In-depth reviews

Renault Zoe - Interior, design and technology

Rivals feel much better built than the Zoe, whose infotainment system is well behind the curve now too

Renault ZOE - front cornering
Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

2.0 out of 5

Price
£29,995 to £31,995
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Renault says the Zoe was designed “from the ground up” as an electric car, although it has been developed on the platform used by the Renault Clio, as well as the Nissan Note

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.

There are now just two trim levels for the Zoe – Techno and Iconic – the only difference being pricier models get 17-inch alloy wheels and 50kW rapid charging as standard. Glacier White is the standard paint colour, with another six hues on the options list. Specifying one of the metallic colours will cost either £600 or £700.

Inside, the interior borrows heavily from the latest Clio and Captur, making use of soft-touch plastics along the dashboard, but instead of conventional dials, the Zoe features a 10-inch digital driver’s display that shows your range and speed, as well as graphics telling you whether the regenerative systems are pumping energy back into the battery, or discharging it.

Renault has tried to create a modern, minimalist feel with lots of light-coloured trim, but has stuck with rotary dials for the climate controls and physical buttons on the dash and steering wheel so everything is easy to find and control on the move. The result is a very functional cabin that lacks the flair or premium quality of rivals like the Peugeot e-208. The material and build quality doesn’t match the Zoe’s roughly £30,000 starting price either, which will turn some buyers off if their shortlist also includes the MG4 EV, Nissan Leaf or e-208.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Zoe used to be fitted with either a seven- or 9.3-inch portrait central touchscreen depending on which specification you went for, but now all models feature the larger display running Renault’s EasyLink infotainment system. The graphics are sharp enough and the menus are relatively easy to navigate, but the screen isn’t the most responsive we’ve seen in this class of EVs. Luckily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are standard across the line-up, as is sat-nav.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    80kW Play R110 50kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £26,695

Most Economical

  • Name
    80kW iconic R110 50kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £28,340

Fastest

  • Name
    100kW Techno R135 50kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £29,240
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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