Renault R5 Hatchback Returns as an EV, and the Price Is Right

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read

  • 2025 Renault 5 E-Tech EV is shown in production form, promising a choice of 94-, 121-, and 148-hp motors.
  • The larger of the two batteries, a 52-kWh unit, is set to offer 249 miles in the WLTP cycle, while the 40-kWh pack will promise 186 miles in the same cycle.
  • The electric hatch will start at the equivalent of $27,100 in Europe, upstaging the long-promised Tesla Model 2, but not any of the small Chinese EVs now heading for Europe.

The Renault Le Car may have been just a blip on the US import radar in the bad old days of Malaise, but elsewhere in the world the 5 was actually a massive hit. And it stayed around far longer, well into the late 1980s, while also spawning some very saucy mid-engine variants that are now worth pallets of euros.

More than 50 years after its launch, the Renault 5 is now back as an EV, and it looks ridiculously well designed—even the GenXers who’ve endured rusty Le Cars in college in the 1980s have to admit this.

The debut of the Renault 5 E-Tech in Geneva this month itself was not a surprise as the model was previewed as a concept back 2021, and seemingly little has been lost in translation from concept to production car.

And just like the Renault 5 of yesteryear, it is not a big car, with an overall length of 154.3 inches.

The Chevy Bolt hatch, for comparison, is 163.2 inches long, while the 2024 Mini Cooper in two-door flavor is 152.2 inches long.

And it won’t offer vastly more power than gas or diesel hatchbacks in Europe, with a choice of three FWD motors producing 94, 121, and 148 hp.

a yellow car with a black background


The exterior design stays close to the themes of the original Renault 5.

This means ludicrous speeds probably won’t be experienced even in the 148-hp version. But then again, power wasn’t exactly the point of the original Renault 5.

Two battery options will be on the menu, with the smaller 40-kWh unit promising 186 miles in the WLTP cycle, while the larger 52-kWh pack will be good for 249 miles.

The larger of the two battery packs could translate to something closer to 200 miles in the EPA cycle, but we’ll likely never know for sure as EPA won’t be certifying it anytime soon.

The number that looks far more appealing, at least to us, is the €25,000 starting price, which translates to about $27,100.

That’s pretty much what the long-promised Tesla Model 2 was aiming for until it got delayed, restarted, and delayed again. But the difference is that the Renault is actually going on sale in Europe this year, and it won’t even be the most affordable electric hatchback there.

The €25,000 will still get you the obligatory widescreen infotainment system measuring 10.1 inches, standard 18-inch wheels, and some of the coolest car seats we’ve seen in years, inspired by the rabid R5 Turbo.

the interior of a car


The interior certainly looks far nicer than anything we’ve recently seen for $27,100.

Two of the five colors at launch, Pop Yellow and Pop Green, were inspired by the original R5’s color options, and both offer retro ‘70s looks that are sorely missed in a sea of Landlord Gray Teslas and other modern EVs.

Renault won’t sell you one of these stateside no matter how much you swear at them over the phone in the French you remember from high school.

But weirdly enough not one but two places in North America should be able to receive these: the Saint Pierre and Miquelon islands up near Newfoundland that are parts of France, and also Mexico. Renault indeed has a presence Down Under, we often forget, so perhaps you’ll be able to rent one of these in a year or so in Acapulco.

Will shorter-range electric hatches gain popularity in the US, or is everything destined to be some type of crossover in our (possibly) electric future? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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