In-depth reviews

Renault ZOE reliability & safety rating

The 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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating rating

2.0 out of 5

Price
£29,395 - £33,895
Fuel Type:
Electric
Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
0 stars (2021)43%52%14%

As a small and simple electric car, the Renault ZOE should be a byword for reliability and there have been no major problems reported with either the first or second-generation models. But while the original incarnation managed a five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash-testing back in 2013, the latest model received a worrying zero stars when tested against the latest criteria in late 2021.

Renault ZOE reliability & problems

The ZOE has proven to be a reliable car. The previous-generation model was the highest-placed Renault in the most recent Driver Power owner satisfaction survey – finishing 37th in the top 75 car rundown. Owners praised the car's handling, running costs and powertrain. Electric cars are typically very reliable, since they have far fewer moving parts than a combustion engine. 

In December 2019, Renault increased the duration of its standard manufacturer warranty from four to five years, with a 100,000-mile limit in years three to five, but no mileage limit within the first two years. This is a strong statement of confidence in its product, and bettered only by Kia and MG's seven-year guarantees.

Safety

The latest ZOE wasn't crash-tested by Euro NCAP at the time of its launch in late 2019, but when the organisation did put the car through its evaluation in late 2021, it was so concerned by its poor performance that it issued a rare 'zero-star' rating.

Euro NCAP said: "testing has revealed some eye-opening results from the crash test dummies used to simulate real-life impact scenarios. In the frontal offset crash, the results were rated as 'poor', due to weak protection for the chest area of the driver side dummy specifically. But it was the severe side pole test that revealed the most drastic results, with the driver’s head directly impacting the intruding pole."

The poor result was attributed to the absence of a head-protection airbag, as well as the the fact that lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking aren't standard across the ZOE range. Renault responded by making these items standard on all cars produced from 24 January 2022 onwards.

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