New Renault 5 revealed with electric power and £25,000 price tag

The Renault 5 has been reinvented as an electric car for the 21st Century, and brings with it retro styling, a competitive price and a range of up to 249 miles...

Renault 5 front right static

On sale Early 2025 | Price from £25,000 (est)

It’s not very often that a car from a bygone era makes a comeback. However, 2025 will mark one of those rare occasions, because the Renault 5 will be making a return as an electric car

Indeed, the car which took the small car market by storm in the 1970s has been completely reinvented for the modern era, and like the original, it aims to offer stylish, versatile and affordable motoring for a wide range of buyers. 

Coincidentally, the 5 won’t be alone with its ambitions, because there’s also the 1950s-inspired Fiat 500 Electric and Mini Cooper Electric to contend with, as well as our 2024 Small Electric Car of the Year, the MG4

Renault 5 side view

Speaking of What Car? accolades, the Renault 5 concept car – which was first previewed in January 2021 – has already won two What Car? awards, including the Readers’ Choice award at our Electric Car Awards and 2024 Car of the Year Awards

So, has it got what it takes to live up to those expectations? Well, on paper, things get off to a good start. There are two versions to choose from: a 121bhp, 40kWh (usable) model with an official range of 186 miles, and a 148bhp, 52kWh (usable) model with an official range of 249 miles. By comparison, the Cooper Electric has an almost identical official range; the Cooper E can travel 188 miles officially, while the Cooper SE can travel 249 miles. It’s also similar to what the Peugeot e-208 can manage officially (248 miles).

To help maximise efficiency, Renault has made particular efforts to shave weight off the new 5. The battery, for instance, is new and simplified in its construction compared with the Renault Zoe, while the electric motor is more compact and 20kg lighter than the one in the Zoe, too. Hopefully this should pay dividends when it comes to real-world range.

Renault 5 rear left static

Charging speeds are fairly competitive by class standards, with the 40kWh battery having a maximum charging rate of 80kW and the 52kWh battery a maximum rate of 100kW. This means a 15-80% top up should take around 30 minutes for both versions with the quickest of public chargers, which is similar to the Cooper Electric and e-208. 

To add some extra versatility, all 5s come with vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging as standard, which means you can use the car's battery to power an appliance with a three-pin plug, such as a hoover, kettle or tyre pump. This could be useful if you plan to use the car while camping, for example.

As for performance, the 121bhp version can go from 0-62mph in 9.0sec, while the 148bhp version can cover the same sprint in 7.9sec. All versions are powered by a single, front-mounted electric motor (making it front-wheel drive), while a dual-motor version will join the line-up later with the Alpine A290 hot hatchback.

Renault 5 rear view

The design of the new Renault 5 is very familiar, with details such as the rectangular headlights, closed-off grille and stacked rear lights mirroring that of the original 1970s car. Renault says 95% of the design stays true to the concept car, too, with the biggest changes being the headlights, daytime running lights (DRLs) and door mirrors. 

There are some functional elements to the exterior design, with the ‘5’ logo on the bonnet doubling as a charge indicator, while the alloy wheels and boot lid spoiler are shaped to improve aerodynamics (both details combine to add about 10 miles of range).

In terms of dimensions, the 5 is actually smaller than its flared wheel arches and 18in alloy wheels suggest. At 3.92m long, it’s smaller than the e-208 (4.05m), but slightly larger than the 500 Electric (3.63m) and Cooper Electric (3.86m).

Renault 5 interior dashboard

Along with its small size, a very tight turning circle of 10.3m should make the 5 ideal for navigating tight city streets. By comparison, the 500 Electric and Cooper Electric have turning circles of 9.6m and 10.8m respectively.

The interior of the Renault 5 is smartly styled and ergonomically laid out. The 10.0in digital driver’s display (7.0in on entry-level cars) and 10.0in infotainment screen are housed within a rectangular instrument binnacle, which has been inspired by the dashboard of the original car. Below the infotainment screen there’s also a bank of physical buttons for the climate controls, which should make them easier to operate while driving than the touchscreen set-up you get in the Cooper Electric.

Another feature which aims to limit distraction is a new virtual assistant, called Reno. It’s designed to make the infotainment system easier to operate, while also helping you to use the car more effectively (for instance, it can suggest switching from Sport to Eco mode if you’re driving in traffic). Like the voice command system in the Volkswagen ID 7, Reno has integrated ChatGPT, which is designed to make it more responsive and conversational to use.

Renault 5 interior front seats

The use of interior materials is generally good, with plush fabrics used on the dashboard and doors; the former changes depending on which trim you go for (mid-spec cars get denim trim, for example). Despite that, there are a few hard and scratchy plastics dotted around the place, including on the centre console and door tops.

The seats, which have been inspired by those on the Renault 5 Turbo, are comfortable and supportive, and there’s plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat, so it’s very easy to get comfortable. Forward visibility is also good, although the view backwards is limited by thick rear pillars and a small rear window. 

In the back seats, space is less impressive than in the front; those over six-feet tall will struggle for leg room (especially if you’re sitting behind a tall driver). With the battery placed below the floor of the car, rear passengers will also find that their knees can be uncomfortably high because of the shallow footwells. On the plus side, there’s a good amount of head room thanks to the car’s boxy shape, and middle seat passengers will have a good amount of foot space because of the flat floor.

Renault 5 interior back seats

Despite the car’s small dimensions, the boot is a good size at 326 litres. That’s more than the Cooper Electric (200 litres) and Peugeot e-208 (311 litres), but less than the MG4 (363 litres). Overall, it should have enough space for a large weekly shop, although a high loading lip could make it difficult to load heavy items into the cargo area.

If you need more space, the rear seats split and fold in a 60/40 configuration. That’s pretty normal by class standards, with the Cooper Electric, e-208 and MG4 offering similar set-ups. Like those cars, the 5 doesn’t have a front boot, but there is a large storage area underneath the boot floor for storing the charging cables.

Three trim levels will be offered in the UK: Evolution, Techno and Iconic Cinq. Evolution is the entry-level trim and includes 18in wheels, LED headlights, a 7.0in digital driver’s display and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, while Techno trim adds 18in alloy wheels, a 10.0in digital driver’s display and wireless phone-charging on top. Iconic Cinq is the range-topping trim, and includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and two-tone paintwork as standard. Later on, a Roland Garros special edition will be added to the range.

Renault 5 interior baguette holder

If you want to personalise your 5, there are several accessories that you can add to the car, including exterior decal stickers, a baguette basket (which attaches to the centre console) and an interchangeable tip for the gear lever. Five body colours will also be offered: black, white, blue, green and yellow.

To ensure it complies with upcoming European safety regulations, the 5 will get automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic sign recognition, rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist and a driver attention warning system as standard. Renault has also included a new ‘My Safety’ button, which allows the driver to quickly choose their preferred setting for the safety systems.

Significantly, an expected starting price of £25,000 means the 5 could undercut its rivals on pricing, including the MG4 (£26,995), Fiat 500 Electric (£28,195) and Mini Cooper Electric (£30,000). It will also be the first of several new affordable electric cars from Renault, including the Renault 4 electric SUV and Renault Twingo city car, both of which are expected to arrive by 2026.

Read more: Best electric cars >>

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