The Renault Zoe is a small all-electric car that has stylish looks and cheap running costs but you’ll need to decide who owns its batteries – you or Renault – before you buy
The Renault Zoe is one of the very best electric cars on sale today. It has funky styling, a decent range of 180 or so miles in everyday driving and for an electric car it is relatively cheap to buy.
That low price was key to it winning the Eco Car Award at the 2018 carwow awards. But, the judges were also impressed by the range and performance on offer from its recently uprated electric motor.
If you’re tempted, you’ll also be pleased to know that the car is eligible for a government grant that knocks up to £4500 off the list price – but that grant drops to £3,500 on 9 November 2018. And remember that price can go even lower when you sign in, configure your ideal Zoe and get Renault dealers to give you their best price.
It’s not quite as straightforward as buying a traditional car, however, as you have to decide whether you want to own or lease the car’s batteries. And as battery technology develops, larger electric cars with bigger ranges may prove to be more practical.
The Renault Zoe first went on sale in 2012, and it has had a series of tweaks to its batteries and motors since then. In 2018 a new R110 electric motor was introduced that offered the Zoe with more power but the same range as the previous car.
The Renault Zoe interior looks bang up to date and comes with plenty of technology such as a TFT display instead of dials and touchscreen infotainment system.
Passenger space is decent, if not as much as in petrol-powered alternatives such as the Honda Jazz. The boot, though is quite big despite having to accommodate the batteries.
The Zoe is a bargain electric car with a such a lovable face. Don’t be fooled by its cutesy looks though - floor the accelerator and this baby flies.
Driving the Renault Zoe is typical electric car fare – press the start button, stick the gear lever in D, press the right pedal and whoosh… off you go. A concern with the Zoe fitted with the older motor was that the car felt underpowered on the motorway. But this is not the case with the Zoe R110. It accelerates quickly and holds its own in fast flowing traffic.
The electric drive system in the Renault Zoe is too complicated to go into much detail but what you need to know is battery charging takes from one hour to just over eight hours depending on the batteries in the car and the charging facilities you use.
When compared with a similar sized petrol powered car, the Renault Zoe looks expensive, but compared with other electric cars it is one of the cheapest. And you do get plenty of kit as standard such as Renault’s R-link multimedia system, climate control, Bluetooth phone connection and electric windows.
There are two trims available Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav. You also choose between the higher powered R110 model, or the lower-powered Q90 that comes with fast charging batteries. You can also choose between buying or leasing the batteries.
When you buy a Renault Zoe you’ll also get a domestic charging point fitted in your home included in the price. Also, if decide to lease the battery, you’ll also get 24/7 roadside assistance – even if you are left stranded when you run out of charge.
So if an electric car suits your lifestyle then the Renault Zoe is one of the best there is.
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, take a look at our Renault Zoe deals page.