Malaysians now have another option in the electric vehicle space with the launch of the Renault Zoe. Those of you who have followed the market for a while will know that the Zoe name isn’t new – it was introduced back in 2016, and even before that it was being offered by the now-defunct car-sharing service Comos. After years in hiatus, however, the little French hatchback is back, packed with lots of big upgrades.
Renault Zoe 2022 Malaysia pricing and availability
Locally, the new Zoe will be available in two variants, the Zen R110 and the Intens R135, although distributor TC Euro Cars has only provided confirmed pricing for the former. Here’s what they’ll cost you:
- Renault Zoe Zen R110 – RM165,000
- Renault Zoe Intens R135 – RM175,000 (estimated)’
Every purchase comes with a three-year/100,000 km warranty as well as a five-year/100,000 km warranty for the battery and electric drivetrain, which is quite short relative to other EVs.
Compared to the previous Zoe, which was priced under RM150,000, the new models are significantly more expensive. However, you do get a comprehensive upgrade to make it far more useable as a daily driver, which we’ll detail in the next section.
Power and charging
As you may have probably guessed, the numbers in the variant name roughly correspond to the horsepower figures. Both models are powered by a front-mounted electric motor, producing 108hp and 225Nm of torque in the R110. The R135 gets a slight bump to 133hp and 245Nm.
That makes both versions of the new Zoe considerably more powerful than the 87hp original; in particular, the R135 can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in under the ten-second mark (9.5 seconds). Top speed, however, is limited to 135 km/h for the R110 and 140 km/h for the R135.
Also vastly improved is the Zoe’s range. Whereas the old one was only capable of a paltry 150 km, this new model is able to travel 395 km between charges, thanks to a battery that has more than doubled in size to 52kWh. That figure, by the way, is for the R110 – the R135’s range is slightly shorter at 386 km.
Charging takes nine and a half hours with a 7.4kW AC wallbox charger, although impressively the Zoe can accept up to 22kW, filling the battery in three hours. But it will only support up to 50kW of DC fast charging power, taking 70 minutes to juice the battery from zero to 80%.
Same body but with tweaked design details
While Renault considers the new Zoe a second-generation model, in reality the car is a heavy facelift of the original, with the curvaceous body and hidden rear door handles being clearly visible. The biggest change is at the front, where you’ll find sharper full-LED headlights and larger air intakes. There are also new linear LED graphics for the distinctive diamond-shaped taillights.
Differentiating the R135 from the R110 on the outside are the wheels – while both models get 16-inch rollers, the ones on the higher-spec model receive a machined two-tone finish. The R135 is also available in blue, red and purple, whereas the R110 can only be had in boring black and white.
Revised interior with portrait touchscreen
Inside, the Zoe has been comprehensively updated with an entirely new dashboard, partly covered in fabric and dominated by a seven-inch portrait touchscreen. The Easy Link infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and pipes music through six speakers. The R135 also comes with built-in navigation.
Sitting in front of the driver is a ten-inch digital instrument cluster, standard on both models. What isn’t standard are the single-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto-folding door mirrors and even the reverse camera, all of which are exclusive to the R135. The latter is also the only one to come with part-leather upholstery (the R110 gets full cloth trim), front parking sensors (rear sensors are standard) and rear USB ports.
The Zoe is about the size of a Perodua Myvi, but European hatchbacks are typically smaller on the inside, so don’t expect quite as much space. That said, the boot is considerably bigger than the Myvi’s at 338 litres, and as usual you can fold the 60:40-split rear seats for more room – although the floor-mounted battery means the load bay isn’t exactly flat.
Usual alphabet soup of driver assists, but no AEB
Safety-wise, the Zoe is equipped with six airbags and most of the usual driver aids as standard, including stability control, lane keeping assist and automatic high beam. However, it doesn’t get autonomous emergency braking, which is a shame given that most cars in this price range have this feature. Blind spot monitoring is also only fitted to the R135.
How does this compare to the Mini Cooper SE and Hyundai Kona Electric?
In Malaysia, the Zoe’s closest rival is the Mini Cooper SE, which is priced at RM185,934. The British-built car has the obvious cachet of the instantly-recognisable Mini badge and looks, although its three-door body style means it’s not as practical as the Renault.
But there’s a far bigger disadvantage to the Mini, and that’s its range of only 232 km, 154 km less than the Zoe. In some ways, the Hyundai Kona Electric is a more comparable competitor – for around the same price of the R135, you can get the mid-range e-Plus that produces around the same amount of power, though its torque output is far higher at 395Nm. The Zoe counters by having 81 km more range, thanks to its larger battery.
However, the Kona has a more popular crossover body style and the higher seating position that affords. It’s also capable of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving thanks to the inclusion of adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist. Contrast that with the Zoe, which doesn’t even come with AEB.
So, what do you think of the new Renault Zoe? Are you interested in a sub-RM170k EV with nearly 400 km of range, or does the small size and comparative lack of safety kit turn you off? Sound off in the comments below.