RENAULT

RENAULT ZOE HATCHBACK 100kW Iconic R135 50kWh Boost Charge 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph9.5s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range238 miles

Renault's ZOE now goes further in its efforts to persuade supermini buyers of its all-electric virtues. 238 WLTP-rated miles to be exact. A powerful 100kW R135 motor delivers strong acceleration too, plus there's a smart look both for the exterior and the cabin. If you've always liked the thought of an all-electric supermini but needed more convincing to buy one, Renault hopes that what's on offer here will be enough to make you think again.

CHARGING LESS

Renault's ZOE supermini EV features a long operating range and some useful updates. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

Renault's ZOE now goes further in its efforts to persuade supermini buyers of its all-electric virtues. 238 WLTP-rated miles to be exact. A powerful 100kW R135 motor delivers strong acceleration too, plus there's a smart look both for the exterior and the cabin. If you've always liked the thought of an all-electric supermini but needed more convincing to buy one, Renault hopes that what's on offer here will be enough to make you think again.

Background

If you've ever hankered after an electric car, there might have been a few impediments to an impending purchase. The first wave of electric cars weren't styled very appealingly. Never a good thing. Then came a second generation of vehicles that looked more like cars but which carried price tags that read like a bad joke. Electric cars were either cheap and horrible or expensive and barely adequate. Even when we moved on a bit from that, they still couldn't offer a credible level of battery range for most potential customers. Renault though, wants to change things. The brand has already brought us the fun Twizy lightweight city car and even a Kangoo van featuring battery power. With the improved version of this ZOE supermini though, the company's got really serious about all-electric concept, notably so since the introduction of the version we're going to talk about here with its capable 52kWh Z.E. battery and powerful R135 electric motor.

Driving Experience

The ZOE is designed for city driving, so the steering has been geared to offer a smooth effortless feel. Likewise, the throttle pedal doesn't offer too much in the way of resistance but the brake responds to a good hoofing which seems a little odd at first. Like all electric cars, the ZOE feels eerily quiet as it pulls away, with no discernible engine noise other than a faint whine. This usually means you'll hear every bump and thump from the road as a result, but Renault has done a good job on chassis refinement and ride quality is excellent. To prevent pedestrians waltzing out in front of its silent approach, the ZOE emits a sound at low speeds but you can barely hear it at all from inside the vehicle. The 'Z.E. Voice' can be switched between three different sounds or can be completely switched off. Handling is as good as you'd imagine for a car with such a low centre of gravity. The improved R135 synchronous electric motor with rotor coil has a power output that's way up on the orginal unit fitted to this car. This unit delivers the equivalent of 135PS and improved torque for faster acceleration. The motor packs a healthy 245Nm from zero rpm and drives through a single speed gearbox, helping the ZOE sprint from 0 to 62mph in less than 10 seconds and onto a top speed of 87mph. As an indication of its real world pace this 100kW model can accelerate from 50 to 75 mph in just 7.1 seconds, which is 2.2 seconds quicker than than the old 80kW 110PS R110 variant. Of course, drive like this and you'll decimate the claimed 238 mile WLTP driving range figure.

Design and Build

Most people would walk past the ZOE and not take it for anything other than Renault's latest cute little car. Rather refreshingly for a car of this kind, its design inspiration is sophisticated and grown-up. With curvaceous flanks and neat one-box shape, it's quite a good-looking thing, especially in this revised form, where the car features full-LED headlamps, smart bumpers and big LED tail lights. The fascia's also been updated in recent years, primarily with a smart 10-inch TFT instrument cluster. The dashboard has been completely redesigned to significantly improve the quality of its finishes. The centre of the dashboard houses the Renault EASY LINK multimedia system, which benefits from a large 9.3-inch touchscreen. There's an electronic parking brake too. Otherwise, things are much as they've always been on a ZOE. Some of the plastics aren't going to give Audi designers anything much to think about, but being built down to a price is very much the point of this car. It's no bad thing. The view out is extremely good as you sit rather high but a lack of seat height adjustability might prove an issue for taller drivers. As with most superminis, space in the back is more mini than super but access is good thanks to the standard five-door layout, and there's more than enough room back there for the kids. One substantial plus point is the 338-litre boot which extends to 1,225-litres should you fold the one-piece rear bench.

Market and Model

Renault has refined the ZOE supermini EV range down to one 52kWh battery, one R135 electric motor and one 'GT Line+' trim level, costing around £32,000. As standard, you get Renault's R-Link multimedia system, with a 9.3-inch centre screen which features 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring and 'always-on' 4G connectivity as part of a data pack included for the first three years of ownership. R-Link features steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition. It also delivers integrated connectivity with motoring services and applications available from the R-Link Store. Other standard ZOE features include Bluetooth, climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, a Renault keycard and a speed limiter function. Through the three-spoke wheel, the instruments are covered off by a 10-inch TFT monitor big enough to display 3D mapping. Here, a central circular driving gauge is flanked by customisable sections you alter via steering wheel buttons, with trip computer, audio and nav functions selectable on the left and either an Energy Monitor or an eco-driving 'leaf' graphic available on the right. Programmable pre-conditioning heats or cools ZOE's cabin when the vehicle is charging, so when the driver gets into the car, the cabin is just the right temperature and battery charge is saved in use. As a further neat touch, this can be activated remotely via the owner's smartphone.

