Renault ZOE review: boot space, seating & practicality
The Renault ZOE is sufficiently spacious for supermini standards, but other EVs offer greater practicality
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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 flat and high-set, so adults might feel sorry for themselves on longer journeys, although kids will be fine. Split-folding rear seatbacks are standard and 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. Regardless, if you’re looking for a cheap electric car with good interior space, we recommend checking out the family hatchback-sized MG4 EV, which amazingly costs less than the ZOE.
Storage up front in the Renault is fine, with a glovebox, doorbins that’ll take a small bottle easily and a couple of fixed cupholders in the centre console. Door bins in the back give you somewhere to throw a bottle, but there’s only one map pocket in a blatant attempt at cost-cutting.
The 338-litre boot 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, 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. Ultimately, the bigger Nissan Leaf is usefully roomier, as is the MG ZS EV which offers family SUV practicality for around the same price as the supermini-sized ZOE. Even similarly-proportioned small electric cars like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa Electric 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.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe cutesy-looking Renault ZOE remains a solid small electric car pick thanks to its hi-tech cabin and strong range, although it’s missing several important safety and charging features
- 2Range & chargingThe Renault ZOE offers strong range for an electric supermini, however we wish it came with DC rapid charging a standard
- 3Running costs & insuranceAlthough more expensive to buy than a comparable petrol Renault Clio, the ZOE offers rock-bottom running costs
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Renault ZOE provides smooth and satisfactory performance, but offers little in the way of driver engagement
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Renault ZOE has a well-appointed interior and comes with a large array of standard equipment
- 6Boot space, seating & practicality - currently readingThe Renault ZOE is sufficiently spacious for supermini standards, but other EVs offer greater practicality
- 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