- Stylish looks
- Enjoyable to drive
- Comfortable interior
- Good levels of equipment
Even though it still has an engine, it's only working part of the time, with the car running on electricity for the rest of the drive, placing it amongst the cleanest cars on the road.
There's also no worry of finding your next charging point and hoping it's working or that there isn't a queue of people waiting to use it before you, as you can just drive the car using only the power from the engine.
Powertrain and Performance
On the road the Arkana feels taut and well-balanced and despite its height it handles fast bends and corners with ease thanks to a firm yet very comfortable suspension setup.
It may be categorised as a family car, but it definitely has that sporting edge to it, making for enjoyable motoring.
And it’s surprising just how often you find the car is running on electric only, which not only means you benefit from quieter, more relaxed travel but also more frugal journeys.
During a week with the Arkana, I averaged just over 62mpg, ensuring a range of over 600 miles on a tank of petrol.
The Arkana combines a 1.6-litre engine with two on-board electric motors to push the car forward with gusto. It moves off in electric mode and while noise levels obviously increase if you put your foot down hard on the accelerator, it's anything by obtrusive.
It’s a very slick setup, extensively developed by Renault thanks in part to expertise gained in Formula 1.
Design and Practicality
The Renault Arkana is one of a new breed of hybrids which combines the elevated style of the ever popular SUV with the dramatic lines of a coupé, making it appeal to a broad sector of buyers.
The Arkana has the distinction of being the French carmaker’s first purpose-built hybrid, as well as being its first SUV with coupé styling.
And despite its dramatically sloping roof, which makes it stand out from the brand’s other SUV models, there’s still plenty of headroom and a decent amount of rear legroom.
The design of the Arkana S-Edition I drove, featured contrasting black protective panels on the lower parts of the doors and around the wheel arches, as well as grey skid plates at the front and rear, giving it an element of SUV ruggedness.
An impressively smart interior features a plethora of decorative aluminium panelling on the dashboard and doors paired with the synthetic, hard wearing black leather-look upholstery.
There’s a generous luggage area too with some 480 litres of space beneath the tailgate and no loading lip, making it easier to get heavy items on board.
Equipment and Technology
The dashboard itself is dominated by a 9.3-inch, centred, portrait-style touchscreen with satellite navigation and traffic information.
Immediately in front of the driver sits a digital speedometer, as well as information on how much charge is in the battery and whether the car is running on electric power or the engine.
To add a touch of distinction to the interior, there is a choice of eight different colours for the ambient lighting.
The Arkana has been given the NCAP five star safety rating and features everything from Active Emergency Braking to Lane Departure Warning on board, with a whole range of other safety features in between.
Renault’s Pure Vision LED lighting with automatic main beam takes the stress out of night driving and is probably the next best thing to full matrix headlights.
In short, the Arkana S-Edition E-TECH hybrid is a nice all-round package which was fun to drive, comfortable and best of all economical.
The S-Edition specification comes with everything you could need and more, and with an electrified powertrain, the hybrid Arkana is more appealing than ever.