Renaults Zoe is a purpose-built electric hatchback. It is widely known for its low-cost electric motoring and being one of the most affordable ways to go electric. There is a range of trims and power options available on this five-door hatchback.
Renault created the model Zoe in 2013 and it has been paving the way for electric cars ever since. The model has been available for as little as £14,245. The Zoe has also been popular due to its range capability between charges, which Renault claims is the greatest range of any mainstream electric vehicle. Over the years Renault has been working on improving the Zoes electric motor and range and in 2018 they claimed to have increased it to 186 miles.
However, it isn’t all praise for the Renault Zoe. Over the years there have been some faults and complaints. Below we review the car and give some areas that you should be wary of if you are considering buying one.
If you are most interested in getting the maximum range between charges, then make sure you are buying a Zoe that was made from 2018 onwards. EU figures have claimed that it can travel 250 miles on a full charge.
If you are a regular commuter, then it is suggested that you buy a model that was created before 2016. They don’t have the range of the newer models but are less expensive, so if they are going to be used quite a bit it could be worth it.
If you are looking for a Zoe with the best performance, then you should try and find a 108bhp R110 electric motor from 2018 or afterward. It is the most powerful model and is a lot faster, making it great for motorways.
As the Renault Zoe was one of the first proper electric vehicles available people were expecting things to go wrong. There have been some issues and for some unlucky owners, there have been huge electrical system failures which have meant the car was immobile and unable to charge. Most of these problems have come about within the warranty clause, meaning they will all be fixed or replaced free of charge.
In the early days, the Zoe was prone to heating and air conditioning problems. It was also reported that Renault’s R-Link connection to their mobile phones was not reliable and often didn’t connect. There were also complaints about the satnav not working correctly and the locations of public charging points were not sufficiently programmed in.
Some Zoe owners have reported that the car’s rear doors rattle quite a lot and require to be shut really hard to properly secure them. This was also reported with the charging socket, with people reporting that it often just flies open on its own or won’t open at all.
One of the biggest worries for Zoe car owners, in the beginning, was finding charging points whilst out on the road. Nowadays there are many more charging points available and new ones being installed every day.
As the Zoe is an electric vehicle, there is no need to pay for petrol or diesel, which are significantly more expensive than electricity. If you are charging the vehicle at home, then a full charge will cost as little as £3.50. There is also no annual vehicle tax, and the Zoe is exempt from any congestion charges. In some cities, you can even park for free.
That is a lot of savings, however, you do need to account for the price of renting the battery. The Zoe could cost as little as £49 per month if you have a 22kW/h battery and you do less than 4,500 miles annually. The price goes up to £110 a month if you have the 41kW/h version and an unlimited mileage package. In 2016 the option to buy the Zoe battery outright was given, which has an eight-year warranty on it. So any second-hand Zoe you buy with this option will still be warranted.
For the Renault Zoe, there is a two-year/20,000-mile servicing plan that will cost you £249. The three-year/300,000-mile package is £459.
In 2021 there are still worries around electric charging points and whether there is enough available to buy an electric vehicle. Nowadays there are plenty of electric charging points and if you have the capability to charge at home then you should be fine. Because of this uncertainty around the charging, second-hand Zoe cars are often sold for a low price.
The Zoe is a comfortable vehicle, with plenty of space and great for those who want to be more environmentally friendly. Although there have been some serious electrical issues, most of the cars are still under warranty. If you are buying a used Zoe, then do check this is the case.
The Zoe was one of the first of its kind and has led the way for more electric vehicles to enter the mainstream market. The fact it creates zero emissions, makes up for the worries of charging.