Renault Zoe 2019 LHD front seats

Renault Zoe review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£29,170
What Car? Target Price£27,747
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Before you get too excited about the latest model’s enhanced battery, Renault is diplomatic enough to have revealed its ‘real-life conditions’ range figures for the Zoe, and they’re well worth bearing in mind. While 233 miles in ‘summer’ conditions sounds promising, that figure drops to just 149 miles in ‘winter’ conditions.

You can buy your Zoe outright, but to do so makes it considerably heftier in price than conventionally powered rivals such as the Ford Fiesta. It undercuts the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf, though, if you've got your heart set on an electric car. Don't forget, you can also claim a £3500 Government grant towards your new EV, regardless of its spec. 

Alternatively, rather than buying the Zoe outright, you can lease the battery separately, and this brings the up-front cost down substantially. Doing this also covers all your maintenance costs for the duration of the lease. However, 2020 battery lease pricing is yet to be confirmed. Bear in mind, though that the leasing agreement needs to be transferred as well as the car when it comes time to sell your Zoe on. 

Disappointingly, Renault came second-bottom in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, only finishing above 31st-placed Land Rover. In the electric and hybrid cars category, the Zoe itself fell behind the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S in terms of reliability, too. The Zoe is covered by a warranty package for 3 years, with unlimited mileage during the first 24 months, followed by a further year in which total mileage is limited to 100,000. The battery is covered by a separate warranty, and is also protected under the terms of a leasing agreement.

The Zoe was rated five out of five stars for safety from Euro NCAP back in 2013. The test criteria has become more stringent since then, but the car should still score highly if it was retested today, thanks to its long list of standard safety equipment. This includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning and blindspot monitoring.

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Renault Zoe 2019 LHD infotainment buttons
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Verdict

With the option of leasing its battery separately, the Renault Zoe looks temptingly priced against the army of small electric cars due to hit the market soon, such as the Honda E and Mini Electric. These models are expected to offer a considerably shorter range, too. Updated with a big boost in performance and an improved interior, the latest Zoe remains a strong electric car contender.

  • Longer range than many electric cars
  • Quiet and easy to drive
  • R135 has punchy acceleration
  • Limited rear-seat space
  • Bumpy at low speeds
  • Outright purchase looks expensive