The coupe-SUV slots in above the Captur on which it's based.
Renault’s new Captur-based Arkana coupe-SUV has gone on sale in the UK with prices starting at £25,300. Designed to offer a stylish alternative to the Captur, the new model comes with a choice of three different trim levels and two petrol powertrains, both of which use a form of hybrid technology.
The range kicks off with the Iconic model, which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and tinted rear windows. Inside, there’s a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology, as well as a rear-view camera.
Other standard features include automatic air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. There’s also a raft of safety gadgets, from an emergency braking system that can automatically stop the car if the driver fails to react to a hazard, to lane departure warning and cruise control.
If you have yet more to spend, you can have the £27,600 S Edition, which gets larger 18-inch alloy wheels, a larger 9.3-inch touchscreen and a seven-inch digital instrument cluster. The car gets chrome exterior trim, too, and some part-leather upholstery.
The S Edition also benefits from extra safety equipment, with adaptive cruise control that can maintain a safe distance to the car in front, and blind-spot monitoring that warns you when a car has drifted into the blind spots over your shoulders. The car gets traffic sign recognition, too, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror to help prevent dazzle at night.
Finally, the range is crowned by the sporty-looking R.S. Line model. Priced from £29,900, the high-end version comes with more aggressive styling, including an F1-inspired front bumper, chromed tailpipes and gloss black door mirrors. There’s gun metal trim on the front and rear skid plates, as well as gun metal inserts on the lower parts of the doors, not to mention a handful of R.S. Line badges.
Inside, the seats are trimmed in leather and “suede-effect” fabric with red contrast stitching. The dashboard gