Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a Renault Zoe?

Renault is rightly proud of its stance as an early adopter to the idea of the mainstream electric car – something that felt like a pipedream for many years, available only to off-grid types who make their own shoes and live in a windmill.

Here is a hatchback that, for urban use, will be virtually indistinguishable from a conventional fossil-fuelled car. If anything it’s more practical than an internal combustion engine that requires taking to the fuel station. When you wake up in the morning your Zoe will be fully charged and the cabin preconditioned to a comfortable temperature.

A generous 52kWh battery gives ample range for the sort of short, sub-50mph journeys the Zoe's perfect for - you could do a month of urban commuting without charging, though it means the little car's heavier than it needs to be for typical users.

It makes the most sense in lowest-power, entry-level form, where that upgraded quality and impressive range match a soft ride and competitive price.

Yes, you need to plug it in, but considering the now constant need to find a charger for everything from your smartphone to your Dyson vacuum cleaner, the fact you don’t have to do the same with your car is becoming increasingly weird.

Enhancements in 2019 helped the Zoe’s level of desirability too, with a much nicer interior design and the availability of a faster motor and 50kW fast DC charging for those who want to venture beyond the standard 250-ish miles of range. These improvements were reflected in a big boost to residual values.

It’s quite practical too, with a large boot (when you consider the compact size of the car) and the option at least to invite four friends along for the ride. We’d recommend you prioritise the front seat for taller guests, but for short journeys the Zoe is a usable five adult-seater.

The only slight let down is the fact it’s not exactly the last word in handling prowess. But in a lot of ways that’s no bad thing – it holds the road well enough and inspires confidence in bends, but not so much that you want to drive it flat out (or with a flat battery), all the time.

If you want an electric car and your budget doesn’t stretch to a Tesla, say hello to your next set of wheels.

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