Renault Zoe interior
The Renault Zoe’s interior looks miles better than the old car’s and comes with a decent amount of equipment, but it still feels pretty cheap in places.
The new Renault Zoe’s interior is a huge step forward over the old car’s cabin. Not only does it look nicer, but it also comes with a much more sensible layout that puts everything you’ll use regularly within easy reach.
The heating and ventilation controls are mounted beneath the free-standing infotainment display while the gear lever now sits a little higher than before on a raised pedestal that sticks out between the front seats.
The steering wheel has been revamped with a more modern design that complements the standard digital driver’s display that you get as standard from entry-level Play models, all the way up to top-spec GT Line cars.
Unlike some conventional petrol- and diesel-powered Renault models, you don’t get any scope for personalising your Zoe’s cabin.
Pick a mid-range Iconic model, however, and the Renault Zoe’s dashboard and seats come finished in a soft material that’s made from recycled plastic bottles and seatbelt off-cuts from the Zoe’s production line.
Go for a top-spec GT Line car, however, and this material is joined by some faux-leather upholstery on the seats. Unfortunately, while the material itself feels pretty posh for a small car, the seats themselves could do with a bit of extra padding to keep them from sagging each time you get in and out.
The plastics on the Renault Zoe’s doors, under the dashboard and around the centre console also let the side down a bit. Their hard, brittle finish might be OK in a cheap-and-cheerful city car, but they just aren’t up to scratch – especially considering a top-spec Zoe will set you back getting on for £30,000.
To reinforce the Renault Zoe’s eco-conscious image, you can get it with a recycled dashboard trim made from old plastic bottles and repurposed seatbelt fabric.
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The Renault Zoe comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard on Play and Iconic models, but you can pay extra to upgrade the latter with a larger 9.3-inch portrait display. This unit comes as standard on top-spec GT Line models and is sharper, brighter and easier to use.
Switching from one of this system’s features to another while you’re driving is pretty tricky because you don’t get any handy physical shortcut buttons. Instead, there’s a single row of small, hard-to-read black and white icons along the bottom of the screen.
At least you get a handy feature that’ll display two separate windows at once. For example, it can show the touchscreen controls for the stereo at the bottom, and the sat-nav maps above.
On the subject of maps, you get sat-nav as standard on all but entry-level Play versions of the Renault Zoe. It’s easy to program using the on-screen-keyboard – especially in top-spec GT Line cars with their larger touchscreens – and delivers clear directions on brightly-coloured, high-contrast maps.
You can also display directions on the digital driver’s display – a high-resolution 10-inch display that replaces conventional analogue dials as standard on every Renault Zoe. You can configure this screen using buttons on the steering wheel to show a combination of sat-nav maps, battery charge status and speedometer readouts but the animations that play as you switch between these configurations feel a little clunky.
If you aren’t a fan of Renault’s own system, you can mirror your phone’s navigation and music-streaming apps using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across the Zoe range. These systems are a doddle to set up but don’t make the best use of the larger 9.3-inch touchscreen’s portrait layout.