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Renault Zoe Review - Hands On

Andrew Unsworth
3 Jul 2013

A great electric supermini, but you'll need somewhere to charge it

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The Renault Zoe is the latest electric car from the manufacturer that brought us the Twizy. Its electric motor develops up to 65kWs of electricity, which is equivalent to 87hp, and Renault places its real-world range between 62 and 93 miles. That isn’t going to get you from London to Liverpool and back, but it’s a perfectly respectable range for a supermini that will be used for general driving tasks such as ferrying shopping from the supermarket to home.

Renault Zoe Front Three Quarters

Some electric cars can have offensively quirky designs, but the Zoe looks just like a regular supermini. It isn’t as striking as the Alfa Romeo Mito, but it is attractive, with an exciting and modern look. Similarly, the cabin is just as you would expect to find in any other supermini. It has five doors, three rear seats, electric windows and a good speaker system. We found the driver’s seat very comfortable and it would probably keep us happy on longer trips than the Zoe can manage.

Renault Zoe Cockpit

The cabin feels spacious and there's a fantastic amount of headroom, which means taller occupants can be accommodated comfortably. The only thing we’re not keen on is the glove compartment, which opens flat. We'd be worried about its contents spilling out in the footwell. The boot has a volume of 338 litres that increases to 1,225 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Renault Zoe Boot

The main focus of the Zoe’s dashboard is the 7in R-Link "tablet", which provides you with handy information such as the nearest charging point in addition to satellite navigation and audio control. It’s an elegant and responsive system that gives you the information you need at a glance.

Renault Zoe R-Link

The Zoe’s instrument panel is similarly high-tech, with a long display that shows you the remaining range, your speed and the current position of the gear stick, as well as warnings about unfastened seat belts. Again, everything is easy to read and digest with a quick glance.

Renault Zoe Instrument Panel

The Zoe’s interior is certainly pleasant, but it’s not especially exciting or luxurious. However, it does have essential items such as controls for every window, electric wing mirrors and steering wheel mounted buttons for controlling audio and your phone, among other functions. As it’s a modern car, it even has a USB port for charging your phone and communicating with media devices. It's hard to find real fault with the Zoe’s cabin.

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