- Stylish inside and out
- Zero road tax
- Impressive range
- Packed with the latest technology
Electric superminis are steadily growing in popularity - many of them as used vehicles – and the third generation Renault ZOE is one of the best.
The ZOE offers five doors in a fairly stylish package and with zero carbon emissions it gives its owners big financial rewards including tax-free motoring and exemption from any congestion charges.
In addition, it offers a driving range that will be acceptable for most of its purchasers.
Range anxiety and high prices prevent many people from taking the big switch to all-electric, so the ZOE offers a range of 238 miles in the right conditions and competitive pricing.
I tried out the most powerful 134bhp model in range-topping GT Line trim. With 180lb ft of torque, the compact EV has plenty of zing and can sprint from 0 to 62mph in 9.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 87mph.
The ZOE drives well, and it's hard to detect the difference from a normal automatic supermini. With no gears to change, the single-speed gearbox allows for smooth acceleration and 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 without using the brakes.
The ZOE is agile, and its light steering means it's really at home in town driving. There's room for four adults to travel in reasonable comfort, and there's good visibility.
Design and Practicality
The 5-door ZOE isn't bad looking either, 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 handsome 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
Inside the ZOE is much improved with lots of soft touch surfaces, comfortable part synthetic leather seat upholstery, a synthetic leather steering wheel, plus a raft of useful techno treats.
It's also quite practical, with a 338-litre boot, and if you drop the split-folding rear seats, that goes up to a respectable 1,225 litres. The cabin also offers plenty of storage space and cup holders.
Technology and Safety
A lot is taken from the new Clio and the main focal point is the upright 9.3-inch portrait infotainment screen with navigation, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a reversing camera and a good sound system.
There's a wireless phone charger, two USB ports, and automatic climate control too. Use all of these at one time, and you'll reduce the range. The GT Line version also features a Winter Pack that adds heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
The Z0E comes complete with the latest safety tech, and it secured a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating. It includes 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.
The electric revolution is certainly well underway and the ZOE continues on as one of the most popular in Europe as it offers everything you would normally get in a top-end supermini.
Opt for the top of the range GT Line version to add even more pizazz, including the latest hi-tech equipment and safety features for extra peace of mind.