The Renault Zoe is a small all-electric car that has stylish looks and cheap running costs
The Zoe interior is taken straight from the Renault Clio so it’s modern and comes with plenty of technology such as a TFT display instead of dials and a very advanced infotainment system with many features. Passenger space is decent, if not as much as in petrol-powered superminis like the Honda Jazz. The boot, though is quite big despite having to accommodate the batteries.
Driving the Zoe is typical electric car fare – slot in keycard, stick the gear lever in D, press the right pedal and off you go in relaxing silence and decent shove from the electric engine. It accelerates quickly to urban speeds but on the motorway, it’s noticeably underpowered.
The electric drive system in the Zoe is too complicated and boring to go into much detail but what you need to know is that it offers extended range, quicker recharge time and longer battery live than ever before. The time it takes for the batteries to recharge varies between 40mins and 3 hours, depending on your equipment, but a regular three-pin adaptor is not available even at an extra cost.
The asking price of the Zoe definitely won’t help it replace conventional and cheaper petrol-powered alternatives, but you do get plenty of kit as standard such as Renault’s R-link multimedia system, climate control, Bluetooth phone connection and electric windows.
The Zoe is a bargain electric city car with a lovable face
Bought as a second car, the Zoe comes highly recommended. Reviews are generally pretty positive and bought instead of a traditional supermini – easier to do because of the price – you may find it a more pleasant city runaround and potentially cheaper to run, too.
As a primary vehicle, it really does make less sense unless you never break free of city limits. But it’s still one of the best electric cars on sale right now.
For more detailed analysis of the Renault Zoe, look through the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. Or, to see what sort of offers are available on the Zoe, look at our deals page.