Renault Zoe Review

Price: £30,495

Electrifying.com score

6/10

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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. We worry about the crash safety rating though.

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  • Battery size: 52kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.60
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 22 kW
  • Range: 238-239 miles
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  • Battery size: 52kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.60
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 22 kW
  • Range: 238-239 miles
  • Electrifying.com E-Rating A
Driven and reviewed by Electrifying.com・ Published: 2/03/2020・Updated: 25/10/2022

Ginny Says

“The second generation Zoe has fixed the bits that needed fixing like the interior. But it's annoying that you need to pay extra for the tech you need to fast charge, and the shocking safety scores means I'd think twice before buying a Zoe as a family car.”

Tom Says

“One of the original players in the game, the Zoe was still one of the most appealing. But the recent downgrade in its safety tech, together with poor performance in crash testing, mean it's no longer a car we can recommend.”

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 240-odd 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.

There's currently only one trim level on offer, and it's a high-spec GT Line+ with a punchy 135bhp electric motor and DC rapid-charging thrown in. Before, when the trim level range was wider, customers had to fork out £1,000 extra for rapid charging, but it was always a good option to go for as it can get electricity into your battery in minutes rather than hours.

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. 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.

One big black mark is the car's zero rating in the new tougher EuroNCAP crash tests. This is partly because some of the accident-preventing safety kit isn't standard across the range, but there were some worrying results in the physical tests too.


Currently there's just one motor available. The 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. Before a cheaper 110 model was on offer and even that felt quite sprightly up to 30 mph, and was 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 a 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.

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