Renault Zoe review

Category: Electric car

Section: Costs & verdict

Renault Zoe 2021 RHD dashboard detail
  • Renault Zoe front cornering
  • Renault Zoe rear cornering
  • Renault Zoe dashboard
  • Renault Zoe rear seats
  • Renault Zoe 2021 RHD dashboard detail
  • Renault Zoe side panning
  • Renault Zoe front studio
  • Renault Zoe rear studio
  • Renault Zoe 2021 instruments
  • Renault Zoe infotainment screen
  • Renault Zoe boot
  • 2020 Renault Zoe charging
  • Renault Zoe front cornering
  • Renault Zoe rear cornering
  • Renault Zoe dashboard
  • Renault Zoe rear seats
  • Renault Zoe 2021 RHD dashboard detail
  • Renault Zoe side panning
  • Renault Zoe front studio
  • Renault Zoe rear studio
  • Renault Zoe 2021 instruments
  • Renault Zoe infotainment screen
  • Renault Zoe boot
  • 2020 Renault Zoe charging
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Although the official figures suggest the Zoe is capable of between 238 and 245 miles on a full charge (it varies slightly depending on which motor and trim level you go for), even Renault acknowledges that these numbers are very optimistic and quotes its own ‘real-world’ ranges accordingly. It reckons 233 miles should be possible in the summer, falling to 150 miles in winter conditions.

This sounds pretty accurate to us; in our own independent Real Range tests, which are always carried out in temperatures between 10deg and 15deg C, the Zoe managed 192 miles on a full charge. That’s substantially farther than you'll go in a Honda E, Mini Electric or Peugeot e-208, but the Volkswagen ID.3 goes a little farther, while the pricier Kia e-Niro goes farther still.

Disappointingly, Renault came second from bottom in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing above only 31st-placed Land Rover. So it’s good that every new Renault comes with a five-year warranty. There’s no mileage limit for the first two years, but a 100,000-mile limit applies thereafter. Renault also provides three years (or 100,000 miles) of roadside assistance cover on all of its electric cars. Meanwhile, the Zoe's battery is covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Disappointingly, automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn't available on the entry-level Play trim, but it is an option on mid-level Iconic trim and it's standard on GT Line. We strongly advise adding this important safety feature, which can prevent you from slamming in to the rear of the car in front. Of those trim levels, Iconic is our favourite, bringing rear parking sensors, climate control and wireless phone charging on top of the good standard equipment on offer with entry-level Play.

Lane-keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition are also standard on Iconic trim and above, although you need to go for range-topping GT Line trim to get blind spot monitoring – while GT Line is well equipped but only available with the R135 motor and, therefore, expensive. The latest generation Zoe hasn't been appraised by the safety experts at Euro NCAP, so we can't tell you how well it's likely to protect you in an accident.

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Renault Zoe 2021 RHD dashboard detail

Overview

The Renault Zoe is great value, fairly practical and has a long range between charges. Its flawed driving position and less comfortable ride make the Peugeot e-208 a better buy, though – assuming you can live with the e-208's slightly shorter range.

  • Longer range than similar-priced alternatives
  • Smart interior – particularly on the posher trim levels
  • R135 has punchy acceleration
  • Rear head room could be better
  • Driving position is flawed
  • Automatic emergency braking unavailable on entry-level trim