Off-Road Expert vs Electric Car - Renault Zoe Test Drive

Off-Road Expert vs Electric Car – Renault Zoe Test Drive



The new Renault Zoe,’s car of the Electric Car of the Year under £20,000, is described by Auto Express as “one of the most capable and best value EV’s around… one of our favourites.” Here at Vospers – Marsh Mills, Plymouth, we had to find out if the Zoe is worthy of such accolades. Step up Nick Agg-Manning, an off-road expert who is more used to careering around the trails than gliding around the towns. We took him out of his comfort zone, and challenged him to test-drive the brand new Zoe. Could he handle it?

I spent my youth confounding my Mother, perhaps, even, annoying her on a titanic scale! As a child I was always heard but not always seen, a trait, that in fairness, probably stays with me to this day! So, it was a real surprise to find that I could drive within touching distance of moorland sheep on Dartmoor as they were oblivious of my silent approach. I was behind the wheel of the Renault Zoe Dynamique Intens, their revolutionary 5 door auto electric car and I had not been heard!

‘Nick reviewing an ‘electric’ car?’ I can hear the surprise from my colleagues and readers! I can anticipate their reactions: “No range – won’t get him to Scotland!”; “Too slow for Nick”; “Where on earth can he recharge?” etc etc.

I admit this was my first experience of an all-electric car but it was a ‘road to Damascus’ moment, although I only drove into Cornwall, as the Zoe did absolutely everything I asked of her – and silently as well!

I have just come off ‘Google’ and found that there are over 9500 roadside re-charging points across the Nation and charging is just so easy as I discovered when visiting the Car Park adjacent to Home Park in Plymouth recently.

Now to the experience of driving this stylish and most economical car… was so different from all the vehicles that I have driven before and it was , not only easy to control, but such fun doing it!

The first issue to get used to and fully explained on the ample dashboard, was to understand that the Zoe would move when ready – although there was no sound, no vibration no other means of knowing you were live and ready to roll! Two pedals: accelerator and brake and no gears. The pickup from standing was ‘electric’ and took me completely by surprise!

I headed West, with my usual Classical choice of music surrounding me from the 3D digital Arkamys sound system and watched as my range from charge dropped slowly but surely…..would I have enough to complete a couple of hours motoring?

Yes of course – the Zoe recharges on deceleration and whilst I noticed that my range reduced, so, as I drove a wee bit more carefully, I saw that the range increased again! Spooky!

The Renault Zoe is all that you would expect from such a major Manufacturer – complete design, wonderful and comfortable cockpit with all the info you need at hand through the dashboard display and the so informative screen with accurate SatNav.

Safety is of course paramount, and the Zoe offers a full and reactive ABS with electronic brake distribution, performing perfectly; electronic stability control; minimum 4 airbags; ISOFIX fittings for the child seats; electric front windows etc…indeed, all you would expect from such French style!

The visibility from your command driving position is perfect and the performance just filled me with surprise which combined with the unbelievable economy of such a vehicle, makes this Renault Zoe really worth the comment: “ Ooh La La!!”

Ooh La La indeed! It appears our resident off-road expert has been captivated by the Renault Zoe! To find out more about the Zoe, visit the Renault showroom at Vospers – Marsh Mills, Plymouth or call one of the team on 01752 636444.

If you are interested in finding out more about Electric vehicles have you visited the brand new Vospers Electric pages online? provides a handy guide to electric vehicles available from Vospers, as well as the very latest offers and deals.