What's the used Renault Zoe hatchback like?
There are many who want a piece of the electric car pie but won't commit because of the costs involved and fears over battery life and range. The Renault Zoe tried to dispel some of these worries, at its 2013 launch, by being reasonably priced to buy and coming with the option of leasing the battery rather than buying it outright. It also offered a longer range than most of its rivals at the time.
It helped that the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric car, rather than adapted from a regular fossil-fuelled model. It’s supermini-sized, based loosely on the platform of the Clio, and comes with a distinctive look all of its own. From new, you could either buy the cheaper Zoes and lease the battery for a monthly fee or buy the car and battery together, which pushed up the overall price. However, any problems that occur with the battery after its four-year warranty runs out will then be your problem and replacement batteries can be prohibitively expensive – often more than what the car is worth.
So most used Zoes will come with the leasing option, the cost of which varies depending on what sort of mileage you do and how long you want the contract to last. Early Zoes, with the standard 22kWh battery, had a maximum range of approximately 150 miles, depending on conditions. Post-2015 facelifted versions with the uprated 41kWh battery pack have a claimed range of 250 miles, although these figures can easily halve in real-world use, depending on the weather and driving styles.
Inside, the Zoe is bright and modern, and proves itself to be a very usable urban runabout. To drive, it’s nippy and smooth. There are three trim levels and a usefully sized boot.