By on 2023-11-10 -
Renault Zoe - Used
THE first Renault Zoe came out in 2012 and with a small 22kWh battery it had a claimed range of up to 93 miles which was very limiting for most.
But over the years range and performance have improved beyond all recognition, and so has charging speed.
The latest version is now a real alternative to petrol and diesel cars, with the powerful 52kWh battery giving a range of up to 245 miles - far more than 90 per cent of drivers are ever likely to need.
And because of the huge steps being made in technology, that much higher capacity battery fits into the same space as the original 22kWh one.
Using an Economy 7 overnight power supply, it costs just Â£5 to recharge - which has to be fantastic. That equates to running costs of just under 2.5 pence per mile.
It's also compatible with up to 50kW DC fast charging stations when on a longer journey, which will give you an 80 per cent charge in 1 hour 10 minutes.
That's not very fast by modern standards, and some models don't even have the 50Kw ability, so beware.
Not only is the battery more efficient, the electric motor produces an excellent 134bhp (100KW) of smooth and virtually noiseless power.
This gives it a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 9.1 seconds, and the top speed is limited - as it always has been - to 88 miles an hour.
Today's models have a B setting for the gear selector that effectively gives one pedal motoring. This uses regeneration when decelerating to slow the car down and send power back to the battery.
The driving position is excellent and living with the Zoe could not be easier. Like all electric cars, there is no need for a gearbox. The power surges right from a standstill to the maximum speed with no gaps or hesitation.
The latest powerful battery/motor combination really lives up to its promise, giving very good acceleration from rest, and when it's needed in the mid-range for overtaking.
Roadholding is also good with plenty of grip, but there is some body roll when pressed through corners.
The ride is good too, so that it takes rough town roads in its stride, and also handles poorly surfaced B-roads at speed.
But the power steering - which has a very useful tight turning circle - gives the driver little feedback and that's something most of us like.
The Zoe has always looked like a small car in photos, but the reality is surprisingly different, with very good rear headroom and decent space for knees - even if there's a lanky person driving.
The interior is pretty up-market, with quality plastics and fabrics plus a 10 inch digital instrument display that includes Renault's Easylink multi-media system that brings Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There's also an ‘always on' 4G internet connection.
Equipment in the mid-range Dynamique Nav also includes LED headlamps, cruise control, traction control, audio remote, climate control, alloys and sat nav.
Pay about Â£8,400 for an '18 18-reg Dynamique Nav, or Â£13,400 for a '20 20-reg GTLine.
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