Renault Zoe: is the zero star rating in the crash test fair?

That was a blow to the office: the Renault Zoe recently failed the Euro NCAP crash test. Ironically, the charming pioneer of e-mobility did not receive a star in the current test (see below). This is frightening in two ways because, on the one hand, it saddened me as a brand fan. On the other hand, it superficially arouses doubts about the safety of the vehicle. Surprising: on its debut in 2013, the Zoe still got the full five-star rating. And now the revised model fails, how does that? And is the judgment actually fair?

This is how Euro NCAP rated the Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe flops at Euro NCAP


The Renault Zoe, the electric darling of the Germans, received zero stars in the Euro NCAP crash test in 2021. Eight years ago there was still full marks with five stars. The renowned test organization justifies the flop of the Renault Zoe, among other things, because of the change to an airbag in the current model and the lack of assistants in the basic version. When the group switched to e-mobility, security suffered, according to the auditors. Renault replied that the Zoe was a safe vehicle that met all legal safety requirements.

Side airbags and a lack of assistants were decisive

Euro NCAP punished the current Zoe for having the side airbags integrated into the seat removed during the facelift, chest airbags must be enough. The testing organization also changed the test procedure in 2020 and has been evaluating the assistance skills since then. In plain language: assistants to avoid accidents increase the number of points, their lack in the basic version of the car leads to devaluation. Both pulled the Zoe down. On the one hand, understandable: The test organization takes into account the fact that cars can always be smarter. Across the industry, manufacturers are equipping their vehicles with more and more assistants. Ever more sophisticated sensors monitor the journey. The ability of cars to avoid accidents has evolved. Expensive cars with maximum equipment increase the overall level of safety. Now the basic Zoe remained affordable. You can order it with other assistants, but you don’t have to. Anyone who orders a cheap car without the maximum available safety equipment will receive the receipt from Euro NCAP. But: Shouldn’t one leave the decision about security technology to the buyer?

Renault Zoe at

That sounds like a tired excuse for the zero-star mobile, after all the third most popular electric car in Europe. But it is not. Because I think you always have to see security in relation to the purchase price. Because, in my opinion, the customer is somewhat incapacitated if he only receives fully configured vehicles. Now the affordable Zoe is helping to electrify the car fleet in Germany. That the car cannot keep up with the new BMW iX for 100,000 euros in its eighth year of production? For free. What makes me think: The Fiat 500e got four stars in the same test lap. Reason for thought, also in Paris, as you can hear. Renault is already planning to do so. The emergency brake assistant, which is missing in the base, will be part of the standard equipment of the Zoe from spring 2022. With that the stars would also come back …

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