tight duel among electric compacts, who wins?

The Cupra Born displays its sporting pretensions from the outset. Renault is targeting families more with its Megane E-Tech. The match between these 2 electric cars is however coherent. After testing, Pierre Desjardins and Maxime Fontanier defend their choice. What would yours be?

The top of the pavement

The 2 electric compacts that we compared are not entry-level models, quite the contrary. To the left, the Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 Optimum Charge in Techno finish sends its power up to 160 kW (218 hp; 220 hp announced on the manufacturer’s website) to the front wheels for a maximum torque of 300 Nm.

Facing her, the Cupra Born in its superior VZ endowment does better on paper: 170 kW (230 hp) and 310 Nm. The Spanish propulsion compact, however, receives a slightly less capacity battery: 58 against 60 kWh usable. Among the common points that unite these 2 trendy cars: the adoption of 20-inch alloy wheels.

The smallest footprint is to be found on the side of the Megane E-Tech: 4.21 x 1.77 m, against 4.32 x 1.81 m. With its 1.50 m height, it is also a little lower by 4 cm despite its SUV-like look.


In back

The figures elect the trunk of the Renault Megane E-Tech as the most spacious: 440 or 1,332 liters depending on the position of the seat backrest. Users of at Cupra Born should be content with 385/1,267 l. However, the compact Diamond has a layout that is narrower, shallower and without a ski hatch, which limits its use.

Modularity is better on the car attached to the Volkswagen group. The floor that covers the double bottom can be removed to gain a few centimeters in height while maintaining a uniform base. Which of these 2 electric compacts seems the most welcoming for passengers seated in the back?

Without too much hesitation: the Cupra Born which offers plenty of knee room with the possibility of sliding your feet well under the front seats. Elbows and head are also not cramped. In addition, a central armrest with 2 cup holders can be deployed. This equipment is lacking in the Renault. ” It’s a little less good in all dimensions, and especially at the elbow: I don’t know what to do with my right arm “says Pierre Desjardins.


The driver’s point of view

It is the occupants seated at the front who will be able to find more satisfaction in boarding the Renault Megane E-Tech. Admittedly, the seats do not offer particular lateral support. On the other hand, the driver and his neighbor on the right should appreciate the flattering presentation and the care given to the materials that make up the dashboard and the door panels.

In addition to being pleasant to the touch, they bring luminosity when they are relatively light, as on the copy at our disposal. If they are numerous, the storage spaces are not always very well designed on the French electric car. Some are not very accessible, like at the front of the console, or less bulky than expected (under the central armrest, glove box).


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In addition, our editor-in-chief points to the part under the touch pad which has a slightly padded protruding angle: “ It’s very sharp, it fits right next to the kneecap, it’s really not pleasant! It’s a bit the black point of this interior ».

Total change of universe by sitting at the wheel of the Cupra Born. The wraparound seat welcomes you into a sportier world. Under a beautiful suede to find in the options (2,040 euros), it is electrically adjustable in all directions, massaging and heating. Practical, the storage spaces are also more voluminous. The carbon and leather-like materials do not win the support of the new Strasbourg.

Screens and instrumentation

Behind the wheel, the digital instrumentation of the Renault Megane E-Tech is successful, both in terms of screen size, design and colors. ” It’s pretty to the eye, it’s practical and you can find the information you want right away. », Appreciates Pierre Desjardins.

In the middle of the dashboard, and slightly oriented towards the driver, is the portrait-format touchscreen that supports an all-new Android system. ” Big big progress compared to the previous generation in terms of fluidity, all that is detail of presentation, and ergonomics. We find ourselves much better there. There is now a real superiority of the Renault system compared to that of Volkswagen from which the Cupra inherits “, decides the editor-in-chief.

The touch pad in landscape format appears more classic in the Spanish compact. If the image quality is there, we have a multimedia system that is really very complicated to use, not very logical in its operation, with latency times compares our new boss. Planted on the steering column, the digital display that surrounds the hoop is very small and only includes the bare essentials.

