Renault Arkana S

Edition E-Tech

Hybrid 145

Renault Arkana, 2021, side
Renault Arkana, 2021, nose
Renault Arkana, 2021, rear
Renault Arkana, 2021, interior
Renault Arkana, 2021, rear seats
Renault Arkana, 2021, boot

THERE are ‘hybrids', then there are ‘hybrids'.

By that, we mean there are huge differences between various models loosely grouped together by the same name. So it's up to the buyer to choose between mild hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

Here we sample the Renault Arkana 1.6 E-Tech, a full hybrid - which means it can be powered by electric alone, albeit only for a short distance.

While it loses out to some rivals on performance, it gains in terms of economy with nearly 60mpg being a realistic result during everyday driving.

A further plus is that although the outright acceleration is around average, the take-off from standstill is immediate and more rapid that a conventional internal combustion engined car.

The Arkana joins the growing band of SUVs that boast semi-coupe looks in an attempt to appeal to buyers who otherwise not look towards an SUV. Despite its sloping roof, it's quite practical and spacious with a 480litre boot and ample headroom front and rear.

By SUV standards, you sit relatively low and the ride is a tad firmer than average which rather fits in with car's coupe image. Handling is tidy and cornering is pleasantly roll-free although bumps and severe pits in the road surface are felt by the occupants.

Over decent roads, it is sure-footed and nimble and quite fun to punt along, partly thanks to nicely weighted steering with a degree of road feel.

The CVT automatic gearbox - standard issue in this version - tends to make the engine a bit frenetic under hard acceleration but things quieten down when you throttle back or cruise.

The front seats are well shaped and comfortable and the steering wheel has a full range of adjustment allowing the driver to choose the ideal position. It's an easy car to drive and one that soaks up the miles effortlessly.

Interior is classier than Renaults of old, with high grade plastics, soft-touch materials, the ubiquitous touch screen popping out of the centre of the dash and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Switches and knobs are solid and glide nicely. We did find the radio volume controls - positioned at the rear of a stumpy steering column stalk - somewhat fiddly to use. Renault has favoured this design for years.

No shortage of space for family clutter inside the Arkana - plenty of cup holders, door pockets are well sized and there's space under the central armrest for more bits and pieces.

Rear visibility isn't a strong point. The angled rear screen reduces the view and in the wet you notice that Renault hasn't thought it necessary to fit a rear wiper so rain drops remain on the sear screen, further limiting visibility.

Standard safety equipment onboard the S-Edition includes lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning system and traffic sign recognition are all fitted.

FAST FACTS

Renault Arkana S Edition E-Tech Hybrid 145

Price: £29,995

Mechanical: 1,598cc, petrol hybrid, 4 cyl, 142bhp engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 107bhp

0-62mph: 10.8sec

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 109g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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