which to choose? (finishes, engines, options)

17,977 copies in 2021 and 7,569 between January and March 2022. In France, the Renault Arkana is very successful. This model, which appeared in Spring 2021, uses a recipe already proven by premium German manufacturers : that of the SUV coupe.

Paradoxical as it may be, with the attributes of a fighter mixed with those of a coupé and its elusive profile, this offering has yet to find any real competition from other general-purpose manufacturers; the Honda HR-V (4.34 meters) and Volkswagen Taigo (4.27 meters) look much more compact.

This apparition is accompanied here bya very adequate habitabilityeven for two adults installed in the rear, and a substantial trunk volume, set at 513 liters (480 in hybrid).

Thanks to the adjustable floor, the 2/3-1/3 folding backrests generate a large flat surface when folded. Too bad, however, that the loading limit seems so high.

The pretty conventional panel in its presentation, it uses Captur furniture, in addition to a gratifying and intuitive touch screen.

The set is pleasant, with simple and effective ergonomics, and the manufacturing quality remains satisfactory. Finally, this SUV coupe won the maximum five-star crash test rating EuroNCAP.

Extended by 4.57 meters and based on a technical base of the Captur extended at the wheelbase level, the Arkana generates serious road services, with a very dynamic behavior and a relative firmness in the controls, which does not prevent it from offering a good level of comfort.

Some tremors appear on the imperfect pavement, especially at the rear, but this SUV remains a pleasant commuter. However, heavy riders will find something to complain about: Arkana is not offered with diesel engines.

Renault Arkana: equipment

The access version, called Zen (from €30,800), has:

  • six airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection
  • active lane keeping assistant
  • tire pressure check
  • traffic sign recognition
  • Isofix connections
  • emergency call button
  • automatic headlights and windshield wipers
  • daytime running lights
  • cruise control/speed limiter
  • reverse camera
  • full LED headlights
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • automatic air conditioning
  • front and rear electric windows
  • electrically folding heated mirrors
  • access card/initial “hands-free”
  • 2/3-1/3 folding rear backrests
  • Height-adjustable front seats
  • anti-dazzle interior mirror
  • electric parking brake
  • Multimedia system with 7” Easy Link touchscreen with smartphone replication, Bluetooth, WiFi, DAB radio and six speakers
  • leather steering wheel
  • black fabric upholstery
  • 17″ alloy wheels
  • puncture repair kit

The Intens finish (from €32,950) adds:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • approaching vehicle alert when exiting parking lot
  • the parking brake automatic locking/unlocking function (auto-hold)
  • automatic switching from headlights to dipped beams
  • adaptive cruise control
  • driving programs
  • a center armrest in the rear seats
  • digital instrumentation
  • a 9”3 touchscreen with GPS
  • indoor ambient lighting
  • 18″ alloy wheels

Renault Arcana

The RS line version (from €35,700) represents the top of the range. She adds:

  • semi-autonomous parking
  • side obstacle detection
  • electrically adjustable front seats
  • the heated steering wheel
  • induction smartphone charging
  • heated front seats
  • the contoured interior mirror
  • a black roof
  • black mirror caps
  • RS line rims
  • a specific interior/exterior treatment, with carbon coating.

A Business version is offered to an exclusively professional clientele.

Our advice: aesthetically more discreet than the RS line and already well stocked with equipment, the Intens version seems very recommendable. But the basic finish, called Zen, already benefits from a nice endowment.

Renault Arkana: petrol

First launched with the 140 hp four-cylinder engine 1.3 TCe (7 HP, from €30,800)the Arkana then received an increased variation to 160 hp (8 hp, from €34,150).

Both engines adopt an alternator-start micro-hybridization, imperceptible behind the wheel, centered around a modest 12V electrical grid.

Miserly in terms of vibration, this turbo engine generates good driving pleasure, with flexibility and more than honest reminders. Compulsorily associated with the 7-speed EDC robotic transmission, generally well managed and smooth, the TCe only differ from each other in terms of performance.

The access version develops 260 Nm of torque, against 270 for the TCe 160, the latter swallowing the 0 to 100 km/h in 9.1 secondsor 7 tenths faster than its little brother.

The maximum speed (205 km/h) is the same. Finally, in terms of consumption and CO2 emissions, there is no significant difference between the two versions: each model can, depending on its equipment, suffera maximum fine of €210.

It should also be noted that the TCe 160 hp, which “only” implies an additional cost of €1,200 for equivalent equipment, is only offered from the Intens intermediate finish.

Our advice: if the additional cost of the identically finished TCe 160 seems acceptable, this engine changes very little behind the wheel, save for improved performance and no excessive consumption. Our choice therefore goes to the TCe 140.

Renault Arcana

Renault Arkana: in hybrid

Important clarification: this Arkana (5 CV, from €32,300) cannot be plugged into an outlet. This is a ‘simple’ hybrid, not a plug-in version.

Its small 1.2 kWh battery recharges itself automatically during certain operating phases, but it can only drive the vehicle in 100% electric mode during take-off, short distances and during manoeuvres.

But this mechanism, taken from the Captur E-Tech 145 and made up of a 91 hp gasoline unit coupled to two electric motors, nevertheless proves to be very efficient and economical in urban use, at speeds that allow it to a very regular evolution in electric mode.

In the secondary network and expressways, the interest of this hybridization remains more debatable in theory, but approval remains at the meeting point. This is even more true when adopting a smooth, fluid ride.

The management of the flows of thermal and electrical energy is carried out without problems, during the increases the 4-cylinder raises the pitch. This is in part due to a unique and unprecedented clutchless transmission called multimode.

The performances continue a tone below the TCe 140 and TCe 160, with 0 to 100 km/h homologated in 10.8 secondsmaximum speed limited to 172 km/h and slower pick-ups.

But the appetite for this version still remained. reasonable during our tests: about 6 l/100 km on average on mixed roads and 7.4 l/100 km on the highway. Consumption according to the WLTP cycle is 4.8 l/100 km and, with CO2 emissions of 108 g/km, this Arkana does not suffer any penalty.

Our advice: more expensive to acquire and less efficient than 100% thermal, the Arkana hybrid is of real interest to those who regularly travel in urban and suburban areas, both for consumption and leisure.

Renault Arkana: an option to choose?

The space-saving spare wheel increases the account by 180 €. In the Intens trim, the leather package (leather upholstery, electric and heated front seats) costs €1,700 as an option.

Metallic paints cost €650 or €850, the winter pack (heated front seats and heated steering wheel) is presented at €400, the electric sunroof requires an extension of €900.

Renault Arcana

The Renault Arkana in numbers

  • 10: Renault’s SUV coupé entered the top ten car sales in France between January and March 2022, with 7,569 units sold. At Renault, in that period, only the Clio (15,771) and Captur (11,840) fared better.
  • 25,546: This is the number of copies of Arkana sold in France since its spring 2021 release (the volume stopped at the end of March 2022).
  • 2155: This is the height of the Arkana, in millimeters, when the tailgate is open. Be careful in underground car parks.
  • 11.2: In meters, this is Arkana’s turning circle.

DATA SHEET (Renault Arkana)

  • LxWxH (m): 4.57×1.82×1.58
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.72
  • Tank (l): 50
  • Chest in 5 (l): 513 (480 in E-Tech)

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