First spins

Thanks to the motor installed on the rear wheels, the turning circle between walls is immediately more efficient on the Cupra Born for maneuvers in town: 10.15, against 10.80 m. The Spanish compact can also receive a controlled suspension billed at 900 euros that the Diamond does not offer on its Megane E-Tech. This option makes it possible to better erase the reliefs of the asphalt.

The Range, Comfort and Performance driving modes affect acceleration, but also the suspension and steering. In the form of a small lever to the right of the hoop, the gear selector is easier to handle on the electric compact badged with the diamond. It’s a kind of dial on the dashboard that plays this role on its competitor.

The shortcuts behind the wheel of the French brand’s new car are a bit slow to take into account when it comes to changing driving modes. Switching to the sportiest setting leads Maxime Fontanier to make this comparison: “ Renault manages to do as well with conventional suspensions as Volkswagen with controlled suspensions ».

On winding roads

On winding roads, the best accelerations are obtained with the Cupra Born. Its manufacturer announces a 0 to 100 km / h in 6.6 seconds (against 7.4 s for the connected Renault). ” The fact that it’s rear-wheel drive makes it a bit more incisive than the Megane E-Tech, although the latter’s steering isn’t bad. “, emphasizes our tester. The Spanish electric compact does not roll too much in the turns that are linked.

Well balanced, it hides its overweight of just over 110 kg well: 1,749 kg, versus 1,636 kg with la Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 Optimum Charge. The braking system of the Cupra Born, on the other hand, is served by the drums at the rear. It lacks bite, especially coming out of the new Diamond proposal, which is much more reassuring at this level. Why this choice on a car that wants to be sporty? Especially since the regenerative braking is already not very marked.

The Megane is much more efficient with its set of paddles behind the steering wheel, like Korean electric cars currently on the market. ” But I still like it “, moderates the man with the cap, who recognizes to be better installed than on the seat of the Renault.

The newcomer to the E-Tech range makes more use of ESP due to the high torque that can drive its front wheels. ” It’s a little less precise to drive than the Cupra, but I have a better feeling on the brake pedal “, highlights Maxime Fontanier.

Charging

En version Optimum Charge, the Renault Megane E-Tech EV60 excels at the 22 kW terminals which it will be able to exploit to the maximum. It will be necessary to be satisfied with 11 kW on the Cupra Born. In direct current, the advantage remains on the side of the French electric compact if we only focus on the maximum power: 130 against 120 kW.

However, according to figures reported by Soufyane Benhammouda, the Spanish sportswoman has a charging curve that allows it to almost compete with the Megane E-Tech EV60. Both will generally require a good half hour to find 80% of energy in the lithium-ion pack starting from a threshold of 10%.

More efficient, the new connected Renault will offer its users an average of fifty kilometers better than those of the Cupra Born. That is respectively 350 and 300 real km. To be compared with the WLTP figures in the combined cycle of 450 and 390 km communicated by the 2 manufacturers. Of course, our evaluations are to be revised upwards with urban use, and to a lesser extent when wanting to hold the 130 km/h on the highway.

The rates

Good surprise with this electric Megane whose manufacturing quality is really very close to that of the Cupra Born. Renault has decided to make an effort so that its new electric compact is more widely eligible for the maximum ecological bonus. The price list starts at 37,200 euros including tax, bonus not deducted. We had the EV60 Optimum Charge in Techno finish for our test.

With it, and excluding options, the figures increase to 44,300 euros. Billed 1,050 euros, the shale gray biton with glacier white roof with which it was covered would make you lose 4,000 euros in government aid. Its Spanish competitor, in the tried-and-tested VZ finish, starts at 44,600 euros. The prices are therefore tight between the 2 vehicles. Do not count on Pierre Desjardins and Maxime Fontanier to unanimously designate the best.


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Our editor-in-chief is won over by the Renault Megane’s equipment: 22 kW AC charging, attractive lines, modern dashboard with the new multimedia system. For his part, the man with the cap prefers to drive propulsions. It also credits the Cupra Born with styling, more space on board, better turning radius, and similar performance at the same price.

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