After something of a protracted build-up – it was first unveiled over a year ago – the all-new, all-electric incarnation of Renault’s lower-medium car is finally here. Badged as the Megane E-Tech, it’s the first Renault to use the CMF-EV platform that is also used by allied company Nissan for its Ariya, and will also form the basis for a C-segment Renault SUV coming next year.

In the UK only one powertrain is available, featuring a 218hp electric motor and a 60kWh battery, allowing a range of up to 280 miles on the official WLTP cycle. We do get a choice of Equilibre, Techno, and Launch Edition equipment grades – mid-range Techno is tested here.

Most interior trim at this spec is reasonably plush, with recycled materials interestingly deployed. It feels decently spacious for a C-segment car, but not mind-blowingly so, despite Renault hyping the packaging advantages of what it claims is the thinnest EV battery on the market. The ambience does also seem a little bit gloomy, and things look quite cluttered behind the steering wheel, with four different control stalks operating the gears, lights, wipers, and audio functions, plus paddles to control the regenerative braking effect, although it’s easy enough to make sense of it all in practice. The view through the back window via the interior mirror is rather restricted, however – possibly the digital mirror fitted to top-spec models would help address this. 

A 12.3in driver display features impressively crisp graphics, and information such as that on the selectable sat-nav display within is easy to read. The 9in central touchscreen is usefully responsive, but some of the icons are a bit small – a 12in screen available in other markets isn’t coming to the UK. Perhaps this is why Renault is keen to emphasise the Google voice control element of the system, standard from the Techno grade up, which does work well, providing you don’t speak too quickly. This is part of a wider Google-based infotainment system, which from this grade also includes Google Maps navigation, and access to apps via the Google Play Store.

A 440-litre boot is a good size, but with quite a high loading lip which luggage will need to be lifted over.

Previous Meganes had a strong hot hatch pedigree, and the E-Tech does a fair job of living up to this when hustled down a B-road. With its low centre of gravity, and the wheels pushed out towards the corners of the car, it’s a willing and agile handler, while Renault also claims the model is around 100kg lighter than competitors, which will also help here. Quick steering helps with this too, as does usefully nippy acceleration from the powertrain. Ride quality is not an unqualified success however – with 20in wheels fitted on Techno spec, things can feel lumpy around town, and although at higher speeds the suspension generally takes the edge off bumps well, occasionally on rougher back roads encountering one at the wrong time delivers a fairly sizeable jolt through the cabin.

Using the previously-mentioned steering wheel paddles to adjust the car’s regenerative braking effect allows the driver to come close to one-pedal driving at the most severe setting, but this does come with a strange sensation of having to drive through treacle much of the time – drivers will of course be able to find their own personal preferred balance. 

Overall, the Megane E-Tech is a very solid EV choice. However, it’s not flawless by any means – and as a budget alternative, the MG4 will likely merit strong fleet consideration.

Renault Megane E-Tech Techno EV60 

P11D: £38,440

Residual value: 41.7%

Depreciation: £22,412

Fuel: £4,371

Service, maintenance and repair: £1,842

Cost per mile: 47.70p

Range: 280 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (2%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: £13/£26

Luggage capacity: 440 litres

Battery size/power: 60kWh/218hp