The word ‘iconic’ is used too freely and has lost its impact when it is needed to describe something that is, well, iconic. The Renault Mégane suffers from this verbal inflation because it represented a new design direction when the first generation was launched in 1995. It moved the Renault needle from utilitarian to sexy, and the next three generations set the tone not only for other Renault models but car design in general.
Since its launch, Renault has sold more than 7 million Méganes worldwide. It covers the gamut of driving needs, from runabout hatch to family-friendly estate and of course the sporty R.S. and the Nurburgring chomping R.S. TROPHY.
This fourth-generation has now been given a comprehensive facelift. The revamped driver’s cockpit boasts a new 9.3-inch multimedia system and a 10.2-inch dashboard screen. The Renault EASY LINK multimedia system mimics the familiar ergonomics of a smartphone, making it easy and intuitive to use.
The Mégane has the new driver-assistance systems for safety and comfort, including the highway and traffic jam companion, a Level 2 autonomous system. This system can automatically bring the vehicle to a complete stop and get it moving again within three seconds when the traffic is bad. It has an active emergency braking system with pedestrian detection. This system will warn the driver when there is the risk of a collision, and even stop the car if the driver does not react. It gives you better blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist and even driver drowsiness detection.
But the biggest news about the New Mégane is the introduction of a version with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the first for Renault in the compact segment. In fact, the E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid engine has no equivalent in the market.
Because it is a plug-in, you can enjoy all the benefits of an electric vehicle – the low cost of driving, the smooth and powerful acceleration, the quiet drive. Because it is a hybrid, you are not limited by distance or shackled by the availability of charging stations. The E-Tech engine gives you the latest technology to flow from electric vehicles throughout the Renault Alliance, as well as Renault’s cutting edge Formula 1 programme.
E-Tech offers you 120kW of oomph, with 50km electric-only range at 135km/h, with even greater range in pure urban driving. As a hybrid, it gives you the energy recovery that makes this kind of drive so environmentally friendly and incredibly economical. Even at mixed-use, it only emits 28g of CO2 per kilometre and – wait for it (drumroll) – uses 1.3L/100km.
Is the E-Tech coming to South Africa? We don’t know yet? Should it? We think so. Call your dealer and ask them. In the meantime, check out the current range of Renault Mégane models available right now.