Renault Arkana – a dash of style with this new coupe crossover

Renault Arkana

ITS looks more coupe crossover, think slimmed down BMW X6, and Renault’s new Arkana certainly adds a dash of style with my test model looking particularly stylish thanks to its splendid Zanzibar Blue paint finish.

Prices start at €31,093/£26,290 for the lead-in Iconic model, with two further trim levels and two engines, offering mild hybrid and full hybrid powertrains. The 1.3-litre turbo-charged petrol unit develops 138hp and has a seven-speed dual clutch automatic, while the more powerful 1.6-litre petrol offers full hybrid and a six-speed clutchless automatic.

Standard equipment is good with all models having automatic lights and wipers, climate control, cruise, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera and navigation. My test model was the S-Edition starting at €33,817/£28,590, including adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, LED lights, keyless entry and start, plus a host of safety and other kit. Oddly there’s no rear wiper, although it doesn’t seem to obstruct vision in wet weather but still a strange omission.

The Arkana’s full hybrid system allows the car to sort out when to go electric, petrol or both, and to manually select pure electric for short distances. It makes for a very easy drive with smooth transitions between electric and combustion power. This smooth and refined drive is audibly interrupted if you opt for sudden, hard acceleration, as the engine revs rise and wait for everything else to catch up. It’s a trait that isn’t unique to Renault transmissions of this type, and to be fair this is one of the better systems in this regard. Go for smooth, progressive acceleration and the Arkana will power itself away with a delightfully unruffled air.

With a 107 mph top speed and 62 mph passed in 10.8 seconds it’s by no means pedestrian. Despite a taller stance it handles well and rough roads did not upset the Arkana’s comfort.

Inside there’s a nicely laid out, modern looking dash with buttons (hurrah!) and sensible touchscreen operations. The central touchscreen is portrait orientated, rather than the more usual landscape, and works better for it in my view.

The Arkana’s style won’t be to everyone’s taste but it has real presence without the compromised looks of similar coupe crossovers. There’s a feel of quality along with decent levels of interior space. It’s definitely one that should be high on the hit list for those seeking something a little different to the conventional norm.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Renault Arkana

Engine: 1.6-litre petrol developing 142 bhp with hybrid electric power

Gears: 6-speed clutchless automatic

Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 10.8 seconds/Maximum Speed 172 kmh (107 mph)

Economy: 4.8l/100km (58.9 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)

Emissions: 109 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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