The Renault Zoe is a five-door plug-in electric supermini with plenty of style and impressive driving range between charges. With zero carbon emissions it brings financial rewards including tax-free motoring and exemptions from congestion charges.
The goodAttractive styling, well equipped, economical and great driving range
The badExpensive initial outlay
Renault Zoe GT Line (2021)
Take range anxiety and over-the-top pricing out of the mix and electric vehicles have plenty of all-round appeal. The latest third generation Renault Zoe is the perfect example of that.
With a driving range of up to 238 miles between charges and a price-tag of £28,620 (after PICG), the latest model ticks all the right boxes.
The new car is on offer with two outputs – one with 107bhp and the other with 134bhp. We tested the more powerful model in range-topping GT Line. With 245Nm of torque the compact EV has plenty of firepower and can sprint from 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 87mph. And the zero carbon emissions figure means zero road tax costs.
The five-door Zoe looks modern in its styling thanks to its chrome stamped grille, signature C-shaped full LED front and rear lights, body-coloured mirrors and door handles, hidden rear door handles and neat 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
Move inside and the Zoe has certainly taken a giant leap upmarket with lots of soft touch surfaces, part synthetic leather seat upholstery, a synthetic leather steering wheel, plus a wealth of on-board techno treats to explore.
The main focal point is the upright 9.3-inch portrait infotainment screen with a good navigation system, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a reversing camera and a high-end sound system. There is a wireless phone charger, two USB ports and automatic climate control too.
Our test car also featured a Winter Pack costing an extra £500 that added heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Out on the road, the Zoe performs well with plenty of power and smooth acceleration through the single-speed gearbox. Extra driving range can be gained by selecting B on the gear lever which increases the energy recouped thanks to regenerative braking. It also means the car can be driven using just the accelerator pedal.
The Zoe feels nicely balanced with good grip into bends and the fairly light steering is great in busier town centre settings with lots of twisting and turning.
Comfort levels up front are high with the driver benefiting from good all-round visibility. Adults will struggle a little for leg and head room in the back on longer journeys, but this is the norm on compact cars and the space is perfect for youngsters.
The boot is fairly compact but can swallow 338 litres of kit – a limit that increases to 1,225 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there is a glovebox, cup holders, door pockets and non-slip trays to store bits and pieces.
Safety specifications are impressive too and the Zoe secured a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating. Features include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, cruise control and speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, blind sport warning, electronic stability control, an anti-intruder device with automatic door locking, plus a full suite of airbags.
Charging times depend on the power source, but a £1,000 option on our test car enabled 50kW DC rapid charging which will add about 90 miles range in the time it takes to order a Costa coffee. And for added peace of mind, the battery comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
All in all, this latest generation of the Renault Zoe is a huge leap forward. It boasts better range, a wealth of high-end technology, first rate safety kit and a very competitive price-tag that hasn’t been bumped up through the roof. That probably explains why it still remains one of the most popular EVs in Europe.