RENAULT

RENAULT MEGANE SPORT TOURER 1.6 E-TECH PHEV 160 R.S.Line 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph9.8s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

Renault reckons that this Megane E-TECH Plug-in PHEV model offers an ideal compromise between the future requirement for eco-minded electrification and the current need for everyday common sense. There's a 30 mile electric driving range, a choice body styles - five-door hatch or this Sports Tourer estate - and pricing that undercuts a number of key plug-in segment rivals. So this contender ought to be worth a second look.

FRENCH SENSE

Renault's Megane gets PHEV plug-in tech. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Renault reckons that this Megane E-TECH Plug-in PHEV model offers an ideal compromise between the future requirement for eco-minded electrification and the current need for everyday common sense. There's a 30 mile electric driving range, a choice body styles - five-door hatch or this Sports Tourer estate - and pricing that undercuts a number of key plug-in segment rivals. So this contender ought to be worth a second look.

Background

Different brands have different perceptions of the right way forward when it comes to electrifying family hatchbacks and compact estates or SUVs. In this case, we have Renault championing plug-in hybrid tech with the Megane. But over at Peugeot, they prefer a full-EV solution for this class of car. And at Ford, conventional engines are retained, lightly embellished by mild hybrid technology. If you're out to buy a more eco-conscious car in this segment, you'd be forgiven for being a little confused. Still, Renault's solution with its Megane E-TECH PHEV is at least easy to get your head around. A plug-in set-up offering up to 30 miles of WLTP-rated all-electric range - quite enough to cover most people's daily commute; a 1.6-litre petrol engine to smoothly cut in when that range is exhausted; and a price tag that's much more affordable than that of the car that's hitherto emphasised the plug-in family hatch, Volkswagen's Golf GTE.

Driving Experience

There's the same PHEV package here that Renault uses in the compact Captur crossover, namely a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to two electric motors and a multi-mode clutch-less transmission that Renault says offers "excellent efficiency and barely noticeable gear changes". The system puts out 160hp (around 20hp more than the equivalent plug-in package that Kia offers) and features a 9.8kWh, 400V battery that allows a range of about 30 miles; plus the ability to travel at up to 84mph, on electric power alone. After a stop, the transmission uses electric motor power to restart the car silently, and with immediate acceleration. When passing a vehicle or merging onto the highway, it combines the combustion and electric-powered engines to increase the available power and offer better acceleration. The Megane E-TECH Plug-in features specific 'Multi-Sense' drive settings - there are three. 'Pure', activated by a special button on the dashboard, is the full-electric setting, selectable provided there is enough power. The second option, 'MySense', optimises the hybrid mode for lower running costs. Its "E-Save" feature helps to save battery power (at least 40 per cent) so that it can switch to full-electric mode when required for driving in city centres, for example. Finally, 'Sport' mode allows drivers to take advantage of maximum performance by combining the power of the engine and the two electric motors. With this engaged, 62mph from rest takes 9.8s en route to 111mph.

Design and Build

The E-TECH plug-in version of this car comes in Hatch and Sports Tourer estate guises and does of course feature all the visual updates visited upon the revised version of this fourth generation Megane. The first thing you'd notice if you were familiar with the original version of this MK4 model is the headlights, no longer of the old fashioned halogen variety but now of the Renault 'LED Pure Vision' type, with beams that increase the beam range by nearly 30%. The front fog lamps and rear tail lamps are also now LED-powered. Plus there's a redesigned front bumper, chrome-trimmed fog light surrounds, extra air deflectors, dynamic 'scrolling' indicators and a more pronounced front wing design. Inside, there's a new vertical 9.3-inch centre-dash infotainment screen With its new Renault EASYLINK connected multimedia system, it offers a wide-range of multimedia, navigation and infotainment services, as well as Multi-Sense settings. Top variants also get a 10-inch digital instrument cluster display. And a rim-less electrochromic rear view mirror. Plus there centre console controls have been restyled. Otherwise, it's the usual Megane recipe, which means that a couple of adults can be accommodated reasonably comfortably on the back seat, though space for legs is at a bit of a premium. Boot space falls by 116-litres over what you'd get in a conventionally-engined TCe 140 petrol model, which means that in the E-TECH Sports Tourer estate, you've got 447-litres to play with. There's no space for anything much under the floor - only really room for the charging cables and the tyre repair kit. Use the cargo sidewall catches to drop the 60:40-split rear bench and that increases to 1,408-litres of total capacity.

