In-depth reviews

Renault ZOE hatchback - Reliability & safety

The Renault ZOE’s five-star safety score is no longer applicable but the simple electric drivetrain bodes well

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

2.0 out of 5

Renault came 20th out of 29 manufacturers in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, a five-place drop on 2020. Customers praised low running costs, refinement and handling, but were less impressed with seat comfort and storage space. Just over 16% of Renault owners reported a fault within the first 12 months of ownership, which is roughly average. ZOE owners have previously reported high levels of satisfaction.

Renault ZOE reliability

Making its debut in the Driver Power owner satisfaction survey in 2015, the ZOE placed fifth and went on to improve this to a remarkable second place out of 150 cars surveyed in 2016. In 2020, the ZOE came 37th out of 75 models, with transmission issues contributing to a higher than expected 23.5% of ZOE owners reporting a fault. The ZOE also won praise for its low day-to-day running costs, but owners felt that servicing costs were expensive.

Safety

Safety is a grey area now. When it was launched in 2013, the ZOE picked up the maximum five-star score from Euro NCAP, and performed well when assessed for adult and child occupant protection, while its safety assistance systems were also praised. However, the ZOE was retested in 2021 and its new zero-star safety rating was certainly a shock. It’s not clear why Renault has removed the car’s head airbags but these were highlighted in the side-impact crash test and seem to be the major reason why the ZOE has been scored so poorly.

In the face of near-constant technological advances when it comes to safety and driver assistance, Euro NCAP often changes the criteria required to score five stars. It’s strange that a car can go from the maximum safety rating to the worst possible one in just eight years. Among the must-have features are autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning; the former is standard and the latter is added to Iconic and GT Edition trims, so the ZOE isn’t unsafe in front impact collisions. The Iconic trim also adds parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, auto high beam and speed limit awareness.

Renault doesn’t only try to keep occupants safe – all models feature ‘Z.E Voice’, which generates a quiet yet noticeable sound to warn pedestrians of the ZOE’s presence.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    80kW Play R110 50kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £29,395

Most Economical

  • Name
    80kW Iconic R110 50kWh Rapid Charge 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £31,895

Fastest

  • Name
    100kW Iconic R135 50kWh Rapid Charge 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £32,395

Recommended

Top 10 best used small cars 2022
Ford Fiesta Mk7
Best cars
14 Jan 2022

Top 10 best used small cars 2022

Top 10 best small electric cars 2022
Peugeot e-208
Best cars
15 Dec 2021

Top 10 best small electric cars 2022

Renault ZOE hatchback review
Best Small Electric Car: Renault ZOE
Renault ZOE
8 Dec 2021

Renault ZOE hatchback review

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross facelift gets bold styling makeover
Citroen C5 Aircross facelift
Citroen C5 Aircross
12 Jan 2022

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross facelift gets bold styling makeover

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
15 Dec 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022