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In-depth reviews

Renault ZOE review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Look beyond the limited range, and the all-electric ZOE is as practical as any other supermini on the market

As a full five-seater with a 338-litre boot (that’s 38 litres more than in a Clio), the Zoe is a better choice than the Volkswagen e-up! if you regularly carry passengers and luggage. In fact, the packaging is so impressive that the car’s accommodation is pretty much a match for any supermini out there.

The Zoe doesn't come as standard with a traditional three-pin home charging socket, so buyers planning occasional longer trips away from home will need to fork out for it on the options list. At least Renault will fit a home wall charger for free if you’ve got a driveway or garage.

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Failing that, the company offers a 25 per cent discount on renting a conventional petrol or diesel car from Enterprise, should you wish to drive further afield.

Size

The Zoe is based on the same platform as the Renault Clio. But while it’s the same width and wheelbase, it’s longer and over 10cm taller – a result of packaging the battery under the back seats. The slightly bulbous exterior styling means the Zoe seems huge when parked next to the Volkswagen up!, although you don’t get that same impression once you’re in the driver’s seat, and the Renault feels compact on the road.

The only slight quirk is that the seating position feels a little too high – again as a result of the need to place the seats on the top of the battery pack.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

There’s a decent amount of space in the Zoe for five occupants, and the rear seats will even accommodate six-footers on a short journey. However, the upright seating position means they may not be terribly comfortable for long. The driver’s seat is not adjustable for height (because of the position of the batteries), and although the steering wheel moves for reach and rake, some drivers have reported that it’s difficult to find the ideal seating position.

Boot

The rear seats don’t split when they fold down, and the location of the batteries beneath them means you don’t get a flat load area. Even so, there’s more boot space in the Zoe than in an equivalent five-door Clio – because of its extra length, the electric Renault offers 38 extra litres of luggage capacity, at 338 litres, and this expands to 1,225 litres with the rear seats folded. There’s also a lower loading lip that improves access.

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