ZOE AND ME
Last week, I had the opportunity to test-drive the all-electric New Renault Zoe. I know I am no Rosemary Smith (one of the brand ambassadors) so I was pretty chuffed when Renault asked me if I would like to put it through its paces.
Those who know me know that I prefer to be driven than to drive (Graham often calls me Miss Daisy) and that I am perhaps a little nervous behind the wheel. That said, I was immediately at ease getting into the Zoe as I have only driven automatics for the past 12 years and am comfortable with them.
Over the course of the five days, I drove the car through the city and to Howth and Skerries.
What I love about the new Renault Zoe
I’m no motoring correspondent (I’ll leave it to GG to add a few techie bits later!) but this was a most pleasant experience.
- The seating was body-hugging comfortable: important for me as I have a lot of back issues.
- The dashboard was easy to read and a nice size.
- The reversing camera was far clearer than the one in our own SUV.
- Loved the automatic locking too. I often have to be reminded to lock ours.
- I am a hesitant ‘overtaker’ normally, but the super-fast acceleration made it easy and stress-free.
- It was so easy to park. Yes, I am that woman who drives around the shopping centre until I find a big parking space. But not this time. This little beauty fits into the tightest spaces.
You can see I took my accessorising seriously in the photos. We had a walk around the lovely seaside town of Skerries, so I was wearing my much loved PEACHYLEAN leggings and a black Kyodan jacket. In the photo below, I was admiring the lovely paintwork; the sun was making it glisten and sparkle. I am that shallow when it comes to cars.
Well, hello. How do I look in my car?
The driving range between battery charges is 395km and the usage is clearly displayed on the screen so no excuses for running out of power. We weren’t going to use the full amount, but decided to try the charging process anyway and even I found it simple to use. And I hate putting petrol in cars.
It’s described as a ‘city car’ and it certainly was nippy around town. It’s probably fair to say it’s more a woman’s car than a man’s and it ticked a lot of boxes for me, if I was in the market for a second car.
It is a very attractive car visually, with distinctive curves, ultra-modern headlights and very natty alloy wheels among its features. I was impressed to discover that the boot could accommodate my golf clubs (well, with the exception of my driver!)
I’m no expert but I’ve always had an interest in cars. I reckon I’ve owned about 18 in my lifetime and driven even more and in my professional career was involved in promoting some of the biggest motor brands.
I had once been a passenger in an all-electric car but had never actually driven one until the Zoe and the hype about the rate of acceleration was fully justified. This little car goes from 0 to 60 faster than more powerful motors and because it’s such a smooth ride, it’s very easy to find yourself exceeding the speed limit before you know it! I did have to be told by Hilda to slow down. But then, this is the woman who once drove my 2-litre Mercedes so slowly on a motorway that we were overtaken by a Fiat Panda!
For a small car, the road-holding was very impressive as it handled cornering effortlessly and ‘B Mode’ on the neat gear lever is a clever feature that increases deceleration in city or slow-moving traffic, meaning less brake pedal use. On the motorway, a Lane Assist facility tightened up the steering to ensure you didn’t make any sudden lane-changing moves and a small flashing light on the outer edge of the wing mirror alerts the driver to traffic about to overtake you – nice safety feature.
Space is a bit limited for back seat passengers – I wouldn’t want to be in the back for a long trip – but it is a very comfortable driving position, information is easily at hand on the large tablet screen on the dashboard and it’s a good looker too…what’s not to like?
I may not be Rosemary Smith but we do have one thing in common. We both like the New Renault Zoe and it came as no surprise to learn it is Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle.
Price from €26,469 that includes VRT relief and a SEAI grant. Reasonably priced for a car that offers so much and which costs a fraction to run over petrol or diesel cars. Test driving the New Zoe is available through Renault’s 29 dealer network around Ireland.