Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric / Better than it seems

Renault already has 10 years of experience in the field of electromobility. Its most successful electric model, the Renault Zoe, is one of the best-selling electric cars in Europe. The skilled carmaker has already sold more than 400,000 electric cars that have traveled more than 10 million kilometers.

When developing the new Mégane E-TECH Electric model, it therefore had a lot to draw from, and it must be said that it knows it. The Mégane model has long been the best-selling model of the manufacturer, so it is quite logical that the choice of electrification fell on it among the first. The novelty is built on the new CMF-EV platform of the concern, which is also used, for example, by its sibling Nissan Ariya. One of the interesting features of the new platform is the extremely thin battery with a height of only 11 cm, which ensures enough space for the crew and for comfortable seating. Mégane E-TECH Electric comes in two performance versions – with a battery capacity of 40 kWh and a power of 96 kW and with a larger 60 kWh battery with a power of 160 kW, which I had the opportunity to test. The vehicle uses front axle drive. The integrated drive unit block contains a synchronous motor with a wound 8-pole rotor. Due to the absence of permanent magnets, the manufacturer avoids the need to use rare metals in the motor construction. Thanks to the use of light materials such as aluminum and composites, it was possible to achieve a low weight of the vehicle by the standards of electric cars, which is positively reflected in high efficiency. Due to the high performance and low weight, the vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. The maximum speed is limited to 160 km/h. According to the WLTP methodology, the indicated range is at the level of 450 km. I really appreciate that the manufacturer used the experience from the Zoe model and the Mégane is also equipped (at least in the optimum charge version) with AC charging with a power of up to 22 kW. The surcharge compared to the version with a single-phase 7.4 kW charger is 150 euros, but it is definitely worth it. Only a few models on the market have such performance, and for most you have to pay extra for it. The high performance of the AC charger is advantageous not only for home charging, but especially at public AC chargers, which often also provide free charging. With Mégano, you can charge the battery from zero in 3 h 15 min, but more importantly, you can charge energy for about 140 km of driving in one hour. The equipment also includes DC charging with a power of up to 130 kW.

In addition to the drive system, the novelty also impresses with its rich technological equipment and overall processing. At first glance, it catches the eye with a very nice and imaginative design, especially if you choose one of the three-color exterior combinations. Mine was gray with a black roof, gold accents front and rear, and chrome accessories. Wherever I showed up with the car, it immediately attracted the attention of passers-by. The design was really successful. In addition, it is highlighted by an unusual drawing of the daytime LED lighting in the front and a light strip connecting the rear group lights. Lighting technology is, of course, completely entrusted to LED technology. The front lights are fully automatic, they shine very well and the automatic function worked without any problems.

The pleasure continues on board, you will find a total of 26 assistance systems, including the so-called contextual adaptive cruise control with automatic speed change or automatic parking. The dashboard is dominated by a pair of large-screen displays, one belonging to the digital instrument panel and the other, oriented vertically, to the multimedia system. The displays are top-notch, as is the processing of the dashboard. Unfortunately, the manufacturer did not miss the fashion for high-gloss surfaces on the dashboard and steering wheel, so a cloth for constant wiping from fingerprints and dust will be among the mandatory equipment. The set is completed by a digital rear-view mirror. The vehicle uses the Android Automotive operating system with its own superstructure, so Google services are integrated directly into the system and do not need to be used via mobile. Google Maps navigation has an integrated electric intelligence function, when entering a route, it automatically calculates the battery capacity at the destination and suggests possible charging stops. Battery balance is also displayed for suggested destinations, even if no route is entered. A very useful feature. Thanks to the Android system, you can also use the large display while standing still to watch a video, albeit from YouTube. You can then have all kinds of streaming services like Netflix, Tidal and many others installed directly on the system. Of course, there would be mistakes, but the overall impression of the multimedia system is very good. You can install a mobile application for your car, which enables monitoring and control of charging and air conditioning, provides information about driving style, maintenance and the like. It doesn’t have a lot of features, but it has the ones you really need and they work well.

While driving, I appreciated the ample space in the cabin and the pleasant controls. The performance is more than sufficient for this category and you will be pleased with the exceptionally high efficiency of the system, which is one of the best on the market. When driving around the districts and in the city, the consumption ranged from 12 to 14.4 kWh/100 km. The total consumption after 920 km stabilized at 16.6 kWh/100 km, while about 45% of the trips were highway, where I drove up to 135 km/h according to the speedometer. The total range was between 360-480 km. These are really exceptional values ​​and in combination with fast AC and DC charging you have a great family car. The work of assistance systems is also very good. Interesting in this category is the fully automatic parking, which works very well, you just have to get used to it a bit. Unlike other cars, you start the parking maneuver here with the gas pedal, which you keep pressed during it. However, the car does not respond to it, it only serves as a fuse in an emergency, if you release it, the car stops. It’s unusual, but it works differently. When charging via AC, we achieved a power of 22 kW without any problems, but via DC charging, the charging power did not exceed 68 kW. Hard to say what it was but the car always charged within 30 minutes so I don’t see it as a problem. The only annoying thing I noticed is the noisy air conditioner. It makes a fairly low tone, and if it’s on, you know it’s on. Maybe it was just the behavior of a particular piece, but it bothered me. Apart from that, however, I did not notice any other shortcomings.

The new Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric has definitely taken a step in the right direction and thanks to favorable, although not directly low prices, it will cause wrinkles on the forehead of many competitors. It offers good driving characteristics, plenty of space, excellent technological equipment and top consumption, and it is also very handsome, which also counts.

TESTY:

• Consumption in the test (kWh/100 km): 12-16.6
• Test range (km): 360-480
• AC charging power on 11 kW 3f charger (kW): 11
• AC charging power on 22 kW 3f charger (kW): 22
• Max. DC charging power, 50 kW charger (kW): 50
• Charging time 10-80% (min): 55
• Max. DC charging power UFC charger 350 kW (kW): 68
• Charging time 10-80% (min): 30

Specifications:

• Battery capacity 60 kWh, 2WD drive (front), engine power 160 kW, 300 Nm, DC charging max. 130 kW (500 V support), AC 22 kW 3f, CCS socket, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h 7.5 s, max. speed 160 km/h, WLTP range 450 km

PROS, CONS:

+ Consumption, space for passengers, charging options, technological equipment, processing, design
– Noisier air conditioning, shiny surfaces on the dashboard

• Model price from (with VAT): 43 400 EUR
• Tested vehicle (with VAT): 51 950 EUR

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Source: Nextech by www.nextech.sk.

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