Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 5 3.4

Performance
Rating: 3.4/5

The Megane E-Tech uses a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine coupled to Renault’s own design of hybrid system. The brand claims this is inspired by its Formula 1 cars, and it uses two electric motors of different sizes and a clutchless gearbox to shuffle power where it’s needed. Total power output is 160hp and 360Nm, which lead to a 0-62mph sprint of 9.4 seconds.

Performance from the Megane E-Tech is a mixed bag. When running on its electric motor, it’s as quiet and refined as you could hope. Performance isn’t exactly sparkling, but it’s more than adequate for pootling around town and it’ll get up to motorway speeds if needed.

When the engine and electric motors are running in harmony, too, such as if you’ve asked for a hefty chunk of acceleration, things aren’t too bad. The problem comes during the transition between petrol and electric power.

When switching between these two sources the Megane E-Tech feels very clunky indeed, and the switch gives a genuine jolt as if you’d raised the clutch too quickly during a manual gearchange. Annoyingly, the power sources almost seem calibrated to switch over at around 30mph – meaning that during regular town driving, you’ll be bucking and diving like a learner driver through no fault of your own.

Megane RS performance

The RS hot hatchback is thankfully a totally different kettle of fish.  The 300hp produced by its turbocharged 1.8-litre engine makes the Megane RS feel reassuringly muscular, easily beating off most front-wheel drive competition. 0-62mph takes just 5.7 seconds.

It’s a shame that Renault no longer offers a manual transmission though, as the EDC dual-clutch automatic isn’t as good as the one you’d get in a Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Comfort
Rating: 3.9/5

With supportive, comfortable seats, a low-down driving position and soft suspension, the Renault Megane is one of the more comfortable cars in its class. Despite the cushioned ride it also resists body roll quite well, and refinement is good – unless you accelerate hard, the hybrid powertrain stays relatively hushed.

The RS hot hatchback is understandably harsher, and the Trophy model even moreso – these cars aren’t particularly comfortable, erring more towards the hardcore hot hatchback buyer.

Handling
Rating: 4.2/5

Renault put a lot of work into the Megane to make it appeal to enthusiastic drivers. We still think a Ford Focus or a Mazda 3 handles better, but the Megane is still quite responsive and agile, even with the heavy hybrid battery pack weighing it down.

You can tailor the way the Megane feels with a drive mode selector. While no model gets adaptive dampers to allow for suspension adjustment, you can alter things like the steering weight and the aggression of the automatic gearshift.

RS models handle marvellously. They come fitted with a four-wheel steering system Renault calls 4Control – this allows the rear wheels to turn in the opposite direction to the fronts, improving agility. The result is a car that seems to shrink around you, and allows the Megane RS to turn on a sixpence, with minimal provocation needed to get the rear of the car sliding outwards. Grip levels are high and the brakes slow the car very effectively without fade.