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Renault ZOE

The independent definitive Renault ZOE video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    CHARGING LESS (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Renault's ZOE now gets a significantly longer operating range and some useful updates. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 77

    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, morew 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.

    Backgroundword count: 160

    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 Experienceword count: 299

    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.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-60 mph (s):

    13.5

    Height (mm):

    1562

    Insurance group:

    15

    16

    Length (mm):

    4084

    Max Speed (mph):

    84

    Power ps:

    88

    ... and 3 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Hybrid or Electric Cars

    Performance
    50%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    80%
    Space
    60%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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