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, if some way behind the pricier Kia e-Niro.
As for price, the Zoe undercuts the Peugeot e-208, Mini Electric and Nissan Leaf. Discounts are available, too, and remember that you can claim a £3000 government grant towards the price of a Zoe and most other electric cars. If you're buying on finance, the Zoe offers slightly cheaper monthly repayments than those aforementioned rivals, although the smaller Skoda Citigoe IV and VW e-Up are cheaper options.
Disappointingly, Renault came second from bottom in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing above only 31st-placed Land Rover. In the electric car category, the Zoe itself proved less dependable than the BMW i3. Other rivals weren't included due to a small sample size.
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.
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 blind spot 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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