Car review – ult Megane Grandtour E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid

Valid choice

Renault follows the plug-in trend with the Megane Grandtour, opting however for a striking technical package that consists of an efficiency-focused 1.6 petrol engine and two electric motors.

 

Enhanced elegance

Already elegant from the get-go, the facelift made the Megane even more graceful. The plug-in hybrid carries over all the benefits of the conventional Megane and keeps the same looks. Externally, it only stands out with its extra 'fuel filler flap' and the dedicated logos on the B pillars and the boot lid.

 

Three engines

The 1.6-litre petrol-powered four-cylinder is an Atkinson-cycle engine, making it focused entirely on efficiency and therefore on the lowest possible fuel consumption. It delivers 91hp and is assisted by two electric motors. The first motor drives the wheels directly while the second and smaller motor acts as a starter-generator-synchroniser. They deliver 66 and 34hp, respectively. Together, they produce a system power of 160hp and 205Nm.

The battery is placed under the rear seat and does not take up much space, leaving a generous boot that can hold 447 litres. The 9.8-kWh net battery capacity gives an electric driving range between 39 and 45 kilometres. The battery can be charged with a maximum power of 3.7kW.

 

Relaxed rather than brisk

160hp may sound sporty but the electrification provides an additional weight of about 200kg and an Atkinson engine does not really suit an engaging driving style. Just like with a classic hybrid, the engine picks up speed rather quickly and keeps on revving at the top for a while.

At full throttle, this Megane reveals that it prefers calm driving over sprinting as the engine makes a racket. The robotised gearbox is not the fastest either. If you drive gently, on the other hand, you will appreciate the car's softness and smoothness. In electric driving mode, the Megane is also an example of quietness.

Driving comfort surpasses all expectations. The front seats are comfortable, the steering wheel has a natural feel and the ergonomics are excellent. The handling is predictable, offering reassuring understeer.

Tax benefits, no bargain price

Its base price is much higher than that of the comparable petrol versions but for business drivers, emissions of just 29g/km help to draw the sting. This gives the car the maximum tax deductibility and the lowest possible CO2 contribution. The icing on the cake is its very low BIK. This E-Tech will most likely be a company car favourite, particularly for employees who do not rack up miles.

Its plug-in hybrid powertrain may not be very refined but this Megane E-Tech Plug-in is a good choice for drivers who do not want to compromise on ride comfort and interior space. However, do not expect sporty performances.

Renault Megane

1.6I E-TECH PHEV CORPORATE EDITION ( AUT

    € 504excl. VATMonthly price based on 60 months and 10.000 km per year.
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      + Compelling tax benefits

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      + Decent electric driving range

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      + Interior space intact

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      - Somewhat hesitant at full throttle - Not for sporty drivers