I drove my Twizy to the Renault dealer for some repairs and wanted another Twizy as replacement car.
As the dealer also rent cars, I can use their ‘for rent’ Twizy as a replacement. No big deal.
But today, it seems the ‘for rent’ Twizy was sold. So I got another replacement car for about 1 day: a Renault Zoe.
Usually, at least for conventional cars, you’d get a cheap car; but since I drive electric in the Twizy, the next best electric car they could offer is the Zoe.
I got some basic instructions, like the start/stop button and how the key card worked, as well as where the charger was, and I drove off home.
Apparently, they got an adapter in the car to convert the Type 2(?) connector to a household plug, so I could charge at home. Great!
Sidenote: I am no electrician, but since the household plugs are different in the UK versus the rest of Europe, maybe household plugs are a bit different, so I don’t need a Wallbox in Belgium?
First impressions coming from the Twizy, it was weird to drive. I never drove automatic transmissions other than the Twizy, which drives a little different than other automatic transmission cars.
So I was a bit shocked when I found out when you put the car in Drive, it goes forward about kilometers per hour.
This is the same in any other manual transmission car I drove, putting it to first, but pushing the D-button in the Twizy doesn’t cause it to move.
I wanted to test-drive the Zoe some time in the future anyway, so making an ‘extended’ test drive in the form of a 1-day replacement car would be even better.
After a few seconds of readjusting myself to the car, I went off home to my grandparents.
Can’t not show the car and impress them, right?
We made a quick test drive at a road which could be called a B road in the UK to test the acceleration and speed of the Zoe. Both my grandma and me were impressed.
Her review could be mentioned as “Perfect in every way, never been in a car that accelerates so quickly, but too expensive and too little range.”
Then charging. Not really necessary as I still got 80% battery left.
(Sidenote: I live in Belgium, no two places are far from each other here. If you live in the USA, take the distance between two municipalities - like 2 villages, 2 cities or a village and a city - and divide the distance by 10. That should be your typical distance between those same kind of municipalities in Belgium. I live about 12 km / 9 miles from the dealer at a major city, which is two villages further away)
But I wanted to try charging, just in case. For the experience.
I connected the charging cable to the Zoe, the charging adapter to the household plug and the other end of the charging cable to the charging adapter. Oddly, I heard nothing, or something very quiet.
Coming from the Twizy, where the moment you plug in your car, you can’t not hear the car charging, I wasn’t sure if it did charge or not.
The dashboard lighted up telling ‘80% charged, checking…’ (but in Dutch). I assume it would charge after it was done ‘checking,’ whatever that is. I went inside, doing some laptop stuff.
Going inside, I heard the car ‘click,’ locking the doors. I assume it has something to do with the key card not being in the proximity of the car, automatically locking the car without the push of a button.
20 minutes later, I checked back if anything had changed. The dashboard was now completely off.
Again, compared to the Twizy, the Twizy dashboard would stay lighted until the battery was fully charged, I assumed it wasn’t charging.
I then detached the plug, and reconnect it to see if anything would change. The dashboard display would stay off.
I opened the car with a keycard button, and the dashboard display lit up, showing 82%, checking…
Apparently, the display does not stay on when charging as the Twizy does. A note for the future.
I got back inside, thinking it would charge without me worrying.
I opened Google Maps, letting it count the distance of my route I have to drive today. 95 km, or 60 miles.
With the Twizy, I would charge at a friend’s home at about the halfway point at E, if you follow along at the link.
With the Zoe, I would try driving all of it at one single piece without charging.
Sidenote: the route is not 100% accurate for privacy reasons, but accurate enough for a rough estimation within the 1-3 km, or 1-2 miles.
At the moment of writing this review, this is where I am now. I will drive the route, stopping at each letter for certain reasons, being it work or a friendly visit, later today.
For now, this was my mini review of the last few hours of experiencing the Zoe.
My personal opinion: Not a car for me. I like the concept, one of the best cars I have driven till today, but I feel more comfortable in my Twizy. The Twizy may be colder in winter, accelerate slower, have less range and harder seats, but I feel like I have more control over the Twizy. But I feel this about every non-Twizy car.
The small turn circle (or whatever it is called) from the Twizy, the small width and, well, overall small-ness is great for maneuvering in the city landscape, far better than any other car.
While I am not really the best driver in the world, it is easy for a Twizy to dodge a car accident, rather than to full break. Or it is easy to take a bicycle-only road littered with poles holding back other cars but letting through the Twizy.
At the afternoon, I think I will like driving the Zoe; not to complaint. It’s a great car and a diversion from driving the same Twizy over and over again. It’s something different, but it is not my kind of car.
I like having driven the Zoe to know that. Now I know how much I love my Twizy again.
Thank you for reading.
I think I will write more about the Zoe in the evening or tomorrow. Not sure though. But for now, this was my mini review. I hope you liked it.