Electric Car Awards 2023: Best used electric small car

With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best used electric small car...

WINNER: Best used electric small car

Renault Zoe ZR135 GT Line

Electric Car Awards 2023 logo

Way back in the annals of time, those after a small car for urban motoring could see the advantages of going electric but were still a little wary. Would such a thing have enough range to get me to where I want to go? Would it cost me a fortune to buy? Will the batteries last? Where was the electric car for the buyer of modest means? Well, since 2013, the Renault Zoe has always been the answer, standing out like a beacon of light and hope.

It’s been around for so long now, and has been such a sales success, that there are plenty of them for sale used, with prices starting from as low as £5000. Along with the original Nissan Leaf, those earliest Zoes were pioneers and soon caught the attention of the public, despite having relatively small batteries and limited ranges.

Best used electric small car 2022 - Renault Zoe dashboard

The 2017-onwards R110 Zoe with the larger, 41kWh battery upped the official range to 186 miles, but we’d recommend seeking out a post-2020 R135 Zoe, which had a bigger battery still and officially offered between 238 and 245 miles. We put one of these through the rigours of our real-range testing, and it came out the other side at a highly respectable 192 miles.

On price, the Zoe cannot be beaten. You’d need at least £16,000 to put a used example of our new car winner here, the Fiat 500, on your driveway, but the equivalent R135 will set you back only around £13,000, and that also undercuts rivals such as the Leaf and Volkswagen e-Up, neither of which can match the Zoe’s range.

True, its reliability record is mixed, and some of the latest models don’t come with all of the safety kit you might expect, but we’ve always loved the Zoe and we still do. For sheer value, it’s in a class of its own.

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