The Renault Arkana is on sale in Ireland now from €28,990
The Renault Arkana is on sale in Ireland now from €28,990

The Renault Arkana has just arrived in Ireland, and goes on sale now priced from €28,990. This exciting new SUV coupé for the French brand will go on sale alongside the popular Captur and Kadjar SUVs, with Renault’s latest hybrid powertrains making up the range. Caroline was at the press launch in Dublin to find out more about the new Arkana range and bring it for a first drive on Irish roads.

Styling

Renault make some of the best-looking cars on the road and the Arkana is no different. SUV coupés used to be something premium brands brought to market to help their customers feel a little more unique and different to their SUV cousins. Now Renault brings this design angle to the mass market with a very stylish Arkana. It particularly ‘pops’ in a bright colour and certainly easily distinguishable from a Kadjar for example. The side profile is sporty with typical Renault flourish to the LED light signatures front and rear. Tinted windows, chrome trim on the wing badging, 3D rear LED lighting and 17-inch diamond-cut ‘Bahamas’ alloy wheels all feature on entry-level Iconic models, plus body-colour door handles with chrome and black lower door protection.

Interior

Inside there is a new generation Renault interior, which means there is a good fit and finish to the interior, with a significant digital presence in the cabin also. Iconic models kick off the range with a 7.0-inch display with DAB radio and Bluetooth functionality, while S Edition and R.S. Line models have a 9.3-inch portrait screen featuring navigation with live traffic services and weather information, Google address search and 4G connectivity and automatic update services for three years. The 9.3 inch screen is certainly desirable. Arkana S Edition and R.S. Line models also feature a 7.0-inch TFT Driver Information Display ahead of the driver. The interior of the Arkana R.S. Line stands out with special R.S. Line sports seats upholstered in leather and suede-effect, complemented by red stitching that also extends to the door panels, gear lever and central armrest. Red detailing is also found on the leather steering wheel with unique R.S. Line marker. Completing the interior enhancements are aluminium pedals, a carbon-effect dashboard panel with full-width red trim, plus black headlining.

The interior of the Renault Arkana R.S. Line
The interior of the Renault Arkana R.S. Line

Practicality

The Arkana has not compromised space for style and seems adequately sized inside for the C-SUV segment. Based on the CMF-B modular platform, it’s longer than the Kadjar and in spite of the coupé profile offers generous interior space to complement the high driving position popular with drivers of Renault’s SUVs. The boot is surprisingly large too, packing in 480 litres on E-TECH hybrids, 513-litres with a variable-height boot floor featuring on petrol versions. For maximum interior space, the rear seats fold, leaving a level, flat load area for bulkier items.

Engines

The Arkana was built to be a hybrid from the start of development and is a key model to push forward the broadened electrification of Renault’s model range. The brand’s new E-TECH hybrid powertrain features across every trim level. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 1.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, with a power output of 145 hp. Renault Ireland think it will be the engine of choice in the line-up for the majority of customers. It’s proposed as the most efficient of the range, returning consumption as low as to 4.9l/100 km (WLTP). Arkana will also be available in Ireland with the TCe 140 petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology. This 1.3-litre engine has 140 hp and fuel consumption is officially rated at 5.8l/100km (WLTP). Both offerings are automatic by default, no manual gearboxes or diesel on offer in this range. 

Driving it

The 2021 Renault Arkana feels immediately mature and confident on the road. The handling is good with a nice flowing character through bends and body roll kept in check. On the motorway it cruises well and appears to be comfortable also, a must for a family car. What was most impressive during my drive, was the power and responsiveness of both engines – if they are as efficient as Renault claim, the brand could be on to a real winner with these models.
SUV coupé style from Renault with the new Arkana
SUV coupé style from Renault with the new Arkana

Pricing

TCe 140 Auto EDC E-TECH Hybrid 145 Auto
All-new Arkana Iconic €28,990 €30,490
All-new Arkana S Edition €31,090 €32,590
All-new Arkana R.S. Line €33,690 €35,190

Equipment

In Ireland the Arkana is available in three trim lines – Iconic, S Edition and R.S. Line. Standard equipment includes EASY LINK 7″ touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 17″ diamond-cut alloy wheels, rear view camera, automatic air con, cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and full LED lighting technology. S Edition models get 18-inch ‘Pasadena’ alloy wheels, extra tinted windows and slate grey satin front and rear skid plates. Similar to R.S. Line variants across other Renault models, the Arkana R.S. Line is set apart with unique front bumpers featuring full-width Formula One-inspired aerodynamic front blade and honeycomb grille, dark gun metal front and rear skid plates, R.S. Line wing trim, gloss black door mirrors and window trim, and body-coloured door handles with lower door protection finished in black and gun metal. There are also double chromed tailpipes and 18-inch grey and black diamond-cut R.S. Line ‘Silverstone’ alloy wheels, complete with red highlights.

A contrasting black roof is available as an option on S Edition and R.S. Line models. Body colours include Glacier White, Pearl White, Zanzibar Blue, Flame Red, Metallic Black, and Metallic Grey.

R.S. Line models are also available finished in vibrant Valencia Orange.

Summary

The Renault Arkana gives a great first impression with its look-at-me styling and super smooth hybrid powertrains. With SUVs still being the hot spot of the market, it seems there can never be too many available and the Arkana brings a typically premium SUV coupé style to the mass market – with considerable style.

The Arkana feels just as mature inside with the brand’s latest interior technology and a comfortable cabin.

One to watch – we will have a full review of this car on Changing Lanes before the end of the year to really put the new hybrid powertrain to the test.

The Arkana was built for hybrid from the start
The Arkana was built for hybrid from the start

Caroline Kidd