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Renault Zoe test drive
Since more and more thoughts are floating towards electric car ownership, booking some test drives in the potential suspects made sense. 
So on Saturday 1st July (can't believe it's July already!) Ryan and I ventured to a Renault dealer in Solihull to have a go in the Zoe. The model available for rides was Z.E. 40 Dynamique Nav R90 

The salesman kindly gave us the car and let us get lost for 2h. Unfortunately, due to some company policy only I was allowed to drive it (#sorrynotsorry Ryan). 

The battery was telling us it's got 150 miles ready to be driven so off we went. As the plan is to replace our current 2.5l turbo petrol car with something electric, we decided to put the Zoe on our usual commuting routes. Of course the data would be slightly inaccurate as on Saturday mornings roads are calmer. 
From Solihull we took to M42 and M40 J12 which is about 24.5 miles, however the battery range dropped to 103 miles. I was liberal with the right pedal use though, driving the car similar style that I do with the petrol car (within the legal speed limit range of course!). Further we went from M40 J12 to Wellesbourne using back roads, this leg of the journey is around 8 miles, but I managed to get to Wellesbourne with 106 miles in the battery still remaining. Having some small test ride circuits around Wellesbourne, we then set off to Redditch using the usual back road route that adds to 19 miles. I parked outside our house with 86 miles still in the tank, so this bit of the journey was matching the discharge algorithm. The last bit of our journey went from Redditch back to Renault dealer using M42. My plan for the last leg was to get the range as low as I could. The length of the last bit is 17 miles. Using aggressive acceleration and braking strategy the range dropped to 66 by the time we got to M42 J4 and left the motorway, however for the rest of the non-motorway journey, filled with countless roundabouts, the range kept fluctuating between 66 and 67 miles. I got well annoyed by not being able to get those numbers down! 

We didn't have a chance to try charging the car, so cannot comment on that.  Confused
When I jumped in the car the energy data showed 3.75 m/kWh, with the usual driving style I still managed to give the car back at 4.23 m/kWh. I enjoyed seeing the little dash animations of acceleration and regeneration, "growing the leaf" with efficient driving and the smooth power delivery. ECO button didn't do much for my acceleration from lights, I still managed to get in front of other cars. Perhaps the drivers hadn't had their caffeine intake yet.. 

Other thoughts on this test drive would be that the car itself (taking away EV powertrain) is nothing special. It's just a Renault with plasticky interior and around average quality feel. No one was staring at us, but also no one cut us up. It just blends in very well. 

In 2 days we are going to look at some more Zoes, will check how the Dynamique trim differs from the Signature trim and if it's worth paying extra. 

Any Zoe/EV drivers - your comments are welcome!

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From now on I shall talk about Renault Zoe in the EV Owners Section...  Angel
(10-07-2017, 03:41 PM)LaiLe a Wrote: From now on I shall talk about Male Extra Renault Zoe in the EV Owners Section...  Angel

Thanks for the review, I think the Zoe would make a nice first car.
This is great! Thanks Laila for the recount of your test drive. It's good to hear the dealer was happy for you to explore the car on your own terms too, as I think this is the best way to get acquianted with an EV.
It's also interesting to read that even as a 'girl racer' you were impressed by the range from the 41kWh battery. It really does make a massive difference.
I agree that the rest of the car is 'just a Renault', in particular, it's a Clio - similar dash, trim etc. But, this does make it quite handy if you're ever in the need for new trim parts, or fancy different seats etc.

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