Road Test by Mark Slack: Renault Arkana – presence and style

Road Test by Mark Slack: Renault Arkana – presence and style

Renault Arkana – presence and style. Image - Renault/Mark Slack

It looks more coupe crossover, think slimmed down BMW X6, and Renault’s Arkana certainly adds a dash of style with my test model looking particularly stylish thanks to its splendid Zanzibar Blue paint finish. Although it adds €747/£650 to the car’s price tag it’s a standout colour for all the right reasons.

Prices start at €32,630/£28,395 for the lead-in Evolution model, with three further trim levels and full hybrid powertrains. The 1.6-litre petrol full hybrid unit develops 142hp and has a 6-speed clutchless automatic.

Standard equipment is good with all models having automatic lights and wipers, climate control, front and rear parking sensors and rearview camera. My test model was the Techno model starting at €34,928/£30,395, including adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, LED lights, keyless entry and start, navigation, privacy glass and auto-dimming rearview mirror 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 the Arkana handles well and rough roads do not upset the car’s comfortable ride.

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 a 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 buying hit list for those seeking something a little different to the conventional norm.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Renault Arkana Techno Full Hybrid
  • Engine: 1.6-litre petrol developing 142 bhp with hybrid electric power
  • Gears: 6-speed clutchless automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 10.8 seconds/Maximum Speed 172 kph (107 mph)
  • Economy: 3.99l/100km (58.9 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)
  • Emissions: 108 g/km (WLTP)

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

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.