New Renault Megane: hybrid option part of facelift updates

Renault will renew its fight with the recently-launched Ford Focus later this year by revealing a facelifted version of the Megane, with a hybrid option due as part of the updates.  

The family hatchback and estate range has been on sale since 2016, and a mid-life makeover is imminent as a follow-up to the Kadjar SUV facelift late last year. Expect to see the new Megane at September’s Frankfurt motor show before it arrives at dealerships in early 2020.

Like the mechanically-related Kadjar, expect a subtle design evolution for the updated Megane. The front end bears the most disguise, suggesting alterations to the grille, headlights and bumper. At the rear, a reshaped tailgate and LED lighting profile will help to foster the familiar resemblance with the new Clio.

Something else shared with the Clio, and a first for the Megane in any guise, will be a new hybridised variant. Launching in 2020, it will form a crucial part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s Drive the Future plan, which is targeting 20 electrified Renaults to hit the market by 2022.

A spokesperson wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, but the Megane is likely to adopt a similar petrol-electric system to the Clio. Dubbed E-tech, it makes use of an 89bhp petrol engine in the smaller car, mated to a 40bhp electric motor and a 1.2kWh battery alongside regenerative braking tech. Rental claims it allows the Clio to “drive like an EV” and be 70% electrically powered in town. Expect a larger combustion engine for the Megane, however. 

Also possible is a full plug-in hybrid version with a larger battery, similar to that due to be launched on the next Captur SUV. That should allow an electric-only range of 25-30 miles, though as more governments reduce list price incentives for low-range plug-ins across Europe it’s not clear which type of hybrid is a priority. 

The hybrid will sit alongside a familiar range of petrol and diesel engines, including the new 1.0 and 1.3-litre turbocharged units found in everything from the new Clio to (in 1.3-litre form) the Mercedes A-Class. 

Alongside the powertrain additions, expect a slicker interior with higher-grade materials, improved infotainment and new digital dials, alongside an improved suite of driver assist features.