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Discussion Starter #1
As per the title, I'm not sure I actually like the Zoe ZE40 overall. Before I do something drastic after only 6 months of ownership then I thought I'd better sense check to see if some of the things that bug me are might actually be easily fixed.

Background - my first EV but I'd wanted one for years, liked it on the short test drive of standard but ended up buying an S Edition 186 miles away because I wanted the part leather and a different colour than white. :)
I didn't actually expect to like the Zoe, just drove it more to explore all limited options and it surprised me in a good way at the time.

My main gripes that bother me are;
The ride - I didn't notice on the test drive, but the ride/handling is a major gripe. Feels too soft or missing an anti-roll bar at the front and waaaay too stiff at the rear, to the point where going over bumps even at low speed causes me back pain... and I haven't had back issues for 30 years.

The car really wants to rear-end another car - the brakes seem somewhat unpredictable compared to normal braking systems. If I brake or slow gently (guessing just on regen) then when I reach about 8mph the car decides it wants to surge forward, just when you're coming close to a car behind and you then have to re-apply considerably more brake. This is fairly consistent but at the same time variable in severity depending on pedal pressure. Braking harder (not actually hard, I'm still driving it normally) lessens this issue but isn't the way an EV should ideally be driven?

Brakes again - coming to a stop or initially moving away, the brakes groan a bit as the pads go on or off fully. iirc my ex-wife's two older scenics were similar and it was basically down to the caliper carriers flexing as they weren't as stiff as they could be. It's not a functional problem but it sounds like I'm driving an old banger.

More minor irritations;
The radio - sometimes it just stops receiving a signal or at least stops making a sound, from a couple of minutes up to half an hour I think the longest one was. Intermittent. Can happen on a 5 minute journey to my girlfriend's or an hour into a journey or be fine for a week. It makes other sounds still, sat nav etc and can play from bluetooth still.

Door lock buttons stop working - intermittent, I normally lock and unlock via the buttons as my keys are in my pocket. Sometimes this just doesn't work. Either locking or unlocking.

Public charging speed unreliable - less of an issue now I have a home charger but I bought the car just before lockdown and which delayed my house move so I ended up having to use the public charging infrastructure. So I charged and shopped as best I could. But I could start the car charging at 22kW, go to the shop, come out and it had dropped down to 3kW or anywhere in between. Other times it'll start low on a 22/43kW charger but if you disconnect and reconnect to the same charger it'll charge at full rate. It just seems inconsistent and it didn't matter what make of charger I plugged it into. This often left me sitting in my car waiting to get enough charge because it had dropped to a crawl after I'd left it.

Tailgate rattle? - sounds like the tailgate or lock is rattling, knocking when driving around. Can't replicate it when stationary so it could be something else.

Super soft paint - seems softer than any other I've come across before, pretty sure you can scratch it with a fingernail. I was going to get it paint sealed straight after buying it but then the world turned upside down and in the meantime I'm not entirely sure I'm wanting to keep it.


Sorry if it sounds all grumble grumble for my first post here, there are plenty of positives with the car that I love - it's easy to drive, plenty nippy enough around town and acceptable on the motorway. I thought the hard plastic dash would be the thing that would most bother me but it's a non-issue, range is great, it's obviously super cheap to run.

I don't know if the above are normal Zoe "quirks", things that can or can't be resolved. If I could even get a couple of the major ones then the minor ones probably wouldn't bother me but at the moment I just don't know if I want to keep it and it's been that way since the first couple of weeks of ownership. I've never spent more than £7k on a car previous and have loved my last few non-company cars, but having upped the budget when moving to a smaller house to be able to afford an EV, I'm quite disappointed. Not with the EV experience, I'm unlikely to go back, but with the traditional parts of the car really.
 

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The radio - sometimes it just stops receiving a signal or at least stops making a sound, from a couple of minutes up to half an hour I think the longest one was. Intermittent. Can happen on a 5 minute journey to my girlfriend's or an hour into a journey or be fine for a week. It makes other sounds still, sat nav etc and can play from bluetooth still.
I believe this is when traffic announcements aren't turned off properly, they come on and interrupt whatever you are listening to.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe this is when traffic announcements aren't turned off properly, they come on and interrupt whatever you are listening to.
Thanks, I'll have a look at that. I turned everything off but found that's a bit hit-and-miss and some things turned off are still doing their thing (buggy!) so this might be part of that.
 

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On ride - this is subjective. It's better over rough road and speed bumps than my 57 plate Honda civic.

On brakes as slowing, yes. I rear ended a car as distracted while slowing in second week of ownership. No damage to Zoe. Slight stress mark on other car's bumper, which became expensive as it was a custom pain job mercedes...

On brake groaning when pull away I suspect this is the hill start assist. They release as you accelerate rather than when you take foot off brake, but that transition will provide done tension between systems.