Cost of Ownership

The key question though, concerns driving range. This model's original 22kWh battery could only take this car 93 miles on a full charge; not good enough. The introduction of the brand's much improved 52kWh battery has been important then, boosting the WLTP test cycle reading to 238 miles. That could make all the difference for potential electric car buyers. What about charging? Well, the standard type-2 cable provided with the car and its Cameleon charger are used for everyday AC charging use, such as at home with a Wallbox, at work, in the car park or on public roads using anything up to a 22kW supply. When using a 7kW Wallbox a 100kW ZOE model can charge from 0 to 100 percent in 9 hours and 25 minutes. This ensures that a complete recharge can comfortably be achieved overnight. Around 190 miles of range can be achieved in just 8 hours. Users charging their vehicle at home can also benefit from the programming options, adjusting their recharge to correspond with tariff fluctuations from their electricity supplier. Plugging the ZOE into a public 22kW roadside charger can deliver a useful 78 miles of range in only one hour. Where the ZOE scores a knockout blow overr an ordinary combustion supermini is if you need to travel into congestion zones. London offers 100% exemption while Westminster council offers four hours free parking and a number of charging points. Renault still hasn't fully got round the issue that most urban drivers have to leave their cars parked on the street and so have no practical way of recharging from a home power point.

Summary

This improved Renault ZOE represents another step towards the electric vehicle becoming a genuinely practical mode of transport for the average motorist. There are still a number of caveats that will inhibit mass take-up, but most of these are due to the inherent nature of electric vehicles themselves, rather than any flaw in the ZOE in particular. On the contrary, it's a likeable little thing and might just be the most attractive electric vehicle currently on sale. If you have off-street parking and a short-ish and predictable urban commute, the numbers don't work out at all badly and there aren't many small cars that are much more relaxing to pilot through the city streets. We think the potential WLTP range increase to as much as 238 miles will make all the difference for potential buyers, but the arithmetic still works out in favour of a small petrol supermini on a pure costs basis. Until taxation legislation more completely favours Evs, that's going to be very hard to change. The gap is small though and many drivers will be willing to pay a small premium for the ZOE's smooth ride, silent acceleration and feel-good vibe. If it works for you, why not?

  • Electric rear windows
  • Rear wiper
  • Electric front windows/one touch facility
  • Variable front intermittent wipers
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Heated rear windscreen

  • Automatic parking brake
  • Electronic Stability Programme + Anti-slip regulation traction control + Critical Sliding Velocity understeer control
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Automatic emergency braking system
  • Hill start assist
  • Rear disc brakes

  • Smartphone integration compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • My Renault app connectivity

  • Over speed warning
  • Range optimizer - Heat pump, Bi-Modal braking system
  • E Shifter with B mode
  • Hands-free parking
  • Cruise control switches on steering wheel
  • Lane departure warning system (LDW)
  • Blind spot warning
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Lane keeping assistant (LKA)
  • Rear view parking camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Eco mode
  • Slow speed pedestrian warning
  • Cruise control + speed limiter
  • Electric power steering

  • Tailgate
  • Emergency services call system
  • Wireless phone charger

  • Driving style indicator
  • Econometer
  • Range indicator
  • Easy link 9.3" display with navigation
  • 10" TFT Driver information display

  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour door mirrors
  • Electrically folding door mirrors

  • R135 motor (100kW)
  • ZE 50 battery
  • Battery charge indicator

  • 2 USB sockets in rear
  • 6 speakers
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • DAB radio

  • Rear side wing doors
  • Golden fog lights surroundings
  • Charging socket at front behind Renault logo
  • Gold exterior elements
  • Hot stamped grille with gold inserts
  • Solid paint
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Body colour front door handles

  • LED third brake light
  • High beam assistant
  • Automatic high/low beam
  • Full LED headlamps with C-shape LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic hazard lights activation under emergency braking
  • Automatic headlights
  • Front fog lights

  • Automatic air conditioning

  • Height/depth adjustable steering wheel
  • Glovebox
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Stowage pocket in front passenger seat back
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • TEP/Fabric (recycled) upholstery with cicada embossing and gold highlight accents
  • Front door bottle storage (1.5 litres)
  • Soft armrests in door panels
  • 12V socket in lower dashboard

  • 2 Driver airbags
  • 2 Passenger airbags (disconnectable)
  • Fixed 3 point seat belt on central rear seat
  • Fixed 3 point seat belts with load limiters on outer rear seats
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • 3 point front seat belts
  • Seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts

  • Heated seats
  • Split folding rear seats
  • Front head restraints
  • ISOFIX on front passenger and rear outer seats
  • 3 rear head restraints
  • 3 seat bench in 2nd row
  • Drivers seat with longitudinal adjustment and recline
  • Single front passenger seat

  • Hands free Renault card
  • RAID (Renault Anti-Intruder Device) with automatic door locking
  • Remote central locking
  • Deadlocking system
  • Electronic engine immobiliser

  • Chameleon charger AC 2-22kW
  • Type 2 mode 3 charging cable

  • 17" Elington alloy wheels with black/gold inserts

  • Tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 970
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 565
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 7
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 180
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 22
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 15-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): 70
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: 0-80
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 52
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 383
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 17.9
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 238
  • Charging Port Location: Front
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 52

  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Engine Code: N

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: Iconic
  • Coin Description: 100kW R135 50kWh Boost Charge 5dr Auto
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 134
  • Badge Engine CC: 0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25
  • Engine Power - BHP: 134
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.5
  • Top Speed: 87
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4200
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 181
  • Engine Torque - NM: 245
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A

  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: ELINGTON
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 4087
  • Width: 1787
  • Wheelbase: 2588
  • Width (including mirrors): 1945
  • Height: 1562
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 338
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 486
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1502
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1988
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1225
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6

  • Solid - Glacier white: £0

  • TEP/Fabric (recycled) - Black/Grey with cicada embossing and gold highlight accents: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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