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The new Renault 5 is here! EV supermini packs 249-mile range and retro looks

The famous French nameplate is reinvented for the EV age with a focus on affordability and retro charm

  • 249 miles of range
  • Retro-inspired styling
  • Expected to cost from £25k

It wasn’t so long ago that we were charmed by the looks of the Renault 5 concept car, but now that the production model has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the same car. With retro-futuristic styling sitting on an all-new electric platform, the Renault 5 E-Tech promises to deliver affordable motoring to the masses, just as its namesake did five decades ago – this time with an EV twist.

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The small electric car market is shaping up to be a fierce arena, with the likes of the Citroen e-C3, Peugeot E-208 and Fiat 500 all competing to offer the best technology at the most affordable price. Renault’s entry certainly looks the part, and the performance and range appear to back up the style, along with the price tag that’s expected to start at around £25,000.

The French brand has suggested that the new electric hatchback could be sticking around for a while, too. Unlike most new cars, which typically have a seven-year lifespan with a facelift somewhere in the middle, the Renault 5 could be on the market for up to 15 years, according to CEO Luca de Meo.

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That’s not to say the 5 won’t be updated – Renault plans to continually evolve the tech and improve efficiency on a yearly basis – but those retro looks are here to stay.

What does the Renault 5 look like?

It’s clear that Renault has pulled out all the stops for the styling of its latest EV, managing to squeeze as much charm from the concept car into the production-ready model. The 2024 Renault 5 draws on the original 1972 Renault 5 for its small-yet-boxy proportions and simple, geometric styling details.

It’s just 3,920mm long, placing it between a typical city car and supermini in terms of size, with its 18-inch alloy wheels pushed right to the extremities of the car, helping to increase interior space for passengers. All models come with five doors, with the rear-most handles neatly integrated into the window frames, much like its Renault Clio sibling. 

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Despite the lack of a combustion engine, Renault’s designers felt the original car’s bonnet vent was a styling cue worth carrying over to the new model. No longer a vent, it has been reinvented for the modern age as a small digital display to indicate the battery charge level in the shape of a ‘5’. Other unusual touches include the square LED running lights up front and the ‘5’ decals behind the front wheels, as well as the red trim detail that runs from the base of the wing mirror along the roofline.

What about the Renault 5’s interior?

The inside of the Renault 5 feels equally as stylish as the outside. Buyers will be able to choose from a range of recycled upholstery materials, including denim or yellow fabric to match this car’s exterior paintwork. All cars come with a central 10-inch infotainment touchscreen alongside a digital driver’s display (seven inches for base cars, 10 inches for the rest of the range). The H-shaped pattern on the seats is a neat touch inspired by the 1970s 5, and the quilted headliner, rear seat ‘5’ emblems and contrast stitching help to further elevate up the interior ambience.

When we sat in a production-ready car, cabin materials felt on par with the Clio hatchback, although it wasn’t quite as spacious – the Clio is 90mm longer. There’s a 326-litre boot with a handy storage space under the floor, ideal for charging cables.

What are the specs of the Renault 5?

An electric car’s styling is irrelevant if the hardware underneath isn’t up to scratch. From what we know so far, the Renault 5 looks to be just as competitive as its rivals, with a choice of two batteries. The smaller is a 40kWh unit, paired to either a 94bhp or 121bhp motor, although UK customers are likely to be offered only the latter.

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The first cars will be launched with a larger battery, a 52kWh pack powering a 148bhp motor – good for motivating the 5 from 0 to 62mph in under eight seconds. Official range figures will be revealed in due course, but Renault has claimed that the smaller battery could manage around 186 miles, while the larger could go as far as 249 miles. Both batteries can be rapid-charged from 15-80% in under 30 minutes and all UK cars are expected to be fitted with a heat pump as standard, helping to improve range in cold conditions.

One feature that will be missing at launch is one-pedal driving, a common EV technology that uses the electric motor to slow the car down instead of the mechanical brakes. It will be fitted to Renault 5 models a few months after launch, although it’s unclear whether the first examples will be able to have the system retrofitted. 

In order to reduce production costs and keep that starting price competitive, Renault has looked to its other models and borrowed components where necessary. The platform uses a mix of Clio and Captur parts, as well as some components from the Dacia Duster’s rear suspension.

How much will the Renault 5 cost and when can I order one?

UK-specific pricing is still to be revealed, but Renault has confirmed that French-spec models with the 94bhp motor will start from €25,000. UK buyers will be offered the Renault 5 E-Tech in three trim levels – Evolution, Techno, Iconic Cinq – each bringing a different level of equipment at a different price point. We expect Evolution models to start from around £25,000 when they reach our shores in Autumn.

Read our list of the best small electric cars to see what the Renault 5 is up against...

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