While we still have to wait for the introduction of the fully electric Renault Mégane eVision and the Renault R5, we are already testing the current plug-in hybrid Renault Mégane Estate. At the beginning of last year, the fourth generation Mégane of the French station received a facelift. New (hybrid) engines and a renewed infotainment system characterize the facelift of the fourth generation Megané. We put the 160 hp hybrid powertrain (E-Tech) of the Megane Estate Edition One to the test for a week, you can read how that turned out below.
What is the Megane?
First of all, it is good to better understand the origin of one of the world’s most popular station wagons. The Renault Megane is a compact mid-sized car that succeeded the Renault 19 in 1995. What characterizes the Megane is the large number of body styles. The (Mégane) Scénic, developed on the basis of the first generation, was the first of its kind. The station variant of the Mégane, also called the station wagon, was only introduced during the facelift in 1999.
In 2003, the second generation of the Megane came onto the market, with the Megane RS version as the top model. This time, too, the French automaker chose to introduce the hatchback first and later that year the station wagon, convertible and sedan. The second generation facelift followed three years later, in 2006. The third generation was introduced in 2008 and only received a facelift in 2013. The fourth generation was introduced relatively quickly in 2015. Due to poor sales figures, the 3-door coupé and the convertible were not given successors. Meanwhile, the fourth generation of the Megane has been in the showroom since 2016.
How does the Mégane Estate drive?
Due to the weight of the battery pack, the Mégane is well on the road, so curves are no problem. The low center of gravity in combination with the fairly firm suspension chassis ensures a pleasant driving experience. The 1580 kg Mégane accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in about 10 seconds. Driving away is always electric, then the naturally aspirated 1.6 four-cylinder for extra power. Thanks to the Multi Sense system from Renault, you can choose from different driving modes. Depending on the selected mode, you can drive fully electric (pure) or use the full combined power (sport).
Fully electric you can drive between 30 to 50 kilometers on a full battery. In this it certainly does not excel in its class, but you will be surprised how much financial benefit it brings by saving 250 kilometers in fuel every week if you drive somewhat longer distances. When the battery is empty, it is charged by the energy that is released during braking or via the alternator of the engine. Charging via the cable takes approximately between three to five hours, depending on whether you have access to a charging station or plug it into the socket via the home charging cable. With this hybrid you can also charge parking wherever a fully electric car is allowed!
In any case, it is not the equipment. Especially in this pearl-colored white metallic paint, the Mégane looks sporty, I love that! The facelift has really made the car a lot more mature and that is good for it. A set of beautiful 17 inch light metal rims and dark tinted windows from the b-pillar complete the picture. Most options are standard on the Edition One / E-Tech version, so it’s easy to choose!
The second generation of the Megane four has also been given a facelift on the inside. Among other things, a completely new digital counter display and Android-controlled software characterize the facelift. For those who have ever driven in the previous generation, the new software is a real relief, it now works super fast and gives you the opportunity to communicate more with your smartphone, for example. The digital dashboard is part of the standard equipment of the Mégane E-Tech.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this facelift is that it is significantly quieter and better insulated inside than the previous generation. When you tried to call the previous generation, almost the entire street could listen in. Thanks to the better isolation, the music also sounds a lot better thanks to the new Bose Audio system. Such an Edition One version is actually already very complete and equipped with the necessary luxury. The eco-leather upholstery looks sleek and the seats are great, but fortunately the French automakers are known for that.
They also understand electric driving like no other at Renault. Since 2011, the French car brand has been busy developing fully electric and hybrid powertrains. This is also noticeable, the entire powertrain works nicely together and ensures a pleasant driving experience. In addition to the well-known D-position of a machine, you can also use the B-position. As a result, the car brakes harder on the (electric) motor, which generates more energy and charges the battery even more efficiently. As a result, you can quickly generate several kilometers of electrical energy during a ride through the city.
About five years ago, 160 hp was quite substantial, especially in the segment where the Megane is located. Nowadays it is apparently common to communicate the combined power, as all manufacturers do. But despite the combined hybrid power of 160 hp, the Mégane does not feel that fast. In addition, the atmospheric 1.6 makes a bit more noise than is desirable with a somewhat sportier driving style. A pity, because otherwise he is actually very quiet. In addition, the way of shifting takes some getting used to, because the automatic transmission only shifts twice thanks to the unique gearbox. It’s okay, but it takes a while to get used to it. Fortunately, he drives no less badly!
The Renault Mégane certainly holds its own in its class. Thanks to the renewed interior, Android multimedia system and the hybrid powertrain, it is a wonderful car for in the city and on the highway. If you drive a lot of short distances, it is certainly worth considering to choose a hybrid, so that you can drive those kilometers fully electrically. It is expected that this will also be the last Mégane with a fuel engine, its successor will not take years to come. Our driving test has a tax value of € 36,894.
Photos courtesy of Automotive photographer Andrejs Guscins.
Renault Mégane Estate Edition One E-Tech 160 hp plug-in hybrid
Source link Renault Mégane Estate Edition One E-Tech 160 hp plug-in hybrid