LOOK beyond the smart new appearance of the refreshed Renault Megane Sport Tourer and you'll find the sort of technology that equips it well for the next few years' challenges.
The Sport Tourer E-Tech PHEV is, as its title implies, a plug-in hybrid with low CO2, low tax and a pretty low appetite for petrol. The flip side of the coin is that it bears a price tag of more than £32,000.
Thanks to emissions of just 30g/km it finds itself in the 10 per cent benefit-in-kind section - a fact that will not go unnoticed by company car owners.
Power comes from Renault's generic four cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled to a small electric motor. It's capable of travelling on electricity alone and according to lab figures records 217.9mpg but don't get too excited - our real life average was around the 45mpg mark.
An E-Save function allows the driver to hold on to the battery's energy to be used in cities where air quality is of greater significance. There is also a B mode on the gearbox selector to boost the level of regeneration.
Drivers used to the diesel or normal petrol Megane will be impressed with the PHEV's easy and silent progress and its mid range pick-up which allows it to take advantage of most gaps in the traffic.
Acceleration to 62mph in just under 10 seconds is nothing out of the ordinary, but its effortless and subdued manner makes it a relaxing and reasonably swift drive.
Bags of torque and the excellent harmonising between electric and petrol power make it one of the nicer hybrids to drive.
The overall feeling of wellbeing is helped by a nicely tuned suspension system that evens out the road imperfections without substituting it with excess body roll.
It feels composed and well planted around long curves and tight corners with nicely weighted power steering. Inevitably the 250kg weight penalty over the normal petrol engine model is felt when pressing on along windy roads, making the car marginally less responsive.
A six speed automatic gearbox complements the easy going nature of the Sport Tourer.
In R.S. Line trim, the cabin is smart and businesslike rather than a style icon - decent quality plastic mouldings, pan glass roof that slides open, and Alcantara and leather trimmed seats that wrap around you plus a 9.3in touchscreen placed centrally in the fascia.
LED lights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone climate control and parking sensors front and rear are also included in the R.S. Line spec.
There's plenty of room for four adults - maybe five at a pinch - with adequate head and legroom. Luggage space isn't as generous as some rivals but the 447 litre capacity is probably sufficient for most. Stowage of the batteries has reduced cargo carrying ability by almost 120litres compared with the petrol-only version.