Arkana is Renault's

first hybrid-only

model

Renault Arkana, 2021, display screen
Renault Arkana, 2021, rear seats
Renault Arkana, 2021, wheels
Renault Arkana, 2021, badge
Renault Arkana, 2021, boot
Renault Arkana, 2021, front, static
Renault Arkana, 2021, front, action
Renault Arkana, 2021, side
Renault Arkana, 2021, rear
Renault Arkana, 2021, interior
Renault Arkana, 2021, instrument panel
Renault Arkana, 2021, instrument panel

TARGETTING the medium-sized car market Renault is making a vehicle with its first purpose-built hybrid powertrains called the Arkana.

It's a coupe-styled SUV that is powered either by the French firm's Formula One inspired E-Tech powertrain or a 140sps mild-hybrid turbo petrol engine.

Both have automatic transmissions and the three trim line up comprises Iconic, S Edition and R.S. Line models priced from £25,300 to £30,900.

We have just tried a left-hand drive version of the new Arkana in top specification R.S. Line trim and in 1.6-litre E-Tech format and it's nicely impressive on all fronts.

It's a clever hybrid system that Renault already uses on the Clio, Megane and the Captur compact SUV and in the Arkana it's rated at 58.9mpg with emissions of 108g/km with a top speed of 107mph and a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 10.8 seconds.

On our drive we didn't quite manage to see such economy figures although our average of 52.9mpg was still more than acceptable.

With well composed handling and an accomplished ride there is plenty to be said for its composure and the Arkana feels solid and responsive.

At 4.56 metres long it's roomy front and rear and with a boot volume ranging between 489 and 1,263 litres it fits the bill as a family-oriented model.

The car is being made at Renault's factory in south Korea where it also builds the larger Koleos SUV and all versions come with a full range of safety systems including lane departure and lane keeping devices.

From mid-range S Edition upwards, the Arkana comes with a 9.3-inch vertical touchscreen giving access to sat nav as well as live traffic and weather information backed up by a Google search function.

Adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alerts are also part of the package and as well as sportier body styling the range topping grade also gets electrically adjustable and heated front seats, an automated parking system and a frameless rear-view mirror as a further snazzy touch.

Driving modes include Eco and Sport settings although we found the Arkana's default setting more than adequate.

Among the current crop of coupe SUVs the Arkana looks more conventional than others from the likes of Mercedes and BMW but tail on it can appear to be slightly top heavy - an effect not repeated with its handling.

However, the Arkana is much more aggressively priced than its German counterparts and the 145bhp E-Tech hybrid version starts from £26,300 while the car we tried came in from £30,900.

The mild-hybrid powertrain is priced £1,000 cheaper than the E-Tech and develops 140bhp from its 1.3-litre engine which tops out at 127mph and is a second faster through the gears under acceleration.

On the economy front it rated officially at 49.6mpg with emissions of 130g/km and is fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as opposed to the fully auto box used on the E-Tech model that seamlessly switches from electric and hybrid modes.

Although still a burgeoning styling take on car design, coupe SUVs are becoming increasingly common and Renault's take on the new fad is as contemporary as they come.

With its advanced hybrid powertrains the Arkana is pleasantly economical, very practical on the family front and something of a bargain in the world of electrified vehicles.

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