2014 Renault ZOE Review [Video]
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Renault have invested quite a lot of time and money on electric cars in recent years, no doubt pouncing on the fact that the electric car sector is finally beginning to mature and blossom, and the time and money is certainly well spent on the 2014 Renault Zoe. In the past, there’s been the Twizy, a fairly strange looking automobile that looks like something out of The Jetsons; the more refined ZE saloon, as well as the all-electric version of the Kangoo. But none can really hold a candle to the Renault Zoe, which beats them all with its impressive, smart looks, as well as its practicality. But will it be a success?
For Renault, it kinda has to. Sales need to increase dramatically if they’re to see a return on their €3 euro’s investment in electric cars. In this way, a lot of their hopes are firmly rested on consumers accepting the 2014 Renault Zoe, and trading in their petrol or diesel powered super mini’s for one. But is this going to happen? Will not the same old concerns of affordability, long charging times and a distinct lack of public charging points across the UK continue? Let’s find out.
Renault are well aware that consumers will need familiar surroundings when they climb into an electric car. After all, the change from petrol or diesel to electric for any seasoned driver is like stepping into a brave new world. For this reason, consumers don’t want to be met with alien surroundings, perhaps one of the reasons why the Twizy has been largely unsuccessful. Thankfully, Renault have got things right in the cockpit. It looks as normal as a fully-electric car possibly could. The 22kw lithium battery is hidden underneath floor, sitting between the front and rear seats, and if truth be told, the only real unnerving aspect is the deafening silence as you press the starter button. You may wonder whether the car is even ready.
Once you’re out of the traps, the 2014 Renault ZOE can reach 30mph in just 4 seconds. It flags soon afterwards, its 1.5 tonnes of kerb weight beginning to show its might as the vehicle manages 60mph in 13.5 seconds. The figures aren’t shameful by any means, and you certainly won’t feel out of place on British roads. The biggest concern consumers will have once they’re out there is whether they’ll run out of battery power to be left embarrassed by the roadside. Renault reckon a single battery charge can last somewhere between 62 miles and 93 in ‘everyday life’ conditions. These figures are dependent on mitigating factors, such as the time of the year, type of road and your driving style. The trick is to always be prepared and to calculate your distance in advance. In this way, you’ll be trouble free.
Consumers who decide to invest in an electric car might not wish to draw attention to themselves and the fact that they’re something of an adventurous, risk-taking early adopter. Coupled with the fact that consumers are generally put off by wackily designed cars that resemble spacecrafts, it’s imperative that an electric car looks, well, normal. A few decades or so ago, many of us might have pictured odd looking things when we were told about the tentative concept of the electric car. We might have pictured unorthodox, futuristic machines inspired by Forbidden Planet, but fortunately, if the French brand have got anything right with the 2014 Renault ZOE, it’s the design.
You can replace unorthodox with smart, and futuristic with stylish. The front end isn’t ruined by a gaping grill, owing to the fact that there isn’t an engine concealed beneath the bonnet, and for this reason the designers had the opportunity to develop and refine a smoother face. It is, in fact, perhaps the prettiest, most photogenic car that the company has ever come up with. Helped by the fact that the design is based on the fourth generation Clio, the French brand has simply had to imbue the ZOE with a bit of sparkle. With the addition of blue tinting on the rear windows and head lamps, as well as a seamlessly integrated charging socket at the front, the 2014 Renault ZOE looks as ordinary – and as fantastic – as could be.
The 2014 Renault ZOE price range starts at £14,000, which may seem reasonable enough, but it’s a price that can easily escalate depending on which variant the Renault Zoe offers you decide to go with. But the overall pricing structure is in line with petrol and diesel powered superminis that the Renault Zoe offers are attempting to rival. The cost will also further increase owing to a monthly battery lead agreement. This is because the fairly expensive battery pack isn’t actually included in the upfront price. The amount you pay each month for your battery pack will be depending on your expected annual mileage, as well as the length of ownership.
Still, this is obviously offset by the fact that you won’t be paying anything for fuel, with inflated fuel prices being a prime irritation faced by many drivers. Although the battery alternative has its obvious drawbacks – lack of frequent public charging points being one – it also has its pluses. It causes the car to be pretty much silent even when on the move, and allows the designers to be more creative with its style and looks.
If you want to get hold of the 2014 Renault Zoe, don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact page, or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out more about our 2014 Renault Zoe lease deals.