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Renault Zoe

Renault has really invested heavily in the electric car market so it has a lot riding on its Zoe model. It is comparable to the Nissan Leaf in terms of range and performance but it is available via a battery rental scheme which means it will be part-sold and part-leased. Thanks the UK Government grant, it is possible to get the Renault Zoe for a reasonable price but is it worth it?

renault zoe exterior

Renault Zoe. Image: Google UK

Design

Originally, the Renault Zoe was supposed to have a radical design but now it looks a lot like the latest version of the Clio. It has a steel structure and plenty of space beneath the bonnet and car seats while the battery is located under the floor near the rear of the vehicle. It is a heavy car and tips the scales at more than 1450kg with weight biased towards the car’s nose due to the 87bhp motor.

Interior

While there is no base height adjustment on the seat, the steering column offers some adjustment along with a decent amount of legroom and headroom and some cushioning for your derriere. Its 7-inch touchscreen controls the vehicle’s functions and resembles the Clio as do other interior design touches such as the air vents and steering wheel.

The boot is extremely deep as one might expect with 338 litres of room and this can be further enlarged by putting down the one-piece rear seatback. Signs of cost cutting can be seen in the thin and loose boot lining along with the odd noise made by the doors as you close them.

renault zoe interior

Renault Zoe. Image: Google UK

Performance

You will speed up quickly as far as 40mph but it begins to feel somewhat underpowered once you go beyond the 50mph mark and by the time it hits 60mph, the electric motor’s 40lb/ft of torque production simply doesn’t cut it. While the Nissan Leaf is more expensive than the Renault Zoe, it goes 10+ miles more per charge and performs better at higher speeds. Nonetheless, the 80 mile range of the Zoe is acceptable by the standards of electric cars.

Verdict

You can get the Renault Zoe for less than £14,000 after receiving the Government grant so it is a low-cost option for those who want to try out an electric car. However, the battery rental scheme is not cheap so it is something you need to consider. As an electric car, the Renault Zoe is a pleasant vehicle to drive and is stylish looking. However, its relative lack of power may be an issue for some and you can find more powerful models if you’re happy to pay extra.

  • Rating 3.5/5
  • Cost: £18,995 ($31,000)
  • Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): 169 MPG
  • Official Driving Range (Miles): 130 miles
  • Standard Charging Time (Hours): 30 minutes to 9 hours depending on charger used
  • Practicality (Seats & Doors): 5 door hatchback
  • Engine Size: 65kW electric motor
  • Engine Power: 88bhp
  • Transmission: N/A
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 13.5 seconds
  • Top Speed (mph): 62-93 mph depending on weather conditions
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5/5

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