Renault ZOE review - Interior, design and technology
There are plenty of gadgets and gizmos, but some systems are fiddly and quality could be improved
Updated at the end of 2016, the Zoe is distinctive thanks to its neat light clusters, and a sleek exterior with few features to disrupt the airflow and cause unwelcome drag. Notably, it also has a high shoulderline and small window area designed to cut heat build-up and loss – important for reducing the demands on the battery-sapping climate control.
Inside, the dash is carried over from the Clio, but instead of conventional dials, you get a stylish digital TFT display that shows range and speed, as well as graphics telling you whether the regenerative systems are pumping power back into the battery, or discharging it.
Renault has tried to create a modern, minimalist feel with lots of light-coloured trim. Generally, the results are pleasing, but material quality doesn’t feel up to the standard of the Volkswagen e-up!, and we suspect the pastel cabin will be hard to keep clean if you regularly carry children.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
An R-Link infotainment screen is standard on the Zoe. It includes sat-nav, Bluetooth and downloadable apps, although it’s a little fiddly to use.
The key interface is a seven-inch touchscreen floating in a central binnacle that’s designed to look like the latest tablet PCs, and will already be familiar to Clio owners.
In the Zoe there’s an added level of functionality around the charging system. It works in sync with a phone app, which allows you to remotely control the battery charge scheduling and pre-set the cabin ambient temperature while the car is still hooked up to the grid – so you don’t waste precious battery power on cabin heat (or cooling) at the start of your journey.
In this review
- 1Renault ZOE reviewThe Renault ZOE is an electric supermini that's well suited to urban life
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt’s quick off the mark, and now has added range – although the Zoe runs out of puff on motorways
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsBattery lease costs are significant, but as a full recharge only costs around £3, you’ll still be laughing
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThere are plenty of gadgets and gizmos, but some systems are fiddly and quality could be improved
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLook beyond the limited range, and the all-electric ZOE is as practical as any other supermini on the market
- 6Reliability and SafetyElectric car offers lots of new tech, but guarantees mean you shouldn’t have to worry about the batteries at least…