11.2.2021Renault Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech review
Renault has updated its popular Megane range (no, really) with a suite of subtle improvements rolled-out across the board. The most important change however comes beneath the surface, with the addition of a new E-Tech plug-in hybrid powertrain now available. Currently fitted only to the Sport Tourer estate, we see whether this oft forgotten about model should actually be considered far more.
Review by Chris Lilly
RENAULT MEGANE SPORT TOURER E-TECH: PERFORMANCE
The 1.6 litre petrol fitted to the Megane PHEV is the least powerful offered in the range, however, it’s backed up by a pair of electric motors for a combined output of 160 hp. It means that the performance times are some of the fastest win the line-up, with a 9.8 second 0-62mph time and 111mph top speed.
Those electric motors really aid responsiveness, supported by a clutches transmission that changes ratios smoothly and without fuss. It’s an approach that can essentially sum up the driving experience of the Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech, as the powertrain is just that - unfussy. There’s little of the ‘Sport’ bit to show for from the model’s full title, but it’s an easy car to drive, and one that will perform well in or outside of built up areas.
Handling, like the performance, will not be rushed. It’s a set-up that makes for a solid if unexciting driving experience - though that’s what a great many buyers will be looking for. The added weight of the battery and electric motors - worth around 200 kg over the conventional petrol options - mean that you can feel the Megane Sport Tourer lean when cornering.
The counter to this is that the added weight gives the impression of a more refined ride, and the Megane Sport Tourer feels like a larger car on the motorway for example. It will shrug off thuds and bumps from the road better than non-PHEV models, and remains agile enough for getting about a tight car park for example.
You’ll just have to believe me here, but Renault has tweaked the design if the Megane range - best seen when parked alongside a previous model. New headlight clusters are essentially the same shape, but LEDs front and rear. There are changes to the front and rear bumpers too, with the general aim of giving a more premium feel to the Megane’s looks - a new model is due in a year or so anyway.
The Sport Tourer estate grants greater levels of practicality than the hatchback clearly, with a larger boot that has a good amount of space for the size of car. Remember that the Megane is a family-hatchback comparable to a Ford Focus or VW Golf. As such, the Sport Tourer boost practicality, without shifting up to a larger class. Occupant space is great up front, and boot space is un-compromised for the PHEV. However, this means that the battery is largely placed beneath the rear bench and, combined with sports seats up front, sees leg space for those sitting in the back as a little restricted. Not so good for tall adults, but more than adequate for kids.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Changes in the interior are clearer to see, primarily because Renault has added its latest touchscreen infotainment system. A very good one it is too, easy to use and responsive, and it’s portrait which is always of benefit when in navigation mode. It’s also smartphone compatible, and the driver gets a new customisable 10-inch instrument display.
It reflects changes made for the new Clio and Captur ranges, and creates a far more premium feel within the cabin. It’s generally backed up but he materials used, and the controls not only look better but feel better too. As improvements go, they might be relatively simple, but Renault’s changes combine to good effect.
RENAULT MEGANE SPORT TOURER E-TECH: MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Headline figures for the Renault Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid are 217.3 MPG and 30 g/km CO2. The electric only range available is rated at 30 miles on a charge, and the system looks to work pretty well in terms of efficiency.
Real-world economy varies greatly depending on charging frequency. Having covered more than 100 miles with one charge, the trip computer showed 78 MPG, which is pretty good. Electric range proved to be around 25 miles on a charge, but it can significantly help fuel economy when running in hybrid mode.
The battery is a key component of the Megane PHEV’s green credentials, with a 9.8 kWh pack. Its charged via a Type 2 inlet at up to 3.6 kW AC, which means it takes around three hours for a full top-up. Renault’s Multi-Sense driving modes allow the driver to hold the car in ‘Pure’ for electric-only driving, E-Save to hold the charge until later, and Sport for full responsiveness.
Brake energy recuperation is fitted too, with a B mode on the drive selector able to boost regen settings. Renault offers a free home charge point to help make the most of electric driving.
Only two trim levels are offered on the Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech - Iconic and R.S. Line. Iconic includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen system with navigation and smartphone integration, three-setting Multi-Sense driving modes, EV mode button, full LED headlights, and leather steering wheel.
R.S. Line adds 17-inch alloys, R.S. Line styling details, sport front seats, 9.3-inch touchscreen system, and R.S. Line leather steering wheel.
RENAULT MEGANE SPORT TOURER E-TECH: MODEL SUMMARY
There’s much about the Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech that will really appeal to buyers. Rivals include the likes of Kia’s ceed SW and the Seat Leon Sport Tourer, both of which are available with PHEV systems - but that’s about it. The Renault holds its own against both, and proves an efficient and practical family car.
Model tested: Renault Megane Sport Tourer E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid Iconic
Body-style: Compact estate
Engine / CO2: 1.6 litre petrol engine and twin electric motors / 30 g/km
Trim grades: Iconic and R.S. Line
On-road price: from £30,995.
Warranty: Five years / 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 3.0 Stars