Why we’re running it: Has going electric broadened the appeal of Renault’s family hatchback?
Life with a Renault Megane E-Tech: Month 1
Welcoming the Megane to the fleet - 8 March 2023
That the fifth generation of Renault’s once big-selling family car bears almost no resemblance to its predecessor should really come as no surprise because the Mégane is a model that has a history of being reinvented.
The shift from the rather traditional (and, dare we say it, rather dull) Mk1 to the legendarily big-bottomed Mk2 was night and day, then it somehow managed to turn itself into a benchmark hot hatchback before drifting back into obscurity with the slightly unmemorable Mk4.
There’s little chance of this latest Mégane (or Mégane E-Tech Electric, to deploy its full title) fading from memory any time soon, because it’s a very distinctive-looking machine. A very handsome one, too: Renault calls its design ethos ‘sensual tech’, but to me, it’s swoopily futuristic from the front, pert and neat from the rear and cleverly treading the line between hatchback and SUV with proportions that bring to mind the Range Rover Evoque at a glance.
That upmarket association should please Renault’s designers, but it does lead to a bit of over-promising and under-delivering because if you’re expecting compact SUV spaciousness, you will be disappointed. Inside, this is resolutely a hatchback, and a relatively tight one as well, particularly in the rear compartment if the driver is tall. Add in the high window sill line and low roofline that combine to make the car look so good and it results in a very enclosed and oppressive feel, along with severely restricted vision to the rear.