Door buttons won't work if you use key fob to lock car as this disables the proximity system. Could this be the cause? If so, it's intentional.

Yes to soft paint - I have scratched it with my finger nail when trying to remove a fleck of tar. I have authorisation to get one but touched up under Warranty currently ( haven't taken it in due Covid).
 

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Groaning rear brakes is a feature. :)

The brake/regen surge feeling is worst at high states of charge so I used to avoid charging to 100%.

The Zoe is the cheapest EV and it does show in places. It's worth messing with tyre pressures a bit to see if you can make it a bit better. Couple of psi up or down off book pressure might make all the difference.

Have you downloaded the Rlink toolkit thing? A few of the quirks get ironed out with periodic updates. If the unit wasn't reset to factory before you got it it's worth doing that and starting fresh as that can sometimes make all the difference to weird behaviour.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
On ride - this is subjective. It's better over rough road and speed bumps than my 57 plate Honda civic.

On brakes as slowing, yes. I rear ended a car as distracted while slowing in second week of ownership. No damage to Zoe. Slight stress mark on other car's bumper, which became expensive as it was a custom pain job mercedes...

On brake groaning when pull away I suspect this is the hill start assist. They release as you accelerate rather than when you take foot off brake, but that transition will provide done tension between systems.

Door buttons won't work if you use key fob to lock car as this disables the proximity system. Could this be the cause? If so, it's intentional.
I've previously had hot/warm hatches so didn't think the "firm ride" in the reviews would be an issue but the jolts from the rear going over any sort of bump sometimes make me wince.

Sorry to hear about your rear end incident, at least it's not just a one off then.

The brake groaning does sound like you describe but does it on the flat too and when coming to a stop.

On the door buttons, it's stopping working when I normally lock with the buttons. i.e. I use the buttons all the time unless I have to lock or open it because they're not working.

Sounding like it's not my particular car and these things are relatively normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Groaning rear brakes is a feature. :)

The brake/regen surge feeling is worst at high states of charge so I used to avoid charging to 100%.

The Zoe is the cheapest EV and it does show in places. It's worth messing with tyre pressures a bit to see if you can make it a bit better. Couple of psi up or down off book pressure might make all the difference.

Have you downloaded the Rlink toolkit thing? A few of the quirks get ironed out with periodic updates. If the unit wasn't reset to factory before you got it it's worth doing that and starting fresh as that can sometimes make all the difference to weird behaviour.
Feels like it's "mostly" the fronts groaning, I can feel it through the steering wheel.

Good to know on the surge feeling, but I only charge to 80% at home as I don't need any more than that especially during lockdown/working from home.

The R-Link toolkit I was not aware of, I had a painful struggle getting the thing registered with Renault so that I could get the MyRenault app working and a link to my home charger. The dealer initially denied there was any kind of app functionality, said it had been taken off the market etc. I eventually found a forum post on here I think that gave a direct Renault number to get it registered and to their credit they were very helpful. I didn't realize there was anything else though they didn't mention that, I will investigate. :)
 

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Tailgate rattle? - sounds like the tailgate or lock is rattling, knocking when driving around. Can't replicate it when stationary so it could be something else.
There is an issue with a bad weld joint above the headlining causIng creaking in the back. As your car is still under warranty, could you get this sorted by your dealer. Sometimes better to ring Renault CS and let them book it in with a dealer. They then provide the technician with the details they require to fix it.
 

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Hi Zantium,
We've had two Zoe's, the current one is the 40kWh R110 so similar to yours. I have found the ride quality and handling 'interesting' in both cars and in my view is what lets down what is generally, a very good car. What I do find is that when I go to the recycling centre with bags of rubble in the boot, it really is a good mini-van with the rear seatback removed, then the car and ride are much, much better. This all implies the rear end is the problem.
After I realised that I then played around with tyre pressures and now have something which is OK. Unfortunately, we have the Michelin EVs so we will have the tyres going hard in winter, edges rubbing off and the generally cracking so we will be getting pair of CrossClimate+ tyres fitted this winter and will see how that goes.
We've also had problems with the radio and the sat nav doing all sorts of things including the rebooting every few minutes but that is generally fixed by pulling fuses F26 or F31 depending on the problem.

One thought on the brakes - are they corroded due to low use at the mo and need a good clean off? I have only rarely, over five years of ownership, had a problem with the transition from regen to friction but we are in a hilly area and hence the friction brakes do get used.

Finally, is there anyone near you with a Zoe that you can go out in and see if it is any different?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like you might have to sell it! :)
I was hoping to find some miracle cures really instead, I can't imagine how much money I'd lose if I sold it now. 😔
I think I'd pay a reasonable amount of money if I could sort the suspension so I enjoyed the driving experience but there aren't any kits as far as I can see. I could probably live with the rest and be happy but at the moment it's just not enjoyable - the front feels like it rolls like an old van, the back bounces things in the boot going over a cats eye or any slightly uneven road. It sort of feels like Renault forgot how to do suspension after over 120 years of making cars! I don't get it...

