Renault Arkana is a stylish mid-sized SUV that arrived here in 2021 effectively
replacing the short-lived Kadjar in Renault’s three-model SUV range. It sits between
the compact Captur and the family-sized Koleos.

It’s slightly larger than Kadjar in all exterior dimensions but with almost identical
engine outputs.

Renault Arkana comes in three variants: Zen, Intens and R.S. Line. There’s a single
drivetrain combining a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with seven-speed
dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive.

Arkana joins an increasing trend in the evolutions of SUVs with a smoother sloping
rear profile that emphasises styling rather than all-road performance. With this in
mind Renault is marketing Arkana as an SUV Coupe.

Combining the two different components can be challenging but the Renault
designers have managed to do it and have put together a very attractive vehicle.
One feature is a high (200 mm) ground clearance which lifts the Arkana without
making it look too gawky.

Arkana R.S. Line adds comes with a specific front bumper design with an F1-
inspired aero blade, 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, , R.S. Line badging, gun metal grey
door trims, and front and rear skid plates.

LED lighting is used extensively including the headlights; daytime running lights; tail
lights and turn indicators.

A small powered sunroof is optional on the Intens and standard on the R.S Line.

There are seven colour options, only Blue is standard the others are cost options.

Our test vehicle was the Arkana Intens with the optional sunroof which, together with
the coupe-like lines, meant that entry proved a bit awkward. The driver’s seat has
power adjustment but with a limited height range which, even at its lowest level,
meant that my head grazed against the roof.

The R.S. Line has carbon-look interior trim, alloy sport pedals, a perforated leather
steering wheel with R.S. Line badging, red and grey contrast stitching, and R.S.

It has a fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster, a frameless auto-dimming rear-
view mirror, and a sunroof.

Rear space is excellent with surprisingly good headroom given the sloping roof and,
courtesy of the 2720 mm wheelbase, plenty of kneeroom.

There’s leather and suede upholstery in the Intens and R.S. Line as well as
electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated seats for both driver and front

The centrepiece of the interior of the Intens is its 9.3-inch portrait shaped
touchscreen which not only displays the normal infotainment features but also,
through its multi-sense system, controls the pre-set Eco and Sport drive modes to
adjust the powertrain and steering.

There’s also a MySense feature which allows the driver to customise these settings
to suit their own individual preferences.

Directly below the touchscreen are a series of small buttons including quick access
to the multi-sense system, front seat heating / cooling and door locking.

Sensibly, the air conditioning is controlled by three large knobs that are easy to
reach and simple to operate. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the audio
volume controls which require either a series of taps on small tabs at the bottom of
the touchscreen or on small buttons on a steering column stalk behind the steering

There’s a good-sized space at the centre of the front console for storing
smartphones and, in the R.S., includes a wireless charging pad. There are two
adjacent USB ports directly above it as well as AUX and 12-volt power sockets.

A small storage box sits below a slide-out armrest in the centre console.

The boot features a split-level floor that can take up to 485 litres at its lower level.
With the 60/40 rear seatbacks folded that can be expanded to 1268 litres. A space-
saver spare wheel sits beneath the lower floor setting.

Arkana has a 1.3-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol with outputs of 115 kW at 5500 rpm,
and 262 Nm at 2250rpm. It drives the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-
clutch automatic.

Renault Arkana comes with a five-star ANCAP safety rating with a high level of
features in all variants including six airbags; electronic stability control; adaptive
cruise control with speed limiter; blind spot warning; autonomous emergency braking
including pedestrian and cyclist detection; lane departure warning and lane keep
assist; traffic sign recognition; front, rear and side parking sensors; rear view
camera; automatic headlights and windscreen wipers; ISOFIX child seat anchorage
points; and tyre pressure monitoring.

The Intens and R.S.Line add rear cross traffic alert and speed limit alert.

Renault’s Easy Park Assist is standard in all models and uses a combination of
sensors and rear-mounted camera for hands-free parking.

Arkana uses the Renault Easy Link multimedia system through a 7.0-inch landscape
touchscreen in the Zen and a 9.3-inch portrait touchscreen in the Intens and

Likewise, the higher-spec variants get a 7.0-inch driver’s digital instrument cluster
with the option of a full-digital 10.25-inch screen while the Zen has a 4.2-inch display.

Satellite navigation isn’t offered in the Zen but is standard in the Intens and R.S.Line.

All variants get a six-speaker Arkamys Auditorium Sound system, Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto connectivity.

Arkana uses the Renault credit card style key and includes ‘walk-away’ automatic
door locking.

Although the rear window is large, its shape together with the broad C pillars do limit
side and rear visibility quite significantly.

Arkana is quite sluggish off the mark with little low-down torque and a jerky dual-
clutch transmission. Switching to Sport mode makes a big difference and, apart from
motorway cruising, we spent most of our time with it switched on. There is a bit of
torque steer to catch the unwary.

Steering is sharp and responsive with there’s only minimal body roll through corners
although it is more SUV than coupe in that regard.

Ride provides a nice balance between firmness and comfort.

The extra ground clearance infers off-road capability, however that’s offset by the
absence of an all-wheel drive option.

Fuel consumption is listed at 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres, we averaged a fairly good
7.2 L/100 km.

Renault Arkana is a classy looking, well-equipped and competent vehicle that’s sure
to appeal to lovers of French marques and anyone else looking for something away
from the mainstream.

In terms of pricing, Arkana can be assessed as either a budget-priced Euro premium
SUV-Coupe competitor a la Audi Q3 Sportback and BMW X2 or as a fairly expensive
offering in the congested and highly-competitive small SUV segment. The buying
public will make that decision.

Renault Arkana comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, five years of
capped price services with an impressive 30,000km service interval and five years
roadside assistance when the services are done by an official Renault dealer.


Arkana Zen: $37,500
Arkana Intens: $41,000
Arkana R.S.: $45,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Renault dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Renault Arkana Intens 1.3-litre turbo-petrol five-door hatchback)

Capacity: 1.333 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 115 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 262 Nm @ 2250 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 137 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic

Length: 4568 mm
Wheelbase: 2720 mm
Width: 1802 mm
Height: 1571 mm
Turning Circle: 11.2 metres
Kerb Mass: 1358 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst : 8/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Overall: 8/10

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *