The subcompact class is defined by short, small and very compact cars. In the vehicle segments of the European Commission, it is defined as the A-segment and located below the small cars. They are the all-rounders in road traffic for short distances and city areas. Ideally suited for short distances - there and back to work or for getting things done quickly in everyday work. And our two test candidates are emission-free and pleasantly quiet to drive, a good deceleration between all the combustion engines.
Acquisition costs and accessories in comparison
Volkswagen is with the e-up! on the move with the zeitgeist: trendy colors such as “teal blue” or “honey yellow metallic” give it a high recognition value. It is also painted in the same color throughout - a good approach to combating the trend towards seeing it as a purely commercial vehicle. However, the paintwork can be affected by paint scratches in the trunk if the car is loaded carelessly and on the belt tongues, as they can hit the paintwork. In terms of price, the city runabout starts out equipped with a 60 kW (82 PS) electric motor and an 18,7 kWh battery at a list price of 26.990 euros. The quick-charging connection is standard and the battery can then be charged up to 80 percent in just over half an hour. With the environmental bonus, another 4.000 euros less can be taken into account. And as standard it offers a number of technical features, for example the City Emergency Brake Assist to protect passers-by, the acoustic parking aids in the rear of the vehicle and a windscreen with heat-insulating glass.
Whoever has the e-up! would like to equip even better, should take a look at the compact 12-page price list. We also noticed a few recommendations for the e-up, which we are happy to pass on. The most frequently ordered is undoubtedly the digital radio reception DAB + (Digital Audio Broadcasting) for 205,20 euros extra. The noise-free reception in high quality is a particular pleasure, especially for electric cars, while driving and is supplemented by additional information in the form of text or images. The “Rear View” reversing camera costs 183,60 euros. The question remains whether, given the compact dimensions, the shoulder glance combined with the acoustic parking aids is not completely sufficient. Until the end of 2017 there is a warranty extension package for up to 149 years or a maximum of 5 km of mileage for an additional charge of 100.000 euros. This is more interesting for reselling.
Renault is building on a small tradition at ZOE, because the market launch took place in March 2013 - initially with 65 kW (88 PS) and since January 2017 with the larger 68 kW (92 PS) electric motor. Due to the relatively high reach from the beginning, the ZOE had secured a good market share of over 20 percent in Europe. In addition to the 22 kWh battery, the version with the 41 kWh battery is now also available. This increases the NEDC range from 240 km to around 400 km in summer. The effective range is more likely to be around 300 km. This means that the ZOE continues to play a key role in the range of micro and small cars. With the ZOE, the basic price for the basic equipment is much higher than with the competitor. The price including the 22 kWh battery is 30.100 euros.
Here, too, it is worth taking a look at the price list. Renault equips the ZOE ex works with the so-called Chameleon Charger. The integrated charger ensures that the batteries are charged with different capacities between 3,7 and 43 kW AC via a charging connection. A special variant is the BOSE edition for an additional charge of 5.800 euros on the base price with the large 41 kWh battery and partial equipment in leather. This version was also available to us during the comparison test. But there are also other useful extras to be found.
If you value the right equipment features, you should take a close look at the 16-page price list. Many useful details and extras can only be ordered at an additional cost for customization. A special variant in the price list is the BOSE edition for an extra 5.800 euros on top of the basic price including a large battery, BOSE sound system and partial leather trim. In addition, we look at the stable value additional equipment in the price list. The DAB + digital radio costs between 150 and 450 euros extra, depending on the equipment variant. The DAB tuner enables digital radio reception. If you want to enjoy the overture to Georges Bizet's opera “Carmen” without any noise, it is best to use digital sound. Specialized channels and additional information complement the radio sound and the radio has been a cultural asset in the car for decades. R-LINK is the online information system in the ZOE, the map material for Europe costs 120 euros. Due to the longer range, the map material can be used for all of Europe, which helps with the online search for fast charging stations. The ultimate tool for the “smartphone” generation is a device that is always ready for use. In this way, current and future generations are charged contactlessly. With the integration in the center armrest, the smartphone is not only ready to hand, but can also be conveniently charged continuously while driving. A must-have as an argument for reselling (229 euros).
Space and space conditions
The classification in the small car class naturally also defines the space available. Nevertheless, there is enough space for the driver and front passenger for short journeys. The front-wheel drive, the relatively short front overhangs and the wheelbase of the e-up! (2417 mm) and ZOE (2588 mm) already give indications of the true inner size. In both cases, the front seats are easy to adjust and individually adaptable to suit your needs. There is then only enough space for children on the back seat; the free space for adults is extremely limited.
The payloads are decisive for the daily tasks. Without the front seats folded down, the e-up! - due to a practical intermediate floor - cable, warning triangle and emergency kit are well secured. In addition, the luggage compartment is correspondingly small at 250 liters, which is just enough for the mineral water box and shopping bag. It can be expanded to 923 liters of luggage space with the folding bench seat.
With the ZOE there is no intermediate floor in the trunk and so all necessary parts are exposed in the recessed trunk floor. In return, the space is a little more generous and can be varied between 338 and 1.225 liters of luggage space. The only drawback: the rear seat bench cannot be folded down in parts.
Instruments and controls
The VW e-up! is a typical representative of the classic Volkswagen. All instruments and operating elements are ergonomically developed and conveniently arranged for use. Even the steering wheel lock has not yet disappeared and so the car is started in the classic way with the typical turn of the key. The information instruments are installed as classic round instruments in the center behind the steering wheel. The clearly arranged displays for speed, battery charge status, range and car information are arranged similarly to the conventional drive. The only drawback is that for drivers who are around 185 cm tall, the view of the instruments is restricted by the upper arch of the steering wheel.
VW is making the transition to the smartphone generation with the so-called “maps + more” system. A portable navigation and infotainment system that takes a compatible smartphone and then serves as an infotainment system. It is a smartphone recording with a USB charging function. This is where technical information such as consumption values, range, current and average consumption as well as a performance preview, readiness display and charging process display are placed on the display.
The ZOE, which has been on the market for some time, is still dominated by the integrated solutions in the dashboard. The basic information such as the speedometer, driving mode or range is located centrally behind the steering wheel and to the right there is the integrated touch display with the usual multimedia, hands-free, information and navigation systems.
Source: green car magazine issue IV / 2017
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