Feature

Renault Zoe long-term test review

We've added our current Electric Car of the Year to our long-term test fleet. With its improved range, is range anxiety now a thing of the past?

Words ByRory White

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Renault Zoe
  • The car Renault Zoe Q90 Z.E.40 Dynamique Nav Quick Charge
  • Run by Rory White
  • Why it's here With its improved range and keen pricing, is the latest Renault Zoe a pure electric small car for the masses? We’re running one to find out.
  • Needs to Prove it can mix with the best fuel-powered cars as an alternative, pure-EV choice.

List price Β£18,920 (after plug-in car grant), Price as tested Β£19,970 Miles covered 3157 Official range 250 miles Real-world range 160 miles Options fitted Quick charge function (Β£750), I.d Zircon Blue Metallic paint (Β£625), rear view camera (Β£250), Blue interior touch pack (Β£175)


26 October 2017 – Fourth report

With our 2018 Car of The Year Awards testing now in full swing and demanding a huge amount of cars be driven and assessed before the end of November, our Zoe hasn’t covered many miles this month. But it definitely hasn’t been forgotten; in fact, there have been a couple of significant advancements.

First of all, our niggling USB problem has been solved. If you remember, plugging in a smartphone resulted in, well, not a lot. It was recognised by the car’s infotainment system but it wasn’t charged. However, after a couple of trips back to Renault for software updates, it’s finally been solved. Hopefully, anybody suffering from the same issue can have it solved easily and for free at their dealer if they their Zoe is within warranty.

The second improvement is to do with charging. Reviews editor Will Nightingale has been driving our Zoe quite a bit and liked it so much that he bought his own. He’s now solved his slow home-charging problem by having a Chargemaster wall box installed, so we thought we’d run through what you’re currently entitled to and what’s required when stepping up from three-pin charging to a home wallbox.

In most circumstances, if you’ve just bought an electric car, you’re eligible for a Β£500 grant from the Government towards a new wallbox. In the case of Chargemaster, that means its 3kW charger costs Β£279, its 7kW one comes in at Β£354 and its quickest 22kW unit is Β£1200. All these prices include fitting, but it’s worth knowing that the 22kW charger requires more advanced three-phase electrics that the vast majority of residential properties don’t have.

We’re quoting Chargemaster here because Renault has teamed up with the firm to offer a free 7kW wallbox when you buy a Zoe. Essentially, the Government will provide the Β£500 grant, while Renault will make up the difference, leaving you with faster charging at no extra cost. Splendid.

Clearly, you’ll require off-street parking and modern home electrics to be eligible, and Chargemaster reckons it will be installed within two weeks of signing the documents. The unit comes with a three-year warranty, is waterproof and lockable, and features advanced overload protection management software.

Of course, there are other wallbox suppliers and other manufacturers that will throw in a charger for free upon purchasing their cars. But in the Zoe’s case, it’s just another reason to make the jump to pure-electric motoring and choose this fantastic car.

More on our long-term Renault Zoe >