to Nissan’s house for tea, and have borrowed the same bespoke architecture as the upcoming Ariya. Ladies and gentlemen, this could be a very important car!
Design & Styling
Let’s talk design and looks, and we’ll start at the front. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the updated Renault badge. A modern twist on the classic logo we’ve been used to. The badge is set into the top end where it curves slightly to meet the bonnet. There’s something of the iD.4 in that section…or is it just me? The line that separates the body panel from the bonnet then runs down between the DRLs and the main light cluster before swooping across the front of the car. There’s an interesting bit of two-tone colouring there also. Sometimes that looks great, but with the wrong colour combination, hmm, we’ll see!
From the side, we’re not fully sure what we’re looking at here. It’s a crossover SUV, or is it? Maybe it’s a hatchback? The lines are becoming increasingly blurred these days. Black trim on the flared wheel arches and a high window line gives the car a hunkered-down look. Door handles that are flush in the body of the car and the c-pillar give it a sleekness that might belie its functionality.
At the back, a thin, but quite detailed light bar and light cluster give a bit of definition to a rear that stretches high up toward the roofline. It’ll be interesting to see how visibility works out. There’s a flash of the two-tone colour scheme coming through again down toward the ground.
On the interior, there is definitely a premium feel to the materials. Our friend Daniel sat in the car and gave us a walkaround recently at the IAA mobility show in Munich. He was impressed with how the car felt. He likes the blend of materials, the stitching, the textures of the trim on the doors and dash.
The cockpit is laid out in a way that’s geared toward the driver, with a large touch screen angled inwards. Daniel was hugely impressed with the functionality of the system, with how reactive it was. And he compared it to what the Polestar 2 has done, high praise indeed! Sitting just under that screen is a line of buttons that are a bit like toggle switches and a wireless phone charger.
As mentioned, the Megane will be sitting on a bespoke EV platform called the RNM CMF-EV, and if you’ve been following EVs for some time, then you know what that means! Extra space and a whole lot of compromises that the designers DO NOT have to make!
The car is only 4.2 metres long and 1.5m tall. It’s also a little bit lighter than you might expect at 1,725 kilograms. Not light, of course, but compared to some of the bigger SUVs out there now, it’s a featherweight!
But there’s plenty of space in the back to fit adults comfortably, and if you peer into the boot, you’ll find a very good 440 litres. The opening is ample, and you’ll have no problem lashing in a buggy, your golf clubs or whatever you need. Oh, and it should be able to tow!...braked up to 900 kgs, nice!
It looks great, but how does it drive, Martyn? Well, we won’t know that for sure until we all start getting behind the wheel. But for now, we can give you some numbers. The two options are both single motor Front Wheel Drive. Will we see a ‘hot’ version eventually? Maybe, but for now, we’ll make do with what is definitely not a slow car. The more expensive model gives you a 160 kW motor that puts out 215 bhp and a tasty 300 Nm of torque.
So it looks like we’ll get a top speed of 160 kmh, which is pretty close to 100 mph and more than anyone will ever need. More importantly, it’ll do the 0-62 mph sprint in 7.4 seconds.
So it’s not a rocket, but it’s no slouch either. Interestingly, the motors do not use any rare-earth metals, and the battery has a lower cobalt content than usual.
Battery & Range & Charging
Let’s get on to the good stuff now…batteries, range and charging! The CMF-EV platform is fitted with either 40 kWh or 60 kWh usable batteries. So we’re getting WLTP figures of 186 miles for the smaller battery and 294 miles for the larger. Those figures are a little optimistic but we’re still talking about a figure in the region of 250 miles or 400 km in general. Stick it on the motorway in winter in the rain, you might drop to the 180-mile mark. Pottering around town in summer and you may well get a range as good as 350 miles.
Thankfully, Renault have continued the tradition of providing absolutely whopping AC charging, just like in its cousin the Ariya. You can option the 22 kW AC onboard charger. This is perfect for those times that you’re doing the shopping, stopping for lunch or going to see a movie. You’ll be adding about 100 km of range in an hour.
It’s a pretty good situation on DC also as the Megane is equipped to take 130 kW. So it’s a far cry from the Taycan or the IONIQ5, but it’s still plenty in general. That’s half the battery put back in 15 minutes while you pop in for a coffee.
Prices and Delivery
Well, as an international show, we always get a little bit hesitant in talking about prices because they can vary so much across the world. But it looks like the 60 kWh Megane will be coming in at a price in the region of £35,000 in the UK and about €40,000 on mainland Europe. So it’s priced similar to the lower end iD.4, but with faster charging, more range and more speed.
Production hasn’t started yet, but it will happen in time to start getting deliveries to customers next year
So what do you think?
Has Renault knocked it out of the park here? Will this be an important car, not just for Renault, but for wider EV adoption?
And what do you think represents the competition? The iD.4, or something smaller like the LEAF?
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