THE majority of us opt for a hybrid chiefly for its green credentials or the promised boost in economy.
But, for the uninitiated, there's often an additional bonus - the immediacy and accessibility of performance. While acceleration times may only be marginally quicker than a non-hybrid, the linear power band makes for a satisfying drive.
This is particularly noticeable in the latest Renault Megane E-Tech Hybrid, which gets around one third of its power from electric motors. Dab the accelerator and there's an immediate surge of acceleration fed through the six-speed auto box.
And with low emissions - 28g/km - tax is miniscule at just Â£10 a year while economy is high.
As a plug-in hybrid, there's electric only range of 30 miles plus the capability of travelling up to 84mph on battery power alone. Torque is impressively robust - particularly noticeable when overtaking or joining faster moving traffic on a motorway.
Acceleration from rest to 62mph in under 10seconds is brisk but nothing out of the ordinary, however the immediate punch is unusually strong.
When it comes to frugality, the Megane performs pretty well. Most owners will easily stretch 48 to 52miles from a gallon of petrol while the official figure is an unattainable 200+mpg combined. Charging time for the battery is three hours on a wall charger and 4hr 15 mins on a domestic socket.
As a rival to the ever-popular Focus, Golf and Astra, the Megane faces stiff rivalry in the family hatchback market, and has never quite won the hearts of buying public. Now in its fourth generation, with redesigned front wings and bumper and rear tail lights and a smartened cabin that includes 9.3inch infotainment screen, it looks contemporary and more stylish.
Seats are comfy and supportive and the cabin is generally well thought out, though stowage space for typical family clutter is at a premium and door pockets are quite narrow even for large sunglasses cases.
Driver and passenger space up front is generous enough but those in the rear are less well catered for. If the front occupants want their seats quite far back, rear legroom is tight, although headroom is quite acceptable.
A drawback in the hybrid version is that the electrification workings reduce the luggage capacity by around 100 litres, and there's no storage space beneath the platform. Rear seats split and fold 60-40 to make the most of the available space.
With reasonably brisk acceleration and speedy reactions, the Hybrid is a rewarding drive. Coupled to the usual compliant ride that is a Renault hallmark, the result is a hatch that is both comfortable and driver-orientated.
There are plenty of treats onboard the RS Line version including sat nav, dual zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated folding door mirrors and LED lighting. One feature I would happily live without is the key-card which I found so easy to misplace or lose altogether.