Renault has so far only offered its Megane E-Tech plug-in hybrid as an estate, which is fine by us (we love estates here at CompleteCar Towers) but not so great for the majority of Ireland's car buyers. The Irish market shuns estates...
Last of the hatchback Meganes
So, Renault has now added the E-Tech plug-in hybrid package to the Megane hatchback, which means it's one of the last rolls of the dice for the Megane both as a hatchback and a petrol-powered vehicle before it's replaced next year by an all-new, all-electric Megane E-Tech crossover.
So, the Megane E-Tech hatch takes the same mechanical package essayed by the Megane E-Tech Sports Tourer, which means you get a 1.6-litre petrol engine, backed up by two electric motors with a 9.8kW battery pack. The two motors, says Renault, is based on a system inspired by its experience of the Formula One Alpine team, and that having two motors (one small, one large) means "significantly reducing the gap in acceleration during gear changes. This means a smoother, more refined drive plus better performance."
1.2 litres per 100km economy
Plug it into a three-pin socket at home, and it'll take only around three hours to charge up, and has an electric-only range of around 50km. Claimed fuel economy is 1.2 litres per 100km (that's 235mpg...) and CO2 emissions are pegged at 28g/km. Total power is 160hp, which means 0-100km/h acceleration of 9.4 seconds, and a top speed of 182km/h (not that that matters much). It's actually the most powerful current Megane model, if you conveniently ignore the hot-hatch Megane RS and Megane Trophy models.
Oh, and it qualifies for the €600 SEAI grant if you want to put in a home charging point to help keep the battery topped up.
There will be two trim levels: Iconic and RS-Line. Both come with an electronic parking brake, front and rear electric windows, cruise control with speed limiter, ten-inch TFT instrument panel, Eco Mode, EV mode button, three driving modes and eight ambient lighting colours, and a hands-free key card. Standard safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, Hill Start Assist and the 'Visio System' that incorporates lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high & low beam.
Iconic and RS-Line models
Iconic models get 16-inch 'Impulse' diamond-cut alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, and frameless rear-view mirror. There's an EasyLink navigation system with USB ports, Bluetooth, and smartphone integration including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that are accessible through its seven-inch touchscreen.
RS-Line models will get body-coloured RS-Line bumpers, 17-inch 'Monthlery' diamond-cut alloy wheels, and an RS leather steering wheel. Safety is further enhanced with the fitment of the advanced emergency braking system (AEBS), rear parking camera and hands-free parking, while the EasyLink navigation system has a larger 9.3-inch touchscreen. There's also an optional Signature Pack, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, E-Call, Bose audio and a luxurious leather interior.
The Megane E-Tech hatch is in Renault's Irish dealerships now, priced from €32,240, which includes the €2,500 SEAI grant for a plug-in hybrid vehicle.