You sit a bit higher than the modern supermini norm in the Zoe and there’s no base height adjustment on the seat. You get a decent range of adjustment on the steering column, though, as well as competitive headroom and legroom and decent cushioning under your backside. 

Most of the cabin architecture is derived from the Clio’s, with the fascia plastics given a dash of lighter colour for a point of difference. The R-Link multimedia system’s seven-inch touchscreen in particular reminds you of Clio, as does the shape of the steering wheel, the air vents and the centre console. Does a special car like an EV deserve a more special ambience? Maybe.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
We'd recommend going for the basic Expression models of the Zoe

In front of the driver, in lieu of normal instrument dials, is a thin TFT colour display showing remaining battery life and range, a digital speedometer and the usual trip computer functions. It’s all very intelligible and there are colour graphics to tell you when the battery is regenerating or discharging.

Farther back, there are fewer packaging compromises than EV early adopters might be used to. The 338-litre boot is deep and can be enlarged by flopping down the one-piece rear seatback. Passenger space in the second row is also very competitive. In terms of space, the Zoe is as usable as any supermini.

There’s a hint of apparent cheapness in one or two places, though. The way that the doors ping as they close and the thin, loose boot lining seem unwelcome vestiges of an attempt to cut cost or weight. Or both.

As for the standard equipment level, there are three to choose from Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav. The entry-level models get 15in steel wheels, cruise control, climate control, and a Chameleon charger, alongside Renault's R-Link infotainment system complete with 7.0in touchscreen display, TomTom sat nav, USB connectivity and Bluetooth. 

Upgrade to Dynamique Nav and you'll find 16in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and go, DAB tuner, rear parking sensors and a 41kWh battery, while the range-topping Signature Nav adds numerous bronze accents, electronically folding door mirrors, reversing camera, heated front seats and a Bose sound system to the alredy burgeoning package.

We’d also welcome a neater storage solution for the car’s charging cable than a simple cloth bag – such as the Chevrolet Volt’s smart underfloor recess. 

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?