2015 Renault Zoe Tested: Electric Cars Are Great, But Range Is Still a Problem

2015 Renault Zoe 1 photo
Photo: Florin Profir
We loved almost everything about the 2015 Renault Zoe, which surprised us. The French EV is a very pleasant place to be, as the ambiance of the cabin is relaxed and comforting.
There's only a little noise coming into the cabin, which is only partly because the internal combustion engine is gone. Renault engineers have stuck soundproofing and rubber seals everywhere, including on the inner edges of the doors. The result is a zen-like atmosphere that very few cars achieve.

You might be tempted to think that a car with 88 horsepower that weighs nearly 1.5 tons is very slow. However, the 2015 Zoe is great off the line up to about 50 kilometers per hour. It has decent punch and the capacity to break traction, almost comparable to that of a cheap hot hatch.

There are a few problems with the interior, like the fact that the dash is reflected onto the windscreen. However, true fans of the Renault brand will recognize how lovely the steering is in both driving feel and quality. Some of the plastics used for the doors and dash are cheap, but this EV costs from €20,700, so that is expected.

What surprised us is the size of the boot. Because there's no exhaust system or spare wheel, you can fill the Zoe with as much luggage as a Ford Focus, maybe more. Headroom is good too, though above-average tall people will not be comfortable in the back.

The only thing still holding EVs back is the battery technology, we discovered during our review. The lithium packs in the car weigh 290 kilograms (640 lbs), but the energy they store could have come from just 10 liters of diesel, even less in the real world. To find out under which circumstances should you consider buying such a car, read or 2015 Renault Zoe review.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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