My Zoe ZE40 experience – pros and cons

My Evezy Zoe is overall the best car I’ve driven. I’ve had nicer cars and cars with more features and whatnot, but just by being electric, this base model little French car is the best.

This is how I sum it up to people when they ask: if this were another base model Renault, like a Clio, I would never own one. Ever. But because it’s electric, the Zoe is quiet, smooth and relaxing to drive, and the performance is better.

That about sums it up, but in the six or-so months I’ve had the car, here are my pros and cons…

Pros – Zoe-specific

  • Seatbelts are height-adjustable
  • Lots of headroom (I’m 6’ 4” / 190 cm)
  • Pretty peppy performance
  • The basic car is still a nice car (mainly because it’s new)
  • Range is accurate and adjusts to driving style (140 summer/120 winter)
  • Generous boot space

Pros – general EV

  • I never have to visit a petrol station
  • Defrosts quickly in winter (no waiting for an engine to warm up)
  • Quiet
  • Smooth to drive
  • Relaxing and comfortable
  • I can charge for free at work, and obviously on Polar

Cons – Zoe-specific

  • No drivers seat height adjustment
  • No manual AC ‘on’ control
  • Slow charging, max 22 kW
  • Air vents don’t angle downwards
  • No Apple CarPlay
  • Tiny glovebox
  • Infotainment system is laggy
  • Difficult to get the car hot, even on max
  • Regen braking is a bit weak and weird

Just as a general point on limitations, if you drive an EV and care about clean air, most of the time you’ll sadly be behind a diesel. For me, as a result, I almost always have the recirc turned on. Without a manual AC control in the Zoe, it’s difficult to keep the car demisted, unless I turn the temperature to minimum to kick in the AC and dehumidify the air. But then it gets freezing cold, and there are no seat heaters or heated steering wheel.

This is also not a long distance EV. If you want to go further than the Zoe’s range, you’ll need to charge en-route. The Zoe ZE40 is not the car for that, it charges too slowly. If you want to travel more than 120 miles, get another EV. I don’t need to, so it’s perfect for me though.

First world problems! :roll_eyes:

But this doesn’t detract from it still being the best car I’ve driven. I’ll never have an ICE car again. No way!


,[quote=“Alasdair, post:1, topic:182”]
Speed camera warning chimes can’t be disabled

Just turn the Navigation Volume to zero!

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Try setting the desired temperature, then leave it on auto with AC on.

Once you’ve done that, just let it do it’s stuff. Don’t be tempted to fiddle with it! I’ve had no issues with the heating in my Zoe.

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I have the navigation directions turned off. Is there another navigation volume?

With the temperature, there is no AC on option. I’ll try the auto and see if it works, but I usually just have the temperature set to MAX all the time. To be specific, if I’m driving locally it gets warm ok, basically anything under 50 mph. But as most of my commuting is at 70 mph, it doesn’t get hot at that speed. When I slow down it’ll then warm up, but if you’re doing constant high speed it doesn’t.

You can turn off the speed camera notifications.
Turn Off Speed Camera Alerts on Zoe RLink


Oh my god, thank you!

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Sorry trying to think from memory as I’ve had Teslas for the last six weeks. I think the AC is on by default but can be turned off.

No, sadly it’s on automatically but only if it needs it for cooling, there’s no way to have hot AC in the Zoe :neutral_face:

Yes their is! With heat the AC is on by default, if you press AC off button then you are gimping the whole system.

Just set the temp to 24 and it’s nice and toasty and keeps things clear.

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I guarantee there’s no AC on at 24, are you using recirc? The windows are all wet. But if I set it to min then the AC comes on and clears the windows (and it’s freezing).

Anything that isn’t cold isn’t AC.

(I don’t think you can use Auto mode with recirc either, because it turns recirc off when you go on auto and if you turn recirc on it disables Auto.)

Then you have a faulty zoe, I suggest you also post on the owners club, as how the heating/ac works is very well understood.

