Renault ZOE electric motor, drive & performance

In faster R110 form, and with Eco mode switched off, the ZOE has a zippy turn of pace

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
11.9 secs 84mph Front-wheel-drive 109bhp

The R110 ZOE is usefully faster than the Q90 Quick Charge ZOE above 50mph, but both are nippy around town – especially if you turn off Eco mode.

Renault ZOE electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration

The 107bhp R110 is the faster of the two ZOE models, with 16bhp more than the Q90 and a 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds compared to the Q90’s 13.2 seconds. However, it's worth noting that 0-30mph is much closer between the two – 3.9 seconds for the R110 and 4.1 seconds for the Q90 – so the majority of performance is lost at higher speeds.

The ZOE defaults to an Eco mode every time you start it, which most of the time is absolutely fine, but it does rather neuter the acceleration so the car feels quite slow (even the R110) if you want to make a quick getaway into traffic. Switch Eco off and your range will suffer, but the throttle response and acceleration from a standstill feel sharper and more immediate.

The regenerative brakes in the ZOE can feel a little abrupt at first, but you get used to it. This is just as well, as you can’t alter the strength of regeneration as you can in a VW e-Golf.

Overall, while the ZOE is no hellraiser, it's a cinch to drive around town, with light, intuitive controls and great refinement as well.

Handling

The ZOE's large batteries make it much heavier than a Renault Clio – by some 400kg, no less – and that results in more lean through corners. Even so, the steering response is predictable, there’s enough grip to feel secure, and the ZOE proves generally calm and relaxing. The ride is a bit bouncy at times but it’s well damped enough that it doesn’t get uncomfortable.