Renault ZOE practicality & boot space

The Renault ZOE’s rear seats aren't the most comfortable in the class, but they’re good enough for shorter journeys, while the boot is usefully deep and has dedicated cable storage

The ZOE is fit for purpose when it comes to space and practicality in the small-car class. It can seat three (at a squeeze) on the rear bench, although the seat is quite flat and high-set, so adults might feel a bit sorry for themselves on longer journeys, although kids will be fine.

It’s a shame you have to go for mid-range Iconic to get split-folding rear seatbacks (it’s a single-piece folding rear seat in the entry-level car). The 338-litre boot is a decent size, although it's fairly short and deep, so chunky items may be tricky to fit in. The cable storage area under the floor is welcome.

Renault ZOE interior space, storage & comfort

There’s enough room in the ZOE that most adults will be comfortable for shorter trips, but taller people might feel a little hemmed-in. The lack of a central armrest in the back and a fairly flat rear bench also leaves you in no doubt this is still a city car at heart.

For all that, the standard five-door body gives reasonable access to those rear seats, and two kids or two chunky car seats will fit comfortably in the back. You can squeeze a third child in the middle, but they won’t want to be there for too long.

Storage up front is fine, with a glovebox, doorbins that’ll take a small bottle easily and a couple of fixed cupholders in the centre console. Door pockets in the back also give you somewhere to throw a bottle, but there’s only one map pocket.

Boot space

The 338-litre boot capacity is a good size for a small, Fiesta-sized car like the ZOE. A chunky buggy will take up most of the fairly short, deep boot space, and there’s quite a high load lip to lug it over, but you'll get it in there without having to drop the rear seats.

If you do think you’ll carry longer items regularly, make sure you go for Iconic trim or above, as the entry-level Play model misses out on the 60:40 split-folding rear seats that allow you to fold a portion of the seatback down to carry a large item as well as a single rear passenger.

The entry-level ZOE Play has a single-piece seatback that folds down. Ultimately, the bigger Nissan Leaf is usefully roomier (if also more expensive), while the MG ZS EV SUV is similarly priced, with a shorter driving range but also a more practical interior.

Even comparable small electric cars like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e are a bit more comfortable than the ZOE for rear-seat passengers, but the Renault is more than spacious and practical enough by small-car standards.