Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 review
Renault first introduced the Megane in 1995 and the model has seen many changes over the next close to three decades. It was a small coupe, a sedan, a minivan, a hatchback, a station wagon and even a convertible was available at one point. Now, for its fifth generation, Megane goes fully electric on a specialized EV platform called CMF-EV. It once again changes the shape of the Megane, this time introducing SUV aesthetics, combined with some hatchback design traits. The result of that change is a vehicle that is primarily focused on practicality and utilizing urban transportation. And now that we got the chance to drive it and run our tests on it we are ready to tell you how good it actually is.
The model we reviewed is Renault Megane E-Tech EV60, manufactured in 2023. It's an FWD car with a 160 kW (220 hp) 221 lb-ft electric motor and a battery with 60 kWh usable capacity.
The Megane E-Tech is a smoothly proportioned vehicle with a clearance of 5.3 inches and signature Renault design elements. This is in part the reason for its market success with over 40,000 orders since its launch in late 2022. Sales are bound to grow further as the Megane rolls to non-European markets like Australia and Latin America, while the existing ones see availability improve.
The Renault Megane E-Tech is positioned in a segment of heavy competition. It is part of the ever growing class of small SUVs, which is arguably the one seeing the most attention from makers these days. What the Megane hopes to stand out with are stylish french looks, combined with decent practicality and upscale interior.
Renault Megane E-Tech at a glance:
- Dimensions: 165.7 inches x 70.1 inches x 59.1 inches, 106.3 inches wheelbase.
- Drivetrain tested: EV60 - FWD 160 kW (220 hp), 221 lb-ft, 60 kWh usable, 65 kWh total battery capacity.
- Other drivetrains: EV40 - FWD, 96 kW (130 hp), 184 lb-ft, 40 kWh usable, 43.3 kWh total battery capacity.
- Charging: 130 kW DC max, 10-80% in 34 min; Type 2 22 kW AC
- Range: 279 miles WLTP
- Weight: 3,765 lb unladen, 4,758 lb gross
- Other features: Google services, OTA updates, Rear-view camera mirror, 360 camera.
The outside of the Megane E-Tech carries on with the current design language of Renault with smooth lines and elegant curves around the body of the car. This philosophy started almost a decade ago although it has seen certain shifts since. Now these elements are being once again slightly altered for the brand’s first EV model.
The front is easily recognized as a Renault with the huge front emblem and the split headlights and daylight running lights. The shape of the running lights is curvy, which differentiates the Megane E-Tech from all competitors, while the lower grille gives the front an aggressive look. The “First edition” models also carry special gold trim accessories in the front and back, making for a unique look.
The side profile of the vehicle immediately shocks with the presence of the absolutely huge 20-inch wheels, hidden inside the massive wheel arches. Another thing that impresses is the raised window line, which makes the vehicle look way bigger than it actually is. The front doors have hidden door handles, which automatically pop out as you approach the vehicle.
At first glance, it looks like there are no back doors, but of course there are! They simply blend into the design of the rear three quarters, with the door handles being integrated into the window frames.
The rear of the Megane E-Tech follows the modern trend of having an LED stripe going from side to side, only here it is interrupted in the middle by a prominent Renault logo. The back is elegant with smooth lines everywhere, except for the trunk release button. It is right in the center, not part of any design elements and was clearly an afterthought.
We rather wished the trunk opening button was integrated into the huge 3D Renault emblem as Mercedes does on models like the EQC and EQE. The lower skirts all around the vehicle are painted black (with gold accents for the “First edition” models), which gives a more rugged and capable look. It is also easier and cheaper to replace those parts, as they usually get hit and bent the most in any vehicle.
Inside the Megane E-Tech, the occupants are greeted with solid materials both in the front and at the rear. The synthetic leather interior feels nice to the touch and the plastics are all of good quality, which has not always been the case in Renault models of the past.
The driver of the Megane gets a steering wheel with flattened top and bottom parts. Behind it is the fully digital instrument cluster, which gives all kinds of information about the car. Two vertically mounted air vents on the sides complete the driver’s view. A row of buttons next to the steering wheel has some of the vehicle’s most important assist features, but even in the top-level trim that we had, there is still a blank button, which doesn’t look good.
Moving on to the center console, it is primarily taken up by a vertically mounted 12-inch touchscreen display. It up to the latest standards and is immediately responsive to the touch. Sadly, under direct sunlight it reflects a lot of rays directly into your face. Mind you, the base “Equilibre” trim level gets the smaller 9-inch version.
A major upgrade compared to the previous Megane generation is the presence of physical buttons for the climate controls. They are right below the screen, are made of solid materials and feel great to press. Sadly, the volume control is once again a capacitive button and not a dial or a switch, which makes turning your music up or down quickly a tricky task.
