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Renault Zoe Intense 2021

Renault Zoe Intens 2021 in winter test

Renault offers in the current Zoe from the basic equipment the B-mode as an additional selectable driving mode. In addition to the conventional D-mode, drivers can also switch to the B-mode while driving. The driver accelerates, brakes and stops almost exclusively with the accelerator pedal. Even on downhill gradients, the vehicle can be decelerated by releasing the accelerator pedal without using the brake pedal. The system activates the brake lights based on the degree of deceleration so that drivers behind are warned. A detailed test in the spring of 2021 in the Intens equipment variant with the large battery pack shows the progress. We take a look at the comfort features in the new version.

More range in B mode?

The B mode can be selected using the automatic selector lever by simply pressing the lever on the side and is active from a driving speed of 7 km / h. During recuperation, the ZOE's electric motor acts like a generator that feeds the electricity into the battery. Renault promises range advantages with consistent use of the B-mode. One of the main advantages is that brake discs and pads are less stressed. The brake pedal remains operational even in B mode, for example for emergency or hazard braking.

The new "E-Shifter" selector lever is an ergonomically and practically positioned, compact selector lever in the center console that can be switched between the usual D mode and B mode at any time. Briefly pushing the lever to the right is sufficient to change the driving mode. The display is optically in the center console and in the instrument cluster. The lack of parking mode on the lever is also noticeable. The parking brake is now simply activated when the engine is switched off and is also released automatically when the engine is restarted without operating the selector lever.

Renault Zoe Intense 2021
Renault Zoe Intense 2021

cold start

The temperature display in the new 4-inch touchscreen in the middle shows minus 9,3 degrees after the start. When fully charged, a range of 100 km is displayed. In the LIFE and EXPERIENCE equipment variants, the monitors measure 379 inches diagonally. In the interior design, the control panels in the door panels are now integrated with the same recycled upholstery materials as the seat covers.

All settings for multimedia functions, vehicle configurations and telephone functions can now be set intuitively and directly via the large touch display. The depth of field and the high resolution contribute to the comfortable operation of the monitor. The shelves in the center console are sufficient and contain a practical charging cradle for inductive charging for the smartphone.

With the “Keyless Entry & Drive”, the Zoe has become significantly more convenient: a compact remote control key opens and closes the car as soon as you approach or move away from it within a radius of around 3 meters. The keycard can simply be carried in the pocket, unfortunately there is no eyelet in the current version to attach the card directly to the keychain.

The start is done by pressing the start button, then in the INTENS equipment you have a view of the comfortable, large-format 9,3-inch touchscreen placed above the center console. The reformed online multimedia system EASY LINK is also part of this equipment variant. Users can switch between the different functions and user levels in just a few steps. The system includes smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Renault Zoe Intens 2021 LED headlights
Renault Zoe Intens 2021 LED headlights

Comfort features

With the compact Zoe, you sit a little higher due to the battery base and have a very good overview. Upon delivery, the battery shows 100% charge and the 379 km range specified above on the display. Here, too, there is an ECO mode coupled with the B mode to achieve the maximum range. The mode realizes stronger recuperation and automated braking maneuvers as soon as the foot takes the pressure off the power pedal. At a crisp minus 4 degrees outside temperature, we take the route from Kiel to the Elbe tunnel and can also achieve a remaining range of 200 kilometers in defensive B mode.

The speed settings are limited to the speed limit and the cruise control to determine the driving speed. It is activated via the multifunction steering wheel on the left-hand side by pressing a button. A blind spot warning is part of the equipment and is a relief factor for safe long-haul journeys. The update for the EASY-LINK system includes the installation of navigation and software updates directly from the manufacturer. The system has been expanded to include address searches via Google and TomTom services as well as traffic reports, information on dangerous spots and the weather at the destination.

Anyone planning longer routes can also familiarize themselves with the most energy-efficient route planning. Route planning takes into account the nearest charging stations and their availability and, when selecting the route, determines the remaining range, taking into account topography and outside temperature. In combination with the “MY Renault” app, some convenience features can also be set via the app, such as pre-air conditioning for the interior, the reservation of suitable charging stations or route planning.

driving impressions

With the Zoe, a new selector lever in the center console can be used to switch comfortably between dynamic D mode and B recuperation mode while driving. The redesigned center console with a large, high-resolution display is now more ergonomic than in the previous model. All functions can be called up via the touchscreen and can also be easily set while driving. Underneath there is a practical division with shelves of different sizes and an easily accessible charging compartment for the smartphone. And behind, of course, two drink holders for the driver and front passenger.

Renault Zoe Intens 2021 alloy wheels
Renault Zoe Intens 2021 alloy wheels

Optional extras for the Zoe

The optional extras are manageable and are crucial when buying a new car. We have selected three highlights from the current price list, which also have a positive effect on the resale value.

CCS charging connection (50 kW DC): The most important criterion when buying a used vehicle, but also for convenient charging, is a fast charging connection. With the Renault Zoe, however, this is only available as optional equipment for all equipment variants for an extra charge of 1.100 euros. The Schuko charging cable is also only available as an extra for 550 euros.

EASY LINK Bose sound system: If you value comfortable sound and an online multimedia system with a 9,3-inch touchscreen with navigation and BOSE sound system, you should factor in the package for an additional cost of 900 euros. It also includes the TomTom Live navigation system with updated traffic reports.

Winter package: The winter package consisting of seat and steering wheel heating is only included in the top model Riviera. It is always a good argument when buying a used car and costs another 450 euros extra.


The compact Zoe has an extensive package of assistance systems in the Intens equipment we tested with the large battery pack. In addition to the blind spot warning system presented, the reversing camera, the lane departure warning system and the acoustic parking aids in particular are plus points on daily journeys. The tinted windows for the rear seat and the rear window are practical. An anti-reflective windshield is desirable for the future. A traffic sign recognition and a cruise control complete the package.

N. Hawthorn
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