Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
The all-new Renault Arkana landed in Irish dealerships in mid-August and customer reaction has been incredibly strong, so much so that they are sold out for 2021. The coupé design with that sloping rear end is most certainly easy on the eye and inside a generous cabin with the latest tech awaits occupants. This was a design trialled by Renault in other markets and although the Arkana was on a different platform, the potential was evident and it had to become a mainstream European offering. Now based on the CMF-B modular platform, the Arkana is longer than the Kadjar SUV and in our opinion, much better looking. Available in Iconic, S Edition and R.S. Line trim levels; the Arkana boasts a massive list of standard equipment including EASY LINK touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. Lets take a closer look at the spec options and what you get for your hard earned cash.
The first thing that greets you when you approach the new Arkana from the front is the Renault LED Pure Vision lighting featuring signature C-shape daytime running lights with automatic activation. Walking to the side you get privacy glass, chrome trim on the wing badging, 3D rear LED lighting and 17-inch diamond-cut ‘Bahamas’ alloy wheels and this is just on the entry-level Iconic model! Step up in price to the S Edition models and you can expect 18-inch ‘Pasadena’ alloys with a diamond-cut finish, slate grey satin front and rear skid plates which give it a more beefy off road stance. Finally if you like a little more road presence you can opt for the R.S. Line specification. Similar to R.S. Line variants across other Renault models, the Arkana R.S. Line gets a sporty front bumper featuring full-width Formula One-inspired aerodynamic front blade and honeycomb grille, dark gun metal front and rear skid plates, R.S. Line wing trims, gloss black door trim/mirrors, and body-coloured door handles with lower door protection finished in black and gun metal. Colour choices include Glacier White, Pearl White, Zanzibar Blue, Flame Red, Metallic Black, and Metallic Grey. R.S. Line models are also available finished in the unique and vibrant colours including Valencia Orange which would be our choice.
The choice of powertrains is uncomplicated, with an emphasis on superior efficiency balanced with impressive performance across two advanced, electrified options: the E-Tech hybrid and TCe petrol mild-hybrid. Inspired by Renault’s experience and expertise in Formula One, E-Tech powertrain technology is protected by 150 patents. In the Arkana, the E-Tech Hybrid 145 powertrain combines a strong and highly efficient 1.6-litre petrol engine, 1.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, delivering an economical, responsive and refined power source with no compromise. Renault anticipates this will be the engine of choice in the line-up for the majority of customers. The combination of petrol and electric power delivers 145hp, plus 148Nm of torque from the petrol engine and 250Nm from the electric motors. Another offering will be the TCe 140 petrol engine, which uses clever mild-hybrid technology. Offering 140hp and 260Nm of torque, this 1.3-litre engine allows the Arkana to hit 100km/h in 9.8 seconds, while also offering consumption as low as 5.8l/100km and CO2 emissions of just 131g/km. The mild-hybrid technology works with a 12-volt starter generator that ensures faster and more refined operation of the Stop & Start function when coming to a standstill, while also reducing emissions at the same time. The TCe 140 engine is available exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch EDC transmission delivering silky smooth gear changes with perfect rev matching.
As expected the Arkana comes with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) ensuring it will be one of the safest drives in its class. All models come with Active Emergency Braking System with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist with active steering, safety distance warning, tyre pressure monitoring, cruise control with speed limiter and Renault Emergency Call with SOS button that automatically engages in the event of an accident. A full suite of airbags is also standard fitment, along with Isofix child seat anchors on the outer rear seats and front passenger seat. In addition, S Edition models have Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert for added reassurance and assistance. R.S. Line models also get Easy Park Assist, capable of automatically performing parking manoeuvres to help you out of that sticky situation.
The Renault Arkana is kicking off at the impressive price point of €28,990 for the TCe 140 Auto in Iconic Trim. A price walk up to €31,090 will get you S Edition specification whilst R.S. Line will set you back €33,690. The slightly more expensive E-TECH Hybrid 145 engine option starts at €30,490 and climbs to €35,190 for the R.S. Line. All have various PCP and finance options available through your trusted Renault dealer network.
Our time was short lived with the new Arkana as it was just an initial test drive to introduce the vehicle to the Irish market. A longer test drive will be provided in 2022 but first impressions were good. In a way Renault are competing with themselves a little, with this offering. Yes some other premium brands do offer coupé like SUV’s but at a much stronger price point. For us we believe Renault customers might opt out of the new Kadjar and into the more stylish Arkana for 2022. We would be opting for the S Edition or R.S. Line models, which both feature a crisp 7.0-inch TFT Driver Information Display enabling customisation of the instrument cluster which is a lovely touch. We got to experience both engine offerings on the day and if truth be told, its hard to pick a winner. Both the TCe 140 and E-Tech Hybrid offer ample power and the automatic gearbox is seamless on both. The distinctive exterior is complemented by a spacious, comfortable interior trimmed with high quality materials across all models and we would urge you to take a test drive if you can find one. This is one of those vehicles that on paper shouldn’t work but it no doubt will and interest is already high!
Just two engine choices
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