Renault Zoe review

Category: Electric car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:electric
Star rating
Renault Zoe 2020 RHD rear seats
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  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD dashboard detail
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD front tracking awards pic
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD right panning
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  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD gearshift detail
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD instruments detail
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD boot open
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD rear tracking
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD rear seats
  • Renault Zoe 2020 RHD dashboard detail
RRP £29,195What Car? Target Price from£26,770
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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 optimistic and quotes its own ‘real-world’ ranges. 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 better than the Mini Electric’s disappointing figure, if some way behind the impressive Kia e-Niro and Soul EV.

As for price, the Zoe undercuts the Peugeot e-208, Mini Electric, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, although it is slightly pricier than the larger MG ZS EV. Discounts are available, though, and remember that you can claim a £3000 government grant towards any new electric car, regardless of its spec. If you're buying on finance, the Zoe offers slightly cheaper monthly repayments than the ZS and is also expected to hold onto its value better.

Disappointingly, Renault came second from last in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing only above 31st-placed Land Rover. In the electric car category, the Zoe itself was rated worse than the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S for reliability.

Every new Renault carries 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 its electric cars. Meanwhile, the Zoe's battery is covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Safety is perhaps the biggest reasons not to buy a Zoe; at the time of writing, it isn't available with Automatic Emergency braking (AEB), something the vast majority of new cars come with as standard. Lane-keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition are standard on Iconic trim and above, although you need to go for range-topping GT Line trim to get blindspot monitoring. 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 2020 RHD dashboard detail
Renault Zoe 2020 RHD front tracking awards pic
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Overview

The Renault Zoe is great value, decent to drive and has a long range between charges,. We reckon the range-topping R135 GT Line is the pick of the range, although the R110 Iconic is well worth a look – especially if you mostly drive in town. If you can deal with a little less range, though, the Peugeot e-208 is better overall

  • Longer range than similar-priced alternatives
  • Smart interior – particularly on the posher trim levels
  • R135 has punchy acceleration
  • Rear head room could be better
  • Ride is a bit bumpy in town
  • No autonomous emergency braking