Launch Report: How does Renault’s hybrid-only Arkana C-SUV coupé fare?

09 July 2021

The Renault Arkana has a stylish, sporty and dynamic SUV coupé design. Despite this, the vehicle is still quite practical, with decent interior space and generous rear legroom. This is coupled with good headroom due to the rear-seat inclination, which is positive for ride comfort. The boot volume is among the largest in the segment, at 513 litres for the mild-hybrid version and 480 litres for the full-hybrid (HEV) variant.

The Arkana offers good driving dynamics, handles well in bends, and has a decent chassis overall. The CVT-style gearbox could hold the revs a little longer, but the full-hybrid drivetrain certainly provides a nice smooth delivery.

The controls are intuitive, and the standard equipment level is high on every trim, coupled with an attractive price. In Spain, for example, the Zen trim line offers front-parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor and wireless-phone charging as standard, unlike rivals. Optional high-tech features include a digital instrument cluster and a central touchscreen, a 360º camera, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist, and a heated electric driver’s seat. The large screen and the infotainment system work well, with a multi-view screen.

SUVs in general remain very popular, despite the plentiful supply on the market, and SUV coupés are increasingly trendy. Renault stands to benefit as it is the first mainstream European brand to offer such a model and the Arkana is a newer choice than the Kia XCeed, for example. The model is also being launched at a time when Renault is renewing its image with a new logo and the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, as well as recently updating numerous models including the Captur, Kangoo, Mégane, Espace and Scenic.

The efficient hybrid powertrains mean the Arkana has low fuel consumption. It is, therefore, not subject to a malus (tax penalty) in France and is also eligible for the ‘ECO’ sticker in Spain. Only a few C-SUV models are available with HEV engines, such as the Toyota CH-R, Ford Kuga, and Hyundai Tucson. However, only the two hybrid petrol engines are available, whereas rivals offer plug-in hybrid, full-electric and diesel powertrains.

Click here or on the image above to read Autovista Group’s benchmarking of the Renault Arkana in France, Spain, and the UK. The interactive launch report presents new prices, forecast RVs and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.