Below the screen and climate controls, there is an open storage pocket, where you can leave your phone to wirelessly charge. Charging speed is slow and with the reviewer’s iPhone 13 Pro it just heated itself so much that it turned off. This doesn’t only apply to the Megane E-Tech but also to most wireless chargers in cars. The lowest part of the center console is a huge storage area with a few movable dividers, which allow you to make yourself the perfect-sized cupholder for any cup. This storage area is also the place where the cigarette lighter with a USB port is located, which makes it hard to reach, but at least it’s out of sight.
The center armrest of the Megane E-Tech is finished in stitched leather with an aluminum base, which further enhances the solid feel of the interior. The armrest hides ample storage space to maximize practicality.
The front doors and dash are finished in a combination of artificial leather and plastic that really looks way above its price class and would be fitting of a much more expensive model. Sadly, this design flow doesn’t translate to the back row, where the looks for the doors and central console are decidedly less impressive.
Not much is going on in the second row, except for the two USB-C charging ports and the vents. There are no separate A/C controls for the backseat passengers. Headroom in the back is great. Even this reviewer, who is 1.95 m tall (6'4") has enough headroom for comfortable travel. However, the back seats are not adjustable and since the batteries under the floor take up a lot of space, this causes the knees to go up, creating an inconvenient seating position, which could prove an issue on longer trips.
Storage & practicalities
The trunk of the Megane E-Tech is relatively big for a car of this size with a capacity of 15.5 ft³ and with folded seats the maximum capacity reaches the impressive 47 ft³. But while the numbers sound good on paper, the capacity is hard to put in use in the real world.
The floor is very low and deep, while the edge of the trunk is pretty high up, which makes it hard for big and heavy objects to be loaded. The backseats fold, but don’t create a flat surface, which prevents bulky objects from fitting even if the volume is enough.
As already mentioned, the inside of the Megane E-Tech offers many small storage areas all throughout the interior. This goes to show that the vehicle prioritizes urban usage. Long trips with more luggage, while doable, were not on focus when developing this car. Yet, if you so desire, you can mount a roof box, rear bicycle rack or even a towbar and tow up to 1,984 lb on a trailer.
Driving the Megane E-Tech is a calming experience. It takes no getting used to and the driver is welcomed by a responsive steering wheel and gas pedal with smooth travel. A benefit of the double-cut steering wheel is that it allows you great visibility of both the gauge cluster and the road ahead. A negative can be quick steering while parking, since it cannot be easily done in one swift motion, as your hands glide past the boundaries of the wheel.
On the road, the Megane E-Tech is responsive, without interfering too much. You get just the right amount of feedback through the steering wheel, but the wheels and the suspension are perhaps a bit too enthusiastic to paint a detailed image of the surface you’re driving on.
Talking about suspension, it doesn’t have the typically french floaty behavior, but it is a bit more sporty and direct. This allows for decent cornering and high speed control, but sacrifices some of the comfort inside.
The Megane E-Tech is front-wheel drive and it shows when accelerating. There is a significant amount of torque steer and the vehicle starts swerving, while spinning its wheels. It is no surprise the wheels are spinning, as the E-Tech comes standard with Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance tires, which is designed for optimized range rather than high grip.
The thin and tall size (215/40 R20) further implies what the idea of the tire is to prioritize range over comfort and grip. At least as an added benefit, tire noise is also kept relatively low.
Technology inside the Megane E-Tech is on the peak of what is currently available. The center screen has great quality and is easy to use. The menus are placed intuitively, while the optional apps don’t get in the way and don’t slow down the software. The usage of Android-based software is an applaudable decision. It allows for quick adaptation of use. Also, because Renault doesn’t have to develop a system from the ground-up, they can focus more resources into better interior quality and they did exactly that.
All the driving assistants inside the Megane work great, with just enough interference to make for a simpler and easier travel. The lane keep assistant does its job perfectly in combination with the adaptive cruise control, while the automatic braking isn’t harsh and stressful like in many other models.
A great idea that is executed poorly is the rear-view mirror camera. It should in theory replace the mirror, which already has limited viewing angle due to the small size of the rear window and high position of the rear seats. In reality, it is way too zoomed in and gives an unrealistic perception of what is going on behind the car.
Even though the dashboard is lifted up and is easily visible, one significant downgrade compared to the previous generation is the lack of optional head-up display (HUD). It is a feature that vastly improves safety and your eyes always focus on the road so we are sad to see it's not offered as an option.
During the day, the rear-view and 360 cameras stream good quality footage to your central screen, but when it gets dark outside, the quality drops and the outlook feels like in a much older model.
The parking assistants also have their kinks. We tested both parking options - parallel and 90 degree backing. With the former one, it had no problems and did it in a swift motion, while surprisingly parking back posted a great challenge. The car would’ve backed itself into another vehicle if it wasn’t for the driver’s interference. Parking and cameras definitely could use some improvement in the Megane E-Tech.