Also, really not sure what I'd replace it with, can't justify double the money on a Mini. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Zantium,
We've had two Zoe's, the current one is the 40kWh R110 so similar to yours. I have found the ride quality and handling 'interesting' in both cars and in my view is what lets down what is generally, a very good car. What I do find is that when I go to the recycling centre with bags of rubble in the boot, it really is a good mini-van with the rear seatback removed, then the car and ride are much, much better. This all implies the rear end is the problem.
After I realised that I then played around with tyre pressures and now have something which is OK. Unfortunately, we have the Michelin EVs so we will have the tyres going hard in winter, edges rubbing off and the generally cracking so we will be getting pair of CrossClimate+ tyres fitted this winter and will see how that goes.
We've also had problems with the radio and the sat nav doing all sorts of things including the rebooting every few minutes but that is generally fixed by pulling fuses F26 or F31 depending on the problem.

One thought on the brakes - are they corroded due to low use at the mo and need a good clean off? I have only rarely, over five years of ownership, had a problem with the transition from regen to friction but we are in a hilly area and hence the friction brakes do get used.

Finally, is there anyone near you with a Zoe that you can go out in and see if it is any different?
Oh yes, bizarrely, I loaded it up this week for my girlfriend's daughter to move to university and the suspension felt much better. :ROFLMAO:
The discs generally look fine, I'm maintained cars for many years. When I got it I did wonder if the pads/discs were contaminated with oil grease, it's that sort of feel noise - but it was a demonstrator/Renault approved car from a main dealer so that really shouldn't be the case? It's only done about 4,000 miles.
 

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I agree with the OP, I have had a ZE50 from ONTO for a month and dont like it at all for all the same reasons. The whole auto hold/B-mode/brake setup seems to have been thought up on a whim and had no tuning and yes it does seem to want to run into the back of things. The brakes always groan. I cant understand why when you first switch the car on it doesn't move until the accelerator is presed but every subsequent time it stops you have to hold it on the brakes. The icing on the cake is that mine won't charge on the (free) chargers I have at work work despite them working every time for any Leaf,Tesla and NV200.
 

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The brakes always groan. I cant understand why when you first switch the car on it doesn't move until the accelerator is presed but every subsequent time it stops you have to hold it on the brakes.
Are you referring to the auto handbrake servo, or grinding when you move off in the morning due to surface rust?

The ZE50 has auto hold, so you don't need to sit with your foot on the brake anymore.

ZE50 is a completely different driving experience to the ZE40. So not sure how you can say they are the same.
 

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I was hoping to find some miracle cures really instead, I can't imagine how much money I'd lose if I sold it now. 😔
I think I'd pay a reasonable amount of money if I could sort the suspension so I enjoyed the driving experience but there aren't any kits as far as I can see. I could probably live with the rest and be happy but at the moment it's just not enjoyable - the front feels like it rolls like an old van, the back bounces things in the boot going over a cats eye or any slightly uneven road. It sort of feels like Renault forgot how to do suspension after over 120 years of making cars! I don't get it...

Also, really not sure what I'd replace it with, can't justify double the money on a Mini. 🤷‍♂️
Sounds a bit like the shocks could do with an inspection/replacement. They were never great in the ZE40, but I'd say they were adequate for a Renault.
 

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Every car has likes and dislikes, I can't wait to give my Zoe ZE50 back asap. Hate the handling, seats and auto hold as so jerky. The performance is good enough and the range of course is very good.
 

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@cah197 Yes it has auto hold except it doesn't come on straight away, which is dangerous as it requires a check each time to make sure that it has actually applied and it jerks when you set off rather than releasing smoothly. Auto hold should hold automatically and imediately as the name suggests, and relaease smoothly as soon as the accelerator is presed. The brakes groan on every release first thing in the morning and every time thereafter. With an electic car you shoudl be able to move off smoothly but the Zoe sems designed to stop this happening.
 

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@cah197 Yes it has auto hold except it doesn't come on straight away, which is dangerous as it requires a check each time to make sure that it has actually applied and it jerks when you set off rather than releasing smoothly. Auto hold should hold automatically and imediately as the name suggests, and relaease smoothly as soon as the accelerator is presed. The brakes groan on every release first thing in the morning and every time thereafter. With an electic car you shoudl be able to move off smoothly but the Zoe sems designed to stop this happening.
Maybe get it checked?

Mine works brilliantly and is very smooth when moving off. I just press the brake a bit harder when stationary and the auto hold engages.

No groaning either.
 
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