RENAULT

RENAULT ZOE HATCHBACK 100kW GT Line R135 50kWh Rapid 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. 242 WLTP-rated miles to be exact. A fresh, more powerful 100kW R135 motor delivers stronger acceleration too, plus there's a smarter 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 now gets a significantly longer operating range and some useful updates. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Renault's ZOE now goes further in its efforts to persuade supermini buyers of its all-electric virtues. 242 WLTP-rated miles to be exact. A fresh, more powerful 100kW R135 motor delivers stronger acceleration too, plus there's a smarter 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 with the introduction of the version we're going to talk about here with its more capable 52kWh Z.E. battery and uprated 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 if you fancy a new bonnet ornament. 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 the 100kW model can accelerate from 50 to 75 mph in just 7.1 seconds, which is 2.2 seconds quicker than than the 80kW 110PS R110 engine, which is also still available. Of course, drive like this and you'll decimate the claimed 242 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, smarter bumpers and bigger LED tail lights. The fascia's been updated too, primarily with a new 10-inch TFT instrument cluster, which is standard across the range. The dashboard has been completely redesigned to significantly improve the quality of its finishes and on 'Iconic' models there is 100 percent recycled seat upholstery. The centre of the dashboard houses the Renault EASY LINK multimedia system, which on certain models now benefits from a large 9.3-inch touchscreen. There's now an electronic parking brake too. Otherwise, things are much as before. 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

There are two ZOE mechanical specs available; the old 'R110' 80kW version; or the infinitely preferrable 'R135' 100kW model, with its faster acceleration and longer operating range. The R110 is priced from around £28,995 after deduction of the £2,500 government Plug-in Car Grant. The R135 vcariant costs from around £30,995, after deduction of said grant. There are 'Play', 'Iconic' and 'GT Line' trim levels. All derivatives feature the multimedia system, R-Link, as standard which can now feature Android Auto smartphone-mirroring. To enable drivers to control the infotainment system's functions without taking their eyes off the road, R-Link features a big seven-inch display, 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. 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 is important then, boosting the WLTP test cycle reading to 242 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. However, the fastest recharge times are achieved with the new 50kW DC charging option, which is perfect for longer trips. Replenishing the battery in this way can add around 90 miles of range in as little as half an hour. Where the ZOE scores a knockout blow 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 242 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
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Heated rear windscreen
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Driver one touch and passenger electric windows

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

  • Smartphone integration compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

  • Lane departure warning system (LDW)
  • Blind spot warning
  • Lane keeping assistant (LKA)
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Eco mode
  • Slow speed pedestrian warning
  • Cruise control switches on steering wheel
  • Rear view parking camera
  • Over speed prevention
  • Electric power steering
  • Cruise control + speed limiter
  • Range optimizer
  • E Shifter with B mode

  • Chameleon charger AC 2-22kW
  • Charging cable (Type 2)

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

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

  • Battery charge indicator

  • 12V socket in lower dashboard
  • 2 USB sockets in rear
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • 6 speakers

  • Body colour bumpers
  • Chrome grille
  • Body colour front door handles
  • Hot stamped grille

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

  • Automatic air conditioning

  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Glovebox
  • Twin front cupholders
  • Stowage pocket in front passenger seat back
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Front charging socket
  • Synthetic leather/fabric (recycled) upholstery
  • Front door bottle storage
  • Soft armrests in door panels
  • PET soft touch steering wheel

  • 2 Driver airbags
  • 2 Passenger airbags (disconnectable)
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Seatbelt warning

  • Front head restraints
  • Split folding rear seats
  • ISOFIX on front passenger and rear outer seats
  • 3 rear head restraints
  • Drivers seat with longitudinal adjustment and recline

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

  • 16" Diamond cut alloy wheels with Michelin tyres

  • Tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 970
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 3.7
  • 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: 0-100
  • 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
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 52
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 383
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - Min: 383
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - Max: 360
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 17.9
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 238
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - Max: 224
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - Min: 238

  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N

  • Engine Code: N
  • 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
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1

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

  • Coin Series: GT Line
  • Coin Description: 100KW R135 50KWh Rapid Charge
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • 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: 135
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 24A
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4200
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 181
  • Engine Torque - NM: 245
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.5
  • Top Speed: 87

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Width (including mirrors): 1945
  • Height: 1562
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4087
  • Width: 1730
  • Wheelbase: 2588

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

  • Metallic paint: £600
  • Solid paint: Included
  • ID Metallic paint: £700

  • Winter pack - Zoe: £500

  • Metallic - Highland grey: £600
  • Metallic - Diamond black: £600
  • Metallic - Titanium grey: £600

  • Solid - Glacier white: £0

  • Special metallic - Flame red: £700
  • Special Metallic - Aconite: £700
  • Special Metallic - Quartz white: £700
  • Special Metallic - Celadon blue: £700

  • Synthetic leather/fabric (recycled) - Black/Grey: £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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