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The Renault Arkana is perfect for those looking for a coupe SUV with plenty of space and good fuel economy.

20 Nov 2021

Mention the words 'coupe SUV' and more likely than not, the cars that come to most minds will include the evocative BMW X4 and X6, or perhaps even the divisively-styled Toyota C-HR.

But now there's a new French option in town, hoping to muscle in on this new segment that caters to the style-conscious.

Chic and sleek

The Renault Arkana gets plastic wheel arch fenders and sizable side steps, alongside those 18-inch rims for a distinctively rugged, SUV look
This is the Renault Arkana. And just like its contemporaries, it sports rather unique styling. Up front, the C-shaped head lights on the Arkana may mirror the rest of Renault's lineup, but this coupe SUV also sports plastic wheel arches and sizable side steps for that rugged and utilitarian SUV look.

And at the back, there's a pair of distinctive taillights running the width of the car (as is the current fashion), interrupted only by the centrally-placed badge.

Strong and refined

This interesting looking French model is also equipped with a rather unique hybrid drivetrain, which Renault states was developed with lessons taken from its participation in Formula One. Hence, there's a multi-mode dogbox transmission (used here to improve efficiency) linking a 1.6-litre engine to two electric motors.

1.6-litre unit assisted by two electric motors delivered a tested fuel economy of 16.4km/L
Driven on regular roads, the drivetrain makes the Renault Aranka feel far stronger than its modest total system output of 141bhp and 250Nm of torque would suggest. There's plenty of push off the line, with power only tapering off once you reach highway speeds.

And it is also a fairly refined thing. Dogbox transmissions may be better known for their violent power delivery but thanks to the assistance of the electric motors, acceleration is always smooth in the Renault Arkana.

Unfortunately, the petrol engine itself can make quite the ruckus when pushed, a letdown compounded by the fact that it will on occasion hold onto revs even when the accelerator pedal is only gently depressed.

Spacious and comfortable

Bose Edition variants get a 9.3-inch touchscreen in the cabin, while the standard model will get a 7.0-inch unit
Don't think however that your passengers will be too perturbed to ride in the Arkana. To start, insulation levels here are otherwise very good.

You'll only detect the faintest wind and road noise when on the go. And the car, despite being equipped with a torsion beam setup at the rear, does a decent job of absorbing bumps on the road.

There's also good space for all in the cabin. Foot and leg room is generous at the rear, thanks to the Arkana's significant 2,720mm wheelbase, and that sloping roof only really begins to drop down from behind the rear headrests, so there's plenty of head room at the back as well.

Economical and distinctive

Foot and leg room is actually generous at the rear, while there is still sufficient head room despite the sloping roof
Unfortunately, that generosity of space isn't carried over aft of the rear seats. With a 480-litre boot, the Renault Arkana has less cargo space then the smaller Renault Captur.

It will still be enough for everyday shopping, but those that like to ferry tall items will need to leave the parcel shelf at home and push their items all the way to the back in the Arkana.

Thankfully, you'll find there's decent fuel economy to be had with this coupe SUV.

We drove the car for three days and averaged a fuel consumption of 16.4km/L, which is mighty considering the car's size and 1,446kg weight, and a very welcome fact given the rising cost of petrol these days.

Acceleration off the line in the Renault Arkana is strong
And talking about prices, this Bose Edition model that upgrades the central infotainment screen size and adds Renault's 'My Sense' drive mode selector amongst other features, is not available for sale as yet (expect it to arrive in Singapore in a few months).

However, we have been informed by Renault Singapore that it will retail for a $10,000 premium above the standard model, which is currently selling at $174,999 (as of 18 November 2021).

That means this Renault Arkana can be had for a price not far from popular SUVs such as the Subaru Forester and the Volkswagen Tiguan, but you'll be getting the bonus of a hybrid drivetrain as well as a more distinctive exterior. And daring to be different is what all these coupe SUVs are all about, right?

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car review  renault  arkana  renault arkana  coupe suv,  suv  hybrid  hybrid suv  french