How to choose the right second-hand Renault ZOE?

By switching to electric, the new market is no longer essential. A pioneer in the segment, the Renault ZOE has established itself as a second-hand reference with sometimes very attractive prices. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is best to follow our advice.

Rising fuel prices could accelerate the transition to the electric car. ‘Zero emissions’ were already on the rise, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which triggered phenomenal bomb blasts. Enough to make the electrical solution even more attractive. If the prices of new models are still prohibitive for many people, the occasion makes it possible to find more affordable vehicles. Appearing on the market in 2013, the Renault ZOE is the most present electric car in the segment, with several hundred copies offered on advertising websites. However, like any car with several tens of thousands of kilometers on the odometer, it requires some attention before committing to the act of purchase. You need to know which model to look for that best suits your needs and then check its condition and that of your battery.

Buying a second-hand ZOE: different versions and different ranges

Over time, the Renault ZOE has evolved to carry a number of different engines and batteries. The electric city car has improved a lot in power and autonomy compared to the versions. Also, when looking at the classifieds, remember to check which configuration you are dealing with.

When it was marketed, only one model was under concessions. It was the ZOE Q210 with a Continental engine, which had an output of 65 kW (88 horsepower). As Renault was in its lithium-ion electric battery infancy, the features look modest today.

The Q210 had a range of 210 km on the NEDC combined cycle, or around 170 km with the new WLTP standard. With a rather meager 22 kWh battery, the actual range can drop to 80 km on the road, with a very heavy foot on the accelerator. In 2015, Renault completed the range with a slightly more efficient R240 version, increasing the range by around twenty km.

In 2017, the manufacturer completely changed its nomenclature. Still in phase 1, the city car received many improvements. The R240 and Q210 thus became R90 and Q90. Key new features include the addition of a small 57 kW (75 hp) engine to lower the entry price and a new 41 kWh battery pack for a range that jumps to 325 km.

A year later, the R110 engine (80 kW) appeared in the catalogue. In 2019, it is installed in the basic version of the ZOE with the arrival of phase 2. A small restyling that also allowed the new R135 to be included in the range. It had superior power, a 52 kWh battery and an optional 50 kW recharge.

The different versions of the Renault ZOE

Below is a summary of the different versions of the Renault ZOE since its launch. On second-hand models, the real range will obviously be reduced, given the aging of the battery and the mileage covered. Hence the need to request a full cycle test and/or certificate that will measure the health status of the package.

Motor Powerful Drums Autonomy AC/DC charging Marketing
Q210 65kW (88hp) 22 kWh 171km 43kW / n/a 03/2013 – 02/2015
R240 65kW (88hp) 23.3 kWh 195km 22kW / n/a 02/2015 – 12/2016
R75 57kW (77hp) 41 kWh 325km 22kW / n/a 01/2017 – end of 2018
R90 68kW (92hp) 41 kWh 325km 22kW / n/a 01/2017 – end of 2018
Q90 65kW (88hp) 41 kWh 325km 43kW / n/a 01/2017 – end of 2018
R110 80 kW (109 hp) 41 kWh 325km 22kW / n/a 06/2018 –
R110 80 kW (109 hp) 52 kWh 390km 22kW / 50kW 06/2018 –
R135 100 kW (136 hp) 52 kWh 390km 22kW / 50kW 06/2019 –

Pay attention to the battery contract

During its first years on the market, the Renault ZOE was only offered with battery rental. Therefore, it is necessary to find out today about the situation of second-hand models that interest you. Because behind an attractive price you can hide a monthly rent for the pack, most of the time around €70/month.

An additional financial charge that does not stop at the battery rental, as it is also necessary to insure the latter separately, which is owned by Renault. Thus, the choice of a model with rental or not of the pack will be made individually, after considering the various advantages and disadvantages. Note that it is possible to buy the battery.

What reliability for which versions of ZOE?

As we indicated above, Renault has developed its ZOE over the course of 9 years, already in marketing. In fact, reliability gradually improved.

The main problems found in the electric city car of Losange were at the level of the 90 horsepower engine. The first versions of this car were also the most fragile in this matter, but also in the charger. Over time, Renault was able to correct many of the flaws of ZOE’s youth.

As with other models of the brand, electronic failures can also occur. The R-Link system should also be monitored as it can also fail.

Which used the Renault ZOE at what price?

It is possible to find second-hand Renault ZOE at prices from 5,000 euros. For this price, it is obviously the first version of the electric city car, with models dating from 2013 or 2014, often accompanied by the battery rental package. They usually show 70,000 kilometers on the odometer or more.

If your choice is a ZOE equipped with the 41 kWh battery, you will have to invest a little more. The first prices will be around 7,500 euros, for entry-level vehicles with relatively high mileage. It is advisable to dedicate a budget of 9,000 or 10,000 euros to benefit from interesting options.

From 10,000 or 12,000 euros, it will be possible to find a 2019 version with a 52 kWh battery and DC charging at 50 kW. It is from this model that we can start to make the ZOE a truly versatile car. In fact, it will be able to travel more than 200 km on the highway under normal conditions and offer relatively fast charging so you don’t have to wait too long in front of a terminal. Finally, for the R135 version, at least 15,000 euros will be needed.

Where to buy a used Renault ZOE?

Widely available, a used Renault ZOE can be found anywhere:

  • On the various classifieds sites full of offers from individuals and professionals,
  • At Renault dealerships, which usually have vehicles in their fleet,
  • On the Renault website that offers, in connection with these agencies, an overview of accessible stock on a national scale.

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