Renault Zoe long-term test: report 8

Can you switch from a small petrol car to an electric one without changing your lifestyle? We've added our best value small electric car – the Renault Zoe – to our long-term fleet to find out...

Zoe in Notting Hill

The car Renault Zoe R135 ZE 50 Rapid Charge GT Line Run by Louis Shaw, social media manager

Why it’s here To prove that a small electric car can be more than just a city runaround and, in the case of the Zoe, a genuinely viable alternative to a conventional small car.

Needs to Be Practical, comfortable and efficient, with a decent range between charges.

Mileage 1360 List price £34,595 (before gov't grant) Target Price £30,782 (before gov't grant) Price as tested £34,655 (before gov't grant) Official range 245 miles Test range 236 miles

12 July 2021 – Glitch perfect

“It does the job.” Four words I use on a semi-regular basis whenever there’s a front-seat passenger watching me prodding around my Renault Zoe’s infotainment system.

Renault Zoe long-term infotainment

On the plus side, this ‘easy link’ 9.3in touchscreen is sufficiently vibrant and the menus pretty clear, while my phone connects with a lack of fuss that would make some of my previous cars blush.

Unfortunately, the system is also sluggish enough that I often find myself second guessing whether I’ve actually succeeded in hitting the icon I wanted, and have to fight the urge to take my eyes off the road to check. On a few occasions, I’ve even had the system glitch out completely, causing half the information to disappear from the screen.

Renault Zoe long-term glitchy screen

While I appreciate that this is not a premium car, the Zoe is actually more expensive than the BMW 1 Series that I ran previously. I was therefore hoping that the infotainment would be a closer match for BMW’s iDrive system and more in line with the quality of the Zoe as an overall package.

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