Renault’s pretty Zoe has been revamped into a zestier EV

For almost a decade, the all-electric Renault Zoe has led a passenger car revolution for the French carmaker and Iain Robertson has been allowed access to the latest generation of the Gallic tiddler that now promises significantly more than ever.

The third generation of Renault's Zoe has evolved in versatility, quality and technology to offer enhanced features, while still remaining relatively affordable. Externally, the new model continues to deliver a distinctive and fresh design, while the interior has been completely overhauled, with a fully redesigned instrument panel and dashboard for improved comfort and convenience.

Beneath the skin, a powerful 52kWh battery now delivers a range of up to 242 miles (WLTP figures) and it can be recharged (80% capacity within an hour) using an optional direct current (DC) charger. GT Line versions gain from a 100kWh battery unit that delivers real zest. Renault’s Easy Connect services deliver increased connectivity, plus there are extra driving aids, a 10.0-inch TFT instrument cluster, a multimedia system and a new ‘B Mode’, which has been perfected for urban driving. 

As a pioneer in European electric mobility, Renault possesses immense knowledge of the needs and expectations of the growing market and its designers have paid particular attention to the interior quality, finish, comfort and ergonomics of Zoe. Soft touch plastics and new sustainable trim finishes help boost a premium appeal and comfort, while advanced technology reinforces Zoe’s status as an innovator. The driver can also personalise the lighting and the layout of the different aspects of on-screen information. On versions equipped with sat-nav, the instrument cluster also relays turn-by-turn instructions for safer, less distracting progress. Novel additions include soft fabric inserts that match the seats, while LED interior lighting is standard across the range.

On Iconic models there is 100% recycled seat upholstery, using safety belt scrap and plastic waste (PET) materials, which is a first for the automotive industry, its sourcing and short-loop manufacture helping to reducing CO² emissions overall. A new electronic gear selector, plus the driving mode selector, enables the easy transition between the various driver settings, notably the new ‘B Mode’ that boosts regenerative braking by encouraging single pedal driving. 

The new R135 100kW engine delivers the equivalent of 132bhp and improved torque for faster acceleration. Using the increased-capacity battery of the car to get the most out of the Renault developed motor, it packs a healthy 180lbs ft of torque from zero rpm and drives through a single-speed gearbox, allowing the Zoe to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 9.7s, with a top speed of 87mph. However, its mid-range punch means that it can accelerate from 50-75mph in just 7.1s, which is 2.2s quicker than the 80kW 107bhp engine that is carried over unchanged.

The new Zoe features a full complement of driver and safety aids as part of its enhanced specification. List prices (pre-discount) are expected to start at around £21,500, with battery rental also starting at around £60 per month. Opt for the battery-included versions and prices start at around £28,000.

MSG Summary

With over 150,000 Zoes registered across Europe since its original launch, it is one of the most popular of EVs already. Ask your advisor for more details and to decide which is the most practical route to EV ownership.

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