Our subjective feeling for a sportier driving comfort was confirmed when going over our bumpy test track, which proved the vehicle to be a little harsh with big cracks and potholes. The Megane E-Tech never bounces too much up and down and balances itself out soon after a bump, but you do feel each of those.
The cabin noise inside the Megane E-Tech is impressive for a relatively cheap car, especially with such big tires. They were also the main source of noise inside the cabin. Winds are only felt when they don’t hit directly the front of the vehicle or at higher speeds. In normal daily traffic the Megane E-Tech’s interior remains a peaceful place and definitely shines with that quality for its class and price point.
Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 Cabin Noise:
|37 mph||51.7 dB|
|56 mph||57.8 dB|
|81 mph||63.3 dB|
Sound level tests are carried out with a specialized sound level meter placed in the car’s cupholders. The test is conducted with air conditioning and radio off and while maintaining a steady speed.
Acceleration and braking
Going off the line, as we already mentioned, is paired with significant torque steer and some wheel spin. Yet, we still managed to achieve a time of 7.34 seconds for our 0 - 62 mph sprint. A good result for a vehicle of this size and class, especially considering an outside temperature of 86°F. The manufacturer states 7.4 seconds as official data.
Braking is good in daily traffic, but emergency stops aren't remarkably quick. The best braking distance we measured was 39 m (127'11") for 62 mph - 0. Multiple heavy brakings didn’t extend the distance significantly, which is a commendable achievement.
The transition between regenerative braking and standard braking was great and hardly ever felt.
Acceleration and deceleration are measured with a RaceBox device inside the car. Testing is done with a single person inside the car, with air conditioning and traction control off.
The Megane E-Tech has good consumption and can achieve values around its WLTP rating of 279 miles, in city driving. We tested our model at 86°F, which is significantly above the ideal temperature for maximizing range (normally around 70°F).
Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 Consumption:
|37 mph||6.1 mi/kWh||336 miles|
|56 mph||4.3 mi/kWh||255 miles|
|81 mph||2.8 mi/kWh||170 miles|
We measure consumption by driving at constant speeds on an identical test route during the day. Testing is conducted with air conditioning, all safety systems and radio on. The data comes from the vehicle's board computer. Specific testing parameters such as ambient temperature are mentioned in the text on a case by case basis.
The Megane supports charging at up to 130 kW DC rates. This allows for a 10-80% charge time of 34 minutes. Of course, it can also be charged with type 2 chargers with up to 22 kW.
To calculate the expected charging times in every possible situation, please refer to our tool below, which is based on real-life data. It calculates charging times depending on the charger you have available and the kind of top-up you are looking to get.
See this Real-world charging time tool on our website.
The Megane E-Tech is positioned in a ruthlessly competitive segment of small electric crossovers, where it definitely holds its own ground. It is on the higher spectrum of pricing for the class, but it also offers more in terms of quality and equipment.
Its main competitor is the Nissan Ariya 63 kWh. The two are built on the same platform, but the Ariya is bigger in size and offers a more futuristic look, while the inside of both vehicles offers similar quality. The Renault has better range and is a little bit quicker, while priced quite close to its Nissan cousin.
The second rival is the Volvo XC40 Recharge SR FWD. It offers more traditional styling and is also bigger both outside and inside. It is based on a conventional ICE platform though and even if it has a bigger battery, the range is lower than the Megane E-Tech’s. It is also a bit more expensive, but also offers the best safety equipment in the segment.
The Megane E-Tech is a great small electric crossover. It has all the modern technology, including great driver assistance. The introduction of Android-based infotainment is welcomed dearly. The choice of materials inside is great and the usage of dials and switches is simple and intuitive. On the road, the car feels planted and reassuring.
Overall, the Megane E-Tech is a pretty change in the world of crossovers. It offers just enough flare to be different, but not as much to interfere with your life in any way. Naturally, it has some flaws, but nothing major to be worried about. The exterior and interior designs can easily win the hearts of buyers, while the long range will ensure lots of great moments inside the Megane E-Tech.
- Incorporates the most modern technology.
- Equipment is plentiful even in the base models.
- Compact on the outside, but roomy inside.
- Solid build quality.
- Great choice of materials for the interior.
- Fast charging is available with up to 130 kW.
- The trunk floor is high and seats don’t fold flat.
- Prone to torque steering.
- The center screen is angled in such a way that it reflects a lot of sunlight directly into your face.
- Awkward seating position in the rear.
- Head-up display is not even optional.
I have this car. AC is flawless (we had 40`C last week). 11000 km, no problems at all.
- 08 Aug 2023
I drove many renault cars in the last 25 years.their quality dropped significantly after 2006-2008 and somehow they didn't do anything about it. the worst thing annoys me is A/C performance. it fails to cool the interior above 33-35C outside tem...
- 21 Jul 2023