Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 Signature Test Drive Review

4 months ago by Mark Kane 14

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Renault had a big media event surrounding the new ZOE R90 Z.E. 40 (in Signature edition) last week, and Autocar attended and filed a report.

Thanks to the EV’s new 41 kWh battery (up from ~22 kWh) and a real world range of 186 miles (300 km), it’s widely expected that the ZOE will be now considered by a lot more consumers than ever before.

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

In fact, the range now exceeds any other mainstream, affordable all-electric car (this according to Renault); at least until the Bolt EV’s sister car – the Opel Ampera-E arrives in the Summer.

Autocar notes that the range estimates the car gives the driver were uncannily accurate on their trip – out by just a mile after 25 miles of travel, and almost on the button after a full long distance trip.

Driving experience is noted as acceptable, despite a 0-60 mph time of about 13 seconds.

The term used to describe acceleration was “peppy” under 40 mph, “perfect, then, for the stop-start nature of Lisbon’s packed inner-city streets.”  Above 40 mph, the car’s abilities fades significantly, which lead Autocar to state that “overtaking requires a little more planning” at speed…which is a nice way of saying ‘it kinda sucked’.

“Like the car it replaces, the R90 turns in keenly and stays flat while resisting understeer, thanks in part to a centre of gravity that’s lower than that of the latest Clio. Granted, it’s not as sharp as its petrol-powered sibling once the road becomes tight and twisty, but that’s to be expected of a car with a kerb weight of 1480kg.

That said, these cars are predominantly used as short-hop, urban-environment runabouts, a task at which the Zoe excels.”

Overall, the new Renault ZOE is considered a practical five-door hatchback for city driving, with a well-equipped interior, although the Signature edition didn’t impressed Autocar:

“Not everything has improved with this facelift, however. Renault now offers a new top-level Signature Nav trim, which should, in theory, bring the Zoe’s interior closer to that of the luxurious i3. But in reality, the leather upholstery, Bose sound system and brash bronze colour scheme does little to lift what is effectively a dated Clio cabin. We’d rather save our money and go for the more restrained Dynamique trim instead.”

As for should you buy one – the determination is ‘why not?’, at least if the original ZOE appealed to you in any way, or you drive predominently in the city, the added range is simply an extra bonus.

source: Autocar

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225 responses to "Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 Signature Test Drive Review"

  1. DKPowers says:

    I was surprised by how average the ZOE felt when I testdrove it. The cabin felt cheap, performance felt lousy for an EV and I hated the fact that one-pedal-driving wasn’t a possibility. It only has range and a popular size segment going for it and thus I cancelled my reservation for it. If the e-Up! had a similar sized battery, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    1. Seth says:

      I would consider the e-Up smaller over the Zoe. Regardless, I like hatcbacks in general (coming from a Peugeot 206).

      I really wish they would build one that looks like the current Clio, and then the break version which is so much more useful in daily life.

      1. John says:

        Peugeot 208 EV would be awesome 🙂

    2. trololo says:

      ZOE Z.E. 40 has 65 kW of engine power, compared to the 150 of the GM Bolt EV.

      As far as I know, there are only 3 EVs with less power:
      * VW e-up 2014: 60 kW
      * Smart Fortwo Electric Drive 2015: 55 kW
      * Mitsubishi i-MiEV 2014: 49 kW

      1. jimijonjack says:

        I wonder if the Bolt Is Bigger than Zoe

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          Renault Zoe ZE
          160″L x 68″W x 61.5″H
          101.9″ Wheelbase
          3270 lbs
          ?? passenger space
          11.94 CF, cargo space seats up
          43.26 CF, cargo space seats down

          Chevy Bolt
          164″L x 70″W x 63″H
          102.4″ Wheelbase
          3563 lbs
          94.4 CF passenger space
          16.9 CF, cargo space seats up
          56.6 CF, cargo space seats down

    3. Jason says:

      Wouldn’t the Zoe be considered a budget class car? I don’t think you can compare this car to a BMW class car, probably more like a Ford or Toyota?
      EV’s seem to command a higher price, based on supposed higher battery costs, so price cannot be used as an indicator of quality in this segment.

  2. Pete says:

    Love the Zoe, its a great car but the lack of diferent regen is really bit sad.

  3. James says:

    The regen is brake pedal controlled (up to 40kW)
    I don’t have a problem with it. Works well

  4. Nigel says:

    The deal breaker for me is the lack of decent fast recharging time to 80%. 65 minutes for the speedier offering is ridiculous. I’d rather have a lower range with 30 minutes to 80%.

    1. Jay C. says:

      It does have that option. It`s 30 minutes for 80% and 65 for a full charge, like the smaller range version.

  5. Martin Winlow says:

    It beggars belief that Renault have not gone with the ‘one pedal’-style regen setup that Tesla and Mitsubishi (the only 2 EV cars I have driven). Both achieve completely seamless and perfectly controllable +ve and -ve acceleration. Why *on Earth* would they think having to move your foot to another pedal to slow down would be better?

    1. Jason says:

      Do these companies even have user forums? I think Nissan will be the same, there are so many’little’improvements I could make to my Leaf, yet I doubt Nissan will do them. Renault sounds like it is the same.

      I’m not a Tesla fan boy, but you have to admit they seem to have an ability to listen to their customers and maximise the benefits these new EV’s can offer, rather than pumping out the same old features.

      1) car does not have to look goofy or futuristic, just give it nice styling like any other car
      2) don’t be scared to do things differently. One pedal driving (software selectable Regen rate) sounds awesome.

      Bolt appears to understand this, I hope Nissan can also break away from their traditional thinking and really make the Leaf 2.0 something special.

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