Renault Zoé is TechVehi approved !13 March 2013
The highly anticipated Renault Zoé initially promised for the end of 2012, will land in showrooms in March and its first commercial "simply revolutionary" is running at full capacity on the French TV.
So should you fall for its mug adorable looks and attractive price - from € 20.700 before grants?
We had already discovered all the technologies it features during the innovation days, especially its smart braking and heat pump to name them only... It is now time to get our hands on one!
His final lines are known since the 2012 Geneva Auto Show! Measuring a little more than 4m in length, it comfortably accommodates 5 people and can easily find places (distance indicators and reverse camera also help you in this task) while offering a trunk thanks to a battery placed in the floor.
Interior, comfort and connectivity on board
High-tech and clean, we like the ergonomics of the steering wheel (adjustable in height and depth), as well as the driving position. The seats contribute greatly to the comfort.
Air ionizer and aroma diffuser help to relax, which works quite well with the help of Portuguese background.
R-Link is intuitive and fast as a tablet.
Featuring the TomTom Live technology, you can download various applications depending on your needs, also note the "Text to speech" function that can read your news or mail.
Via your Smartphone and a dedicated application, you can also monitor battery level remotely.
Driving Eco2 - autonomy - and Eco Mode
If you manage to be and stay wise – in the ECO mode - you can quickly achieve good grades at the Driving Eco2 - on the coast road from Lisbon to Cascais, a (half) fast way limited to 70kph and littered with traffic lights we got 99 out of 100, with an average consumption of 12.3kWh/100km which would allow the car a range of almost 180km with its 22kWh battery.
In Eco Mode the maximum speed is limited to 80kph but a strong push on the accelerator will exit this mode.
If you don’t manage to remain gentle with the throttle, the electric motor’s power (88hp and 220nm) lower your range to 130km in real life conditions.
Handling and driveability
At low speed the acceleration is impressive but seems less vigorous recovery at higher speeds.
Soundproofing: rolling and drivetrain noises are well managed, even the artificial noise “ZE Voice” available from 1 to 30kph to warn pedestrians remains discreet.
Braking and one downside.. it will require some adjustments from the driver, in use, the pedal seems slightly spongy and the transition between the electric motor braking and mechanical braking is a little too direct.
Weight distribution: the battery is placed in a center-rear position and provides good handling with almost no body roll, helped by a good ESC as evidenced by the Euro NCAP.
Zoé drives and behaves like a normal car but without noise, vibrations or smell, the only shadow on the picture is the recharging: the new chameleon charger adapts to various powers from 3kW to 43kW but requires a WallBox (specific Renault charger) minimum!
In 43kW charging to 80% only lasts 30 minutes and thanks to the feedbacks, the charging plug is now secured, impossible to detach it without the keys of the car!
Its distinctive design is instantly recognizable and that’s better because when you’re driving an electric car you want it to be seen...
The Renault Zoé is the best price / performance ratio at the moment so we wish it a great career full of WALLBOX. It has a real potential to democratize the electric car whose development (in sales) is still quiet ... Until now at a similar price you could only have much less achieved or comfortable electric cars.