My own zoe had two months in the garage for a heating fault recently, turned out to be a sensor after they replaced almost every other part lol

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I’m sorry to beg to differ, but it says in the owners manual on page 3.5:

“The air conditioning does not operate when the exterior temperature is low.”

So, nevertheless, if you use Auto mode the manual says it will keep the cabin comfortable automatically, which I assume includes reducing condensation by activating the AC.

However, if you’re behind a diesel – which in the UK you’re seldom not behind a diesel – the cabin will stink and you’ll literally be slowly poisoned if you don’t use recirculation. But when you do, Auto turns off.

So it’s operating correctly, and you can’t have recirc on with AC on unless you turn the temperature to minimum and freeze.

You could use Auto and have AC at a comfortable temperature but with no recirc.

Considering the AC compressor in the zoe is used to both make heat and cool, of course it’s running at heat. However all recirc does is circulate the cabin air, which is why you have condensation. Just leave it in auto! The cabin filter will capture diesel particles anyway.

If your zoe is always full of condensation then check the foam in the drivers footwell around the battery lockout panel, blocked scuttle drains means water flows to here.

I don’t think we’re in disagreement here. The issue is with Auto vs recirc.

Car air filters might remove the smell but only Tesla air filters filter out the NoX and poisonous gases. The Zoe filters are crap though, they don’t filter even the smells.

Ok, so I tested Auto this morning and I stand corrected; using recirc does not disable Auto mode.

However, Auto mode absolutely doesn’t turn on AC, at least not with recirc on. The car was even worse using Auto, so in that case perhaps AC was disabled (which makes no sense, that’s when you want/need it). But I will say that when recirc was turned off again the car cleared quite quickly on Auto without increasing the fan speed. So maybe… who knows?

For certain though, the only way to have AC on and recirc on is to freeze. Not having a manual AC control in the Zoe is very annoying in the winter :pensive:

Took our Zoe for its first longer than real range distance from wolverhampton to London Heathrow Holiday Inn - 132 miles. Whilst daunting at first we had all available charging points saved on apps that gave us 8 opportunities to stop along route., mainly m40. I kept to around 70mph as I didn’t want to slow down for the sake of saving energy and get there in good time. We decided to stop at Welcome Break Warwick services 60 miles in and use ecotricity charger 50kwh for max 22kwh charge zoe can handle. 45 mins for extra 40-50 miles range. This was simple and meant no further stops to Heathrow. Ecotricity I find always available and working. There are 40 pod point chargers at the Holiday Inn and was a reason for stay and park here whilst we were in new york. On return today 100% charged and repeated the route this time stopping at Oxford welcome break services for another ecotricity charge of 45mins. Got home with 40 miles remaining and avg 60 mph with jams etc. It goes to show how simple a journey with limited zoe range can be. Can’t wait for the zoe50 as with 215 miles range I wouldnt need to have used services at all.


Are you on the waitlist for the ZE50?

I am yes, around 120 in queue.


Great to hear this. And I tend to agree with you, having lived with one two years ago for two months.
However, I have just received another one last week and it has been problematic from the delivery onwards!
Was delivered late. Telling me to check tyre pressure sensors. Indicating a flat tyre symbol. And then…the 3-pin charging cable does not work!
Annoyingly, onto say I need to take it to a Renault dealer when I know it’s the cable at fault. Why is that? I have suggested a courier to bring me a working cable but to no avail.

Also, for my own safety, what are the correct tyre pressures for the ze40?


Double check on your car as I don’t have a ZE40 with me at the moment, but I think the user manual or door sticker says 36psi. Most people tend to run the Zoe tyres a little higher than this at 38-40 to avoid early wear and increase the range of their car but right now where there’s snow and ice especially I wouldn’t recommend it.

I Believe the ZE40s that ONTO Have are supplied with Renault’s own granny cables which are very expensive. I guess they would rather let them check out the charging issue and replace under warranty rather than writing off hundreds of pounds by sending you another since the dealer will probably want the car to be there at the same time in order to diagnose the fault and validate the warranty repair or replacement.

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