At a glance: Renault Zoe

At a glance: Renault Zoe
At a glance: Renault Zoe

Forget high prices and paltry ranges; the Renault Zoe five-door hatchback bucks all the preconceptions of electric cars. Appealing to the same market as the Fiesta, the supermini beats most other EVs hands down for price, and manages a quoted – and competitive – 250 miles on a charge. Kit levels are generous and include a wall-mounted fast charger installed at your house.

The cheapest way to buy the Zoe is to lease the battery, with the monthly fee depending on your mileage and length of contract. Buying the batteries adds to the price significantly, and you’re on your own after the four-year warranty runs out. Also, ensure you can live with the limited range; it’s very good by EV standards, but can still be limiting.



• Instant smooth and nippy acceleration; so-so at speed
• Easy and fun to drive around town
• Brakes are frustratingly grabby and inconsistent

• Low-speeds ride is good, with broken surfaces well absorbed
• Less composed on faster roads, where Zoe can be easily unsettled

• Keen turn-in to corners, and plenty of grip
• Light and precise steering
• Substantial body lean, but not too extreme

• Well suppressed road and wind noise
• Absence of engine noise
• Extremely quiet compared with petrol or diesel rivals



Driving position
• High-set driving position can’t be lowered
• Enough adjustability for most drivers to get comfortable
• View out of front largely unobstructed
• Rear parking sensors standard on all but base Expression

• Seven-inch central colour touchscreen
• Reasonably intuitive but could be more user-friendly
• Dynamique and Signature add DAB; latter also has Bose stereo

Build quality
• Cabin looks smart and feels solidly constructed
• Some cheap-feeling plastics apparent
• Overall, isn’t exactly plush


• Lots of space for tall adults to get comfortable
• Stowage includes glovebox, cupholders, shallow cubby and tray
• Rear legroom tight with taller person sitting in front
• Kids will be comfortable on even long trips

Boot space
• Clever packaging
• Size roughly matches class-leading Skoda Fabia’s
• Annoyingly big lip at boot entrance



Running costs
• Ludicrously cheap company car tax bills
• We’d recommend you lease battery separately…
• …Renault will maintain or replace it, regardless of car’s age

• Zoe Quick Charge has shorter range but faster-charging capacities
• Base Zoe Expression does just 149 miles due to smaller battery
• 7kW home charger installed as part of deal

• Claims 250-mile range; 174 more likely, and 112 in cold weather
• Four-year, 100,000-mile warranty
• Roadside assistance included during initial battery lease contract

Instant verdict: Low running costs and surprisingly long range make Renault Zoe one of the most recommendable EVs around. Just make sure you lease, not buy, the battery.

Video review: Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Could this latest Cayenne be the ultimate high-performance SUV?Would you pay £100,000 for an SUV? Bentley’s Bentayga has proved

Review: Kia Stonic

According to the numbers people, the B SUV segment is booming at the moment and is set to get even bigger. By 2020 it is expected to double

Review: Lotus Exige Cup 430

Surely an Exige can’t cost nearly £100,000? When it’s as good as this it canLotus has, in the recent past, been a little

Living with the BMW M135i

How will a used rear-wheel hot hatch measure up?The plan was to take a used hot hatch and see what we could do with it. Could we improve a