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Revised Renault Arkana E-Tech Full Hybrid Goes The Distance.

Revised Renault Arkana E-Tech Full Hybrid Goes The Distance.

Designed to turn heads, the revised Renault Arkana E-Tech full hybrid reinvents the sports SUV. With a streamlined silhouette, raised ground clearance and restyled grille with diamond motifs, it successfully combines a dynamic shape with a spacious interior enhanced by a large boot. The Arkana looks like no other car in its class with its flowing lines and sleek coupé design, but it stays true to its SUV roots with excellent interior space for all five occupants. The Arkana is based on the French brand’s Captur SUV, but with a lower and more raked roofline, with longer overall dimensions offering more legroom for rear passengers. Additionally, the rear seats have been oriented to maximise head room, while the 480-litre boot ensures a generous load area behind the rear seats. For maximum interior space, the rear seats fold, leaving a level, flat load area for bulkier items.

Electrified Petrol Engines.

The Arkana is available with two electrified petrol engines. Buyers can choose from an E-TECH hybrid unit, combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors to produce 145bhp, or a mild (micro) hybrid option that provides a boost to the 140bhp petrol engine but can’t drive under electrical power alone. In the self-charging E-TECH hybrid version the electric motors work together with the petrol engine when you pull away, come to a standstill or when you need extra power in acceleration phases. The electric power is supplied by a small 230V 1.2kWh traction battery which recharges through regenerative braking and is located under the back seats. As a result, the support of electric power reduces fuel consumption from the petrol engine and enhances the overall driving experience, with improved responsiveness and silence when driving in full electric mode. The mild-hybrid system features a 1.3-litre petrol engine (TCe) with a smaller 12V battery which also stores energy recovered during braking. The energy is then used to support the petrol engine under acceleration and to offer smoother stop and start functionality.

Generously-Equipped Trim Levels.

Available in Evolution, Techno and Esprit Alpine trim levels, the new Arkana features an extensive list of standard equipment including EASY LINK touchscreen display, diamond-cut alloy wheels and full LED lighting technology. The entry-level Arkana Evolution features a 7-inch media system with navigation, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, along with wireless smartphone replication, while Arkana Techno and Esprit Alpine models come with a bigger portrait 9.3-inch display with 3D navigation, hybrid voice recognition and applications store. Renault has a strong safety record, so it will come as no surprise that the new Arkana has been awarded five stars by crash test experts at Euro NCAP. Standard safety equipment across the range includes an active emergency braking system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as a lane keep assist system, and traffic sign recognition with overspeed prevention. There is a safety distancing warning on hand (to advise if you’re getting too close to the car in front), and an emergency call button which can alert the emergency services in the event of an accident. There is also the usual tally of airbags, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system and Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats and front passenger seat. Also standard are rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, tinted windows and a 7-inch driver information display. The Arkana Techno model gains blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, as well as larger alloy wheels (18-inch, as opposed to 17-inch in Evolution trim), a Formula 1™ blade-style body coloured bumpers, fabric & artificial leather upholstery, wireless phone charger, MULTI-SENSE: 3driving modes and 8 ambient lighting colours, and a 10-inch driver information display, while the top-spec Arkana Esprit Alpine features Renault Easy Drive, 19-inch alloys, black door mirrors, and Esprit Alpine exterior styling. The Esprit Alpine variant draws inspiration from the world of motorsport, and combines robustness and elegance with sporty elements such as the Formula 1-style esprit Alpine bumper and stunning 19” esprit Alpine alloy wheels, along with twin-exhaust pipes that complement the assertive SUV look. The premium cabin of the Arkana Esprit Alpine also exudes opulence with artificial leather and suede upholstery, heated driver and front passenger seats, heated steering wheel, power adjustable driver and passenger seats with lumbar adjustment on the drivers seat.

Test Car Details.

My test car was a new Arkana Esprit Alpine E-TECH Full Hybrid, which was finished in elegant Universal White metallic paintwork. Producing 142bhp and 250Nm of torque, the Arkana E-TECH Hybrid can sprint from 0-100km/h in 10.8-seconds and can reach a top speed of 172km/h (where permitted), while fuel consumption as low as 4.7l/100kms is possible when driven on a WLTP combined driving cycle. This equates to a potential fuel return of 60.1mpg, thereby providing up to 1,000km of petrol/electric driving range with a full tank of petrol (according to WLTP data). Additionally, a CO2 emission figure of 107-110 g/km leads to annual road tax of just €180. The six-speed multi-mode automatic transmission in the Arkana is smooth in its operation and adds to the overall ease of drivability, while drivers looking for a responsive coupé/SUV with excellent handling characteristics won’t be disappointed by what the Arkana E-TECH Hybrid has to offer. It corners enthusiastically and soaks up most road imperfections unobtrusively, with comfortable and supportive seats ensuring that occupants remain composed and relaxed on every journey. As with all hybrid vehicles, it is not possible to travel a substantial distance under electric power alone, but the Arkana’s hybrid system does prioritise electric mode, particularly on start-up. This means that you can creep away from a standstill without the petrol engine kicking in – ideal for drivers who have to tackle congested city streets during their daily commute. With up to 80% of city driving undertaken in electric mode, it is possible to achieve up to 40% in fuel savings, while reduced Co2 emissions also greatly help the environment.

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.

The Arkana Full Hybrid rewards drivers with crisp and responsive acceleration, along with the benefit of low fuel consumption. With its athletic, sloping profile, modern design touches and the most up-to-date lighting technology delivering a standout signature, the Arkana possesses a distinctive and sleek presence on the road. Pricing for the revised Renault Arkana starts at just €33,540 (including delivery charges) for the Arkana Evolution TCe 140 Auto, or from just €285 per month on PCP finance at 6.9% APR – terms & conditions apply. All new Renault cars come with warranty protection providing worry-free motoring for 5 years or 200,000kms as standard – one of the best warranty offerings on the Irish market. Price of car tested: from €40,690.

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