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In-depth reviews

Renault ZOE review - Reliability and Safety

Electric car offers lots of new tech, but guarantees mean you shouldn’t have to worry about the batteries at least…

Renault uses the latest Clio platform for the Zoe and builds it alongside its more conventional stablemate in Flins, France. The electric model also shares battery tech with the Nissan Leaf. But with 60 new patents, this car is the most advanced EV we’ve seen so far from Renault.

The battery and electric motor technology has been rigorously tested, although drivers still worried about its longevity have the option of the leasing package. This means you get a replacement battery as soon as performance deteriorates below 75 per cent.

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Our sister magazine Carbuyer is clearly impressed with the Zoe, naming it the ‘Best Small Company Car’ 2018.

Safety shouldn’t be too much of a concern. The Zoe features six airbags and parking sensors, as well as ESC stability control, ASR traction control, CSV understeer control and Hill Start Assist. All of this helped the car achieve a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

In case you’re worried about the possible safety implications of the 400V battery pack going wrong or becoming damaged in an accident, Renault says it covered most eventualities during its rigorous test programme. This included submerging the battery under water, firing nails into the casing and setting it on fire.

Warranty

The leasing programme guarantees Zoe drivers a new battery if it falls under 75 per cent efficiency, but what if you’ve bought your car with its battery outright?

In that case, there’s a specific guarantee on the battery that provides five years or 62,000 miles of cover. If the unit falls beneath 70 per cent efficiency in that period, you’re eligible for a new one.

The warranty cover on the rest of the Zoe is a little more complicated, but basically Renault offers three years and 100,000 miles of protection on the ‘base vehicle’, and five years or 100,000 miles on the electric powertrain. Anti-corrosion cover is 12 years and paintwork is warranted for three years.

Servicing

Nearly 140 dealers in the UK are equipped and trained to service Renault electric vehicles. Plus, to help keep costs down, the Zoe is offered with a fixed-price service plan providing two years and 20,000 miles of maintenance for £169, or three years and 30,000 miles for £389. Inspections are required annually, or every 18,000 miles.

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