Here to clear the air

Renault Zoe

Price: £26,495 - £29,995

It might be one of the least expensive electric cars, but the Renault Zoe is a solid little hatchback with a long driving range and some decent tech. 


Watch Tom's video review on our YouTube channel here

  • Battery size: 52kWh
  • Miles per £: 32.7
  • Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Emissions: 0g/km
  • Range: 238-239 miles

Ginny Says

LightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightning

7/10

“The second generation Zoe has fixed the bits that needed fixing like the interior, which is far slicker. It's one to consider if you need a practical EV for a small family. But it's annoying that you need to pay extra for the tech you need to fast charge, and it's not the most spacious or refined.”

Tom Says

8/10

LightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightningLightning

“One of the original players in the game, and with an upgraded battery, still one of the most appealing. It’s still not a motorway basher, but that longer-range means urban dwellers probably only need to charge once a week - and therefore don’t necessarily need home charging.”

The Renault Zoe is one of the best-selling electric cars in the UK with good reason. It has a price which compares well with conventional small hatchbacks and yet it costs very little to run. When it was first launched in 2013, the Zoe’s appeal was limited by a comparatively small battery, but the car has been constantly updated over the years and the latest model has a thoroughly respectable 245 mile range – that means it will make sense for many people who need to go longer distances occasionally.

It could now even work for drivers who don’t have off-street parking. A charge once a week at a supermarket while you do the shopping could be enough to see you through several days, and you’ll still benefit from all of the financial and environmental benefits of owning an electric car.

If you do intend to drive bigger distances regularly, make sure you pay the extra £1,000 to have the fast charging option fitted. It’s standard on most electric cars, but is only available on the top Zoe model and allows you to connect to rapid chargers, which can get electricity into your battery in minutes rather than hours. If you want to avoid having tediously long breaks on journeys over 200 miles at a time, you’ll be glad you ordered it. 

The Zoe’s appeal isn’t just about the range. The top-spec models now feel pretty plush inside and have technology which isn’t even standard on cars which cost twice as much, such as wireless phone charging and land departure warnings . It’s pretty good to drive too, especially around town with light steering and a suspension system that copes well with potholes and speed bumps.

There are two grades of motor available. The faster 135 model is capable of surprising some sporty cars away from a standstill, although the performance does tail off as you get up to motorway speeds. Even the cheaper 110 model feels quite sprightly up to 30 mph, so is perfectly adequate around town.

It’s pretty spacious too, even compared to conventional small hatchbacks. The battery pack is stored underneath the floor which makes the seating position a little more upright, but it’s never uncomfortable and the boot is big enough to compare to bigger cars such as a Ford Focus or VW Golf.

In fact, many electric car drivers buy a model like a Zoe to use as second vehicle but find it practical enough to use every day. They then like the way it drives (and the smaller bills) so much that they end up using it more than their ‘first’ car. 

It might look familiar and have been around for a few years, but the Zoe is a thoroughly up-to-date small car that’s the perfect introduction to electric motoring.

Other Reviews

Mercedes EQV

Range: 211 mi

 score 8

Honda Jazz

Range: 1 mi

 score 7

Citroen Ami

Range: 44 mi

 score 6

Jeep Renegade 4xe

Range: 26 mi

 score 6