Road Test Review: Renault Arkana S Edition

Independent review by Maxine Ashford

5-minute read

Red Renault Arkana S Edition Exterior Front Driving

Road Test: Renault Arkana S Edition

Explore the key features of the Renault Arkana S Edition in our expert road test review

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The Renault Arkana in mid-range S Edition spec is about as stylish as they come, boasting a long list of equipment and a sleek interior design.


  • Stylish looks
  • Good level of equipment
  • Comfortable interior
  • Decent levels of practicality
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Renault's first hybrid SUV has arrived, and it boasts a sleek coupé-styled design that’s guaranteed to turn heads.

It’s the sort of looks that are generally sported by the high-end German marques, but this French newcomer brings with it its very own chic styling.

With a rakish roofline and small tinted rear windows, it has a sporty feel, but it’s also spacious and practical inside, so ideal for a smaller family.

Factor in the chunky wheel arch mouldings, skid plates and chrome tail pipe and there's a hint of SUV muscle in the mix too.

So, it’s a bit of a mixed bag but, in reality, it works really well, especially with striking 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and full LED headlights with C-shaped daytime running lights to help the Arkana stand out.

Driving Experience

Powering the car is a 1.6-litre petrol hybrid E-TECH engine that works with two electric motors to deliver 143bhp and 109lb ft of torque. And that translates into respectable, if not blistering, performance statistics with a 0 to 62mph sprint achievable in 10.8 seconds and top speed of 107mph.

The car, in mid-range S-Edition trim level, according to official figures under WLTP testing, can deliver a combined 58.9mpg with carbon emissions of 109g/km.

Although the Arkana isn't exactly mind-blowing out the starting blocks, it delivers an accomplished performance with nice acceleration through the 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Maxine Ashford

There are drive modes called My Sense, Sport, and Eco along, with an EV-only button for pure electric driving when there is enough charge.

These modes alter the mannerisms of the front-wheel drive car, with Sport mode sharpening up the handling quite considerably. The road holding out on the quieter country lanes is nice and confident, with well-weighted steering offering plenty of feedback.

There's a little noise and reluctance to pull away when travelling at higher speeds on motorways, but it can cruise with ease at 70mph.

Then in town centres, the all-round visibility is good and there's a B setting on the gear lever that increases the level of regenerative braking. This can result in single-pedal driving, which is perfect with lots of stop-start city driving.

Design and Practicality

The interior is neatly laid out with comfortable fabric and synthetic leather upholstery.

Passenger space is good and a trio of youngsters could easily fit in the back on long journeys. A couple of adults would be fine unless the front seats were pushed right back and there are lots of places to store away bits and pieces.,

The boot can swallow 480 litres of kit, increasing to 1,263 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. This is slightly less than the purely petrol driven version because of the positioning of the battery pack.

Elsewhere, there's a glovebox, door bins, front and rear cup holders, seat back pockets, a small central cubby box, a tray and a slot to store the keycard.

Equipment and Technology

There's a 9.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation, Google search and traffic information, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and a clear 7-inch driver information display behind the wheel where all the vital driving data is on show.

The Arkana is heavily based on the Renault Captur so gains the same high standard of safety features and also received the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

There's active emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, braking assist, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, ISOFIX fittings, a full suite of airbags, and plenty more besides.


All in all, the Renault Arkana is an accomplished newcomer that ticks all the right boxes for anyone looking for a reliable, generously-equipped car that's fun to drive, practical and economical to run.

In S Edition specification, it comes with everything you'll need and more, making the car quite the all-rounder.