> All-electric Renault Megane revealed
> SUV-like styling, hatchback ride height
> Two battery sizes, two power outputs
> Up to 130KW charging and 292 miles of range
> Order books open February 2022, first deliveries following month
The new Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is based on an entirely new platform for Renault, one that will underpin all its forthcoming EVs and one that is the result of more than 10 years of experience producing electric cars.
The Megane E-Tech Electric is naturally bigger than the Zoe below it, but also larger than the current Megane. For more context, it sits somewhere between a VW ID.3 and VW ID.4.
The E-Tech Electric is a hatchback, but with its large wheels (between 18 and 20 inches) and chunky shape, it actually looks inspired by SUVs – not surprising given their popularity.
The face of the E-Tech Electric gets sharp LED headlights and angular LED daytime running lights, plus a smooth pebble-like snout above a fussier lower front section with a grille for cooling and air curtains for better aerodynamics.
At the sides, the Megane's thin battery (more on that later) allows a fairly low overall height of just 1.5 metres. The roof itself is raked back and the rear windows pinched towards the rear, concealing the rear door handles.
On that note, the front door handles sit flush to the car's flanks, popping open when you approach with the key on you. Just like a Tesla.
At the rear, you'll find a shallow rear screen and Renault has integrated a lovely 3D effect within the rear lights, while a light bar joins them across the car's width.
With a new platform to work with, Renault has been able to completely rework the E-Tech Electric's interior.
We've only sampled the range-topping version so far, but the step-up in quality over the current Megane is clear to see, and Renault has made sure to include plenty of eco-materials such as recycled plastics and fabrics. 95% of the car can be recycled afterwards, too.
Overall, there's certainly an increased sense of space behind the wheel, and features like the Megane's auto-changing ambient lighting and real wood door trim pieces lift the mood inside.
The Megane E-Tech Electric also gets Renault's completely new infotainment system, which it's calling OpenR. On range-topping versions, the driver gets a 12.3-inch set of rectangular digital dials, plus a further 12-inch portrait screen on the dash for the infotainment.
The whole system is powered by Google Android, so features many Android apps – Google Maps for its built-in sat-nav for instance. There's also Google's Assistant that'll take care of the voice control. Our quick go revealed it to be far quicker and more responsive than current Renault systems.
Oh, and if you have an iPhone, don't worry, Apple CarPlay comes as standard on every model. However, lower trims get a smaller 9-inch infotainment screen instead.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is a five-seat hatchback that looks a bit like an SUV, but does without the SUV ride height.
A couple of adults won't have any issues getting comfy in the front and the driver gets a good range of movement at the seat and wheel – at least in the range-topping model with electric seats we tried.
In the back, the news isn't quite so good. Tall adults will struggle for knee room and three adults of any height will find it pretty uncomfortable sitting side-by-side on a long journey.
Still, the E-Tech Electric's boot is a healthy size at 440-litres (55 litres larger than an ID.3's) with good access and a storage cubby for the car's charging cables. There's a prominent lip at the boot entrance too mind you, while the rear seats only split 60:40 and don't fold completely flat.
Otherwise, storage is generous, with decent door bins, a good-sized glovebox and nice touches such as a sunken centre console that's exclusively used for storage and can be customised to suit what you need.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric will come in two forms – a 40kWh battery and single front motor making 130hp and a 60kWh battery and single front motor making 218hp.
The lesser battery will manage around 186 miles on a charge, while the larger will manage 292 miles. Both come with up to 130KW charging speeds, which means you can add around 120 miles of range in 30 minutes if you can find the right motorway charger.
Performance-wise, Renault has only revealed one set of figures, which we assume are for the larger battery model. That car does 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and tops out at 100mph.
Lastly, Renault is making a big noise about its new battery. The battery in the new Megane is the thinnest of any on the market at just 11cm thick, which allows for a lower centre of gravity, plus the chance for a completely flat floor inside.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric will open for order next February, with the first deliveries likely to happen next March – although the UK might see cars slightly after that.
There's not yet word on prices or equipment levels, but to be competitive, we'd expect a starting price of between £30,000-£35,000 for the entry-level battery and motor combination.