Renault ZOE interior, dashboard & comfort
Generous kit, a smart-looking touchscreen, clean dashboard design and tactile, sustainable materials make the Renault ZOE's interior much better than before
The Renault ZOE has always had a functional, inoffensive interior, but it now has a much more appealing, tactile finish and feels more grown up. A large, portrait-mounted touchscreen is the focal point for the interface and offers a straightforward, well equipped portal to all your navigation and media needs, while a standard, fully digital driver’s readout looks great and feels impressively high-tech. On the downside, the driving position could be better: the seat bolsters are fairly soft and don’t offer much support and there's no height adjustment, or powered seat adjustment. Even so, most drivers will find it easy enough to get comfortable, and visibility is good all round.
Renault ZOE dashboard
It’s well worth going for mid-range Iconic trim or above in the ZOE for many reasons, but chief among them is the chunky textile material that lines the dashboard, doors and seats. It looks and feels great, lifting the whole interior ambience. Given that it’s also made from recycled seatbelt material, it eases your conscience, too – as does the thought that there are recycled plastic bottles used to make other materials in the smart-looking interior.
The digital driver’s dials are standard across the range and are a really neat touch that adds colour and interest to the driver’s environment as well as delivering easy-to-see, configurable graphics with all the relevant information clearly displayed.
Equipment, options and accessories
All ZOE models include automatic wipers and LED headlights, the 10-inch digital driver’s readout, keyless entry, cruise control, electric front windows and air-conditioning. Mid-range Iconic gets climate control (which will maintain a specific temperature rather than simply blowing hot or cold air), wireless phone charging, 100% recycled seat upholstery, all-round electric windows, rear parking sensors, a wheel upgrade from 15 to 16-inch alloys and a suite of safety aids.
Iconic also brings the option to upgrade that standard seven-inch touchscreen to the 9.3-inch version, and you have to go for this trim or higher to get the R135 motor and CCS rapid charging. Top-spec GT Line is only available with the R135 motor, and also adds the 9.3-inch touchscreen, front parking sensors and reversing camera, blind-spot warning and the very nice leatherette and recycled cloth upholstery.
In December 2020 a new Venture Edition was added to the range, based on entry-level Play trim but with some commonly specified options included. These include climate control, electric windows and sat-nav. Body-coloured mirrors are also included, but more important is the addition of automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and other useful safety features.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
We haven’t tried the standard seven-inch touchscreen that you get in the bottom two ZOE trim levels, but the software is the same across the range and delivers fairly straightforward menu layouts and a navigation system with public charger search function. DAB radio, USB inputs in the front and back of the car, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included, too.
It can be hard to find some basic functions, such as turning off the navigation announcements, but otherwise the key menus are easy to find and understand and – on the top-spec 9.3-inch screen – the icons are easy to hit precisely and respond quickly. The graphics are a little basic by the standards of the systems you get in some rivals, but they’re easy to see even in bright sunlight. Renault also offers a ‘MY Renault’ app, which allows you to plan routes in advance and send them to the car, as well as to set charging parameters and pre-heat or cool the car ready for when you expect to leave.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe current Renault ZOE has a better interior and longer range than the original – but a low safety score comes as a surprise
- 2Range & chargingThe ZOE is hard to fault here, given that it has one of the best ranges in its class, although standard rapid charging would be welcome
- 3Running costs & insuranceA relatively low price, impressive efficiency and strong residual values bode well for the Renault ZOE here
- 4Performance, motor & driveTidy, grippy and uncomplicated handling make the Renault ZOE an easygoing, confidence-inspiring car in or out of town
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingGenerous kit, a smart-looking touchscreen, clean dashboard design and tactile, sustainable materials make the Renault ZOE's interior much better than before
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe 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
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe ZOE has sold in big numbers and proved to be reliable, but a zero-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in late 2021 came as a shock