Market and Model

Megane pricing starts from well under £21,000 with a conventional engine but you'll need a budget much closer to £30,000 to get this E-TECH Plug-in model, available in either Hatch or Sport Tourer estate form and offered with 'Iconic' or 'R.S. Line' trim levels. The Megane E-TECH Plug-in features the digital dashboard first seen as an option in the current Clio, this measuring 10 inches across, as well as a vertical centre stack screen for the Easy Link infotainment system. This second monitor has a diagonal measurement of up to 9.3 inches and can integrate the 'Android Auto' and 'Apple CarPlay' smartphone-mirroring systems. 'Pure Vision' full-LED headlamps are also offered and other luxury options include a driver's seat with massage function and a nine speaker BOSE stereo with an amp and subwoofer. Safety-wise, this variant makes use of numerous driving aids, such as active emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic traffic-sign recognition. And there's a level two autonomous 'Motorway and Traffic Assistant' system for limited autonomous driving highway capability. Like all of Renault's electric and hybrid cars, this model comes with connected services dedicated to both optimising travel and remote charging of the vehicle.

Cost of Ownership

We've already mentioned the 30 mile WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of this model: that rises to around 40 miles on the urban cycle. You can select an additional 'B' mode via the auto gearstick to increase regenerative braking energy harvesting. Like all PHEVs, this one can offer three-figure combined cycle economy (up to 235.4mpg in the hatch and up to 217.3mpg in the Sport Tourer) and a super-low CO2 emissions figure - up to 28g/km in the hatch and up to 30g/km in the Sport Tourer. Which in turn will mean a far lower BiK tax rating (10%) than the one which would apply to a conventional petrol or diesel Megane. Enough to justify this PHEV model's price premium? That'll depend on your tax situation. Charging time via a Type 2 (mode 3) cable is 3 hours - or 4 hours 15 mins from a domestic socket. The E-TECH system's two electric motors are key to its efficiency. The first handles energy harvesting during braking and deceleration. The second serves as a starter to get the combustion-powered engine running and also supports Renault's innovative transmission system, developed from the brand's F1 racing experience. With no clutch, it handles the distribution of torque from different motors to the front wheels and optimizes energy output when changing gears. As for the warranty, that's good for up to four years or 100,000 miles. Years one and two are unlimited mileage. The PHEV system's battery has a separate 8 year/100,000 mile warranty.

Summary

Over the last decade, Renault's wasted an awful lot of time and money offering the market electrified cars it wasn't quite ready for. The Twizy and the Fluence Z.E. spring to mind. And even the ZOE is only just starting to find some sort of sales traction, even though it was launched back in 2012. But these were full-EVs. You can't help thinking that the French brand would have done much better to start us all off with a product like this Megane E-TECH Plug-in. There's no range anxiety, no curious styling, no confusing battery lease sums to grapple with. Just most of the advantages you'll want from electrified technology with few of the drawbacks you don't. It's not all rosy of course; there's quite a price premium to pay over a conventional petrol or diesel-engined Megane variant. And there'll be a few small practicality compromises to make. But if you can cope with that, then this really is a family hatch for the thinking buyer. A slice of French sense. At last from Renault.

  • Rear wiper
  • Electric front windows
  • Electric rear windows
  • Heated rear windscreen
  • Extra tinted rear windows and tailgate with heating function

  • ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with ASR (Anti-Skid Regulation) and UCL (understeer logic control)
  • AEBS
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Hill start assist
  • ABS with EBD and emergency brake assist

  • Rear parking camera
  • Visio system - lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high/low beam
  • Power assist steering
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Eco mode
  • Multisense with 3 driving modes + 8 ambient lighting colours

  • Easy link navigation with 9.3" touchscreen+4x20W amplifier+FM DAB double tuner, sound auditorium, 2xUSB/1xjack/bluetooth, smartphone integration plus
  • Exterior temperature indicator
  • Oil level gauge
  • Low fuel level warning light
  • Trip computer
  • Rev counter
  • Door/boot open warning light
  • 10" TFT Driver information display

  • Frameless rear view mirror
  • Electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body coloured shell door mirrors

  • R.S.Line dashboard and trim

  • 2 USB slots at rear
  • Fingertip audio system remote control

  • Body coloured front R.S.Line bumper
  • Body coloured rear R.S.Line bumper
  • R.S.Line chrome door sill plates
  • R.S. Badging
  • Body coloured door handles
  • Integrated fuel filler cap

  • Front fog lights
  • Full LED headlights
  • Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers
  • Signature C-shaped LED daytime running lights
  • Indicators with side repetitions

  • Heating ducts to rear passenger feet
  • Air recirculation facility
  • Pollen filter
  • Dual zone automatic climate control

  • Front centre armrest with storage
  • Glovebox
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • R.S. leather steering wheel

  • Rear courtesy lights
  • Interior courtesy light operated by all doors
  • Driver/passenger reading lights
  • Adjustable dashboard illumination
  • Illuminated luggage compartment

  • 3 point inertia reel seatbelts
  • Front lateral airbags
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Driver two stage auto adaptive airbag
  • Front passenger two stage auto adaptive airbag
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation with child seats
  • Side impact protection bars
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts with double pretensioners
  • Rear seatbelt undone audible alert
  • Driver and front passenger seatbelt undone warning audible alert
  • Gravel protection kit
  • Rain protection kit
  • Dust protection kit
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts

  • Height adjustable driver seat
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage points attached on outer rear seats
  • 3 height adjustable rear headrestraints
  • Lumbar adjustable driver seat
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • 3 seat rear bench
  • Fully adjustable front headrests

  • Superlocking
  • Anti-drill door locks/ignition barrel
  • RAID (Renault Anti-Intruder Device) with automatic door locking
  • Hands free key card
  • Insurance approved Cat 1 alarm system and immobiliser

  • Front and rear towing rings

  • Sunvisor mirrors with light

  • 17" Monthlery diamond cut alloy wheels

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: N
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: N
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 9.3
  • NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km: N
  • NEDC Maximum EV Range Miles: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 29
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 29
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 29

  • Engine Code: HR16DB35
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 78
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 83.6
  • CC: 1598

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 1.3
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 215.6

  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 160
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.6
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: R.S.Line
  • Coin Description: E-TECH PHEV 160
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - KW: 114
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 106
  • Engine Torque - NM: 144
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3200
  • Engine Power - BHP: 155
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.8
  • Top Speed: 111
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 14.7

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: MONTHLERY
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/50 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/50 R17

  • Width (including mirrors): 2058
  • Height: 1450
  • Height (including roof rails): 1458
  • Length: 4625
  • Width: 1870
  • Wheelbase: 2712

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1704
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2166
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 39
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 389
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 750
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 528
  • Max. Loading Weight: 462
  • Max. Roof Load: 80
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1372
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.2

  • Cruise control + speed limiter: Included
  • Blind spot warning: £0

  • Handsfree parking: £0

  • Premium BOSE audio system with 9 speakers: £600
  • 4x35W speakers with 3D sound: Included

  • Renault ID metallic paint: £660
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £560

  • R.S.Line fabric upholstery with red stitching: Included
  • R.S.Line Alcantara/leather upholstery with red stitching: £1,200

  • Safety pack with Adaptive cruise control - Megane: £700
  • Motorway Pack - Megane: £1,000

  • Metallic - Titanium grey: £560
  • Metallic - Diamond black: £560
  • Metallic - Arctic white: £560
  • Metallic - Highland Grey: £560

  • Solid - Glacier white: £0

  • Renault ID metallic - Flame red: £660
  • Renault ID metallic - Iron blue: £660

  • Heated front and rear seats: £350

  • R.S.Line fabric - Black with red stitching: £0

  • R.S.Line Alcantara/leather - Black with red stitching: £1,200

  • Space saver spare wheel: £200
  • Full size spare wheel: £200
  • Tyre inflation kit: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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