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Why America Needs a Nissan-Badged Renault Zoe |

The Renault Zoe, the fourth all-electric car from Renault, is selling strongly in Europe. Smaller than theNissan LEAF, the five door supermini combines charging versatility, seating for five, hatchback styling, and class-leading cargo space in a car just 160.8 inches long. Ten years ago, a car with the small proportions of the Renault Zoe would never have been considered for the U.S. market. But maybe times have changed.

With subcompacts like the Chevrolet Spark and Ford Fiesta proving popular among younger buyers however, Nissan—which has shared a strategic partnership of technology, employees and shares with Renault since 1999—could bring a rebadged Zoe to the U.S. as a smaller, cheaper electric alternative to the Nissan LEAF. After a week at behind the wheel of the Renault Zoe, here’s why I believe it would be a hit.

Fun and Funky

With its aggressive front grille, long, angled headlights and rounded rear, the Renault Zoe has plenty of appeal for younger buyers who don’t need or want a larger car. Inside, the styling continues with a hot-hatch theme—striking front seats, minimalistic interior and easy-to-use dashboard.

Like the smaller two-seat Twizy, also made by Renault and now being sold with a Nissan badge in Japan, the Zoe is designed for city life. The top-spec Zen variant coming with a built-in air-freshener to mask out nasty city odors that have made their way into the cabin. Introduced to the U.S. market, a Nissan-badged Zoe would be a popular choice in congested cities where smaller, stylish and easy-to-park cars have the advantage over less nimble vehicles.



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