Renault arkana suv

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SUV coupes, while still a niche product, are becoming more common and, with the Renault Arkana, more affordable.

Renault arcana.

When the first BMW X6 was launched in 2008, almost nobody really believed in the success of SUV coupes. But in the meantime you can see them on our streets almost regularly – and some manufacturers have such models on offer, but mostly only in the higher price segment.

However, as is so often the case in the automotive world, technical innovations or successful ideas are gradually slipping into lower price regions.

With the Arkana, which is now available, Renault also has an SUV with a coupe rear on offer for the first time – and that from a comparatively reasonable CHF 31,800. When it comes to design, the Frenchman doesn't need to hide at all. At the front, it takes on the typical Renault SUV look, which is particularly evident in the C-shaped daytime running lights. Of course, the most striking thing is the rear with a sloping roof line, which makes the Arkana unique in the Renault world. Nevertheless, the space in the trunk remains good; Of course, there is a lack of height, especially in the rear area, but there is still up to 513 liters of loading volume and a pleasantly deep loading sill. Especially when you consider that customers are not dependent on maximum loading volume with an SUV coupe anyway, this is absolutely sufficient for most everyday situations.

Renault Arkana SUV-renault

Renault arcana.

The flat roofline is clearly noticeable on the back seat; but people up to about 1.90 meters will still find enough headroom. With a length of 4.56 meters, the newcomer is a good 8 centimeters shorter than, for example, a Renault Megane Grandtour; This is reflected in the somewhat restricted knee room on the back seat. Anyone who regularly travels with four people and a lot of luggage will still be better off with a station wagon. But with an SUV coupe in particular, the number one reason to buy is the design.

You don't have to accept any losses on the front seats. Here the Arkana is equipped with the well-known Renault platform technology. A large touchscreen in portrait format controls all important functions, and there is also a digital speedometer unit for the driver. The graphics don't look ultra-modern on the displays, but they are definitely clear. The operation is basically problem-free; you only have to be familiar with the submenus for detailed settings.

The new Renault model is powered exclusively by 4-cylinder engines. The entry is a 1.3-liter turbo with 130 hp and 7-speed dual clutch transmission. This is also installed as standard in the more powerful 1.6-liter version with 160 hp. Renault specifies consumption for the pure petrol engines as at least 5.8 l/100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 132 grams per kilometer. The third engine variant is closer to the required 95 grams per kilometer, which the manufacturers have to achieve on a fleet average: The "E-Tech" hybrid comes in at 101 grams, which corresponds to a consumption of 4.8 l/100 km.

At home in the city

The heart of the system is a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine with 69 kW (94 hp). It is supplemented by a small storage battery in the rear, which reduces the trunk to 480 liters. The battery has a storage capacity of 1.2 kWh and is charged by recovering braking energy. This ultimately drives an electric motor with 36 kW and a starter generator that can contribute an additional 12 kW. The interaction of the engines is managed via a unique dog gear that does not require a clutch; this reduces wear and weight. During the first test drive, the system shows its best side, especially in city traffic. When coasting and braking, the battery is charged and the petrol engine switched off, so that driving off is usually possible without the petrol engine. The internal combustion engine is often unemployed and only has to work when driving at a constant speed, when it can hardly be heard or felt. This allows you to travel very comfortably and quietly in the city – and imagine yourself in a world between electric drive and petrol engine.

Renault Arkana SUV-renault

Renault arcana.

On hilly overland routes, the petrol engine usually has to provide propulsion. Especially on inclines, the transmission sometimes has trouble finding the right one from the numerous transmission options, which makes the engine seem loud and a bit rough. Anyone who regularly has to climb hills will probably be more comfortable with one of the two pure petrol engines with a conventional double-clutch transmission. Basically, there is nothing wrong with driving comfort; this also had top priority for the chassis developers. Although the car allows noticeable body roll in curves, it is difficult to get upset on bad asphalt. Even rough bumps are cushioned without hesitation.

But that doesn't make the Arkana an off-roader – it's only available with front-wheel drive. If you need all-wheel drive and more space, the sister model Kadjar is still better served. Nevertheless, the Arkana is anything but superfluous, because with another variant Renault is even better positioned in the growing SUV segment. Because while station wagons and vans in this size class are constantly losing market share, SUVs are steadily increasing: in 2021 the share will be 21 percent!

Renault Arkana SUV-renault

Renault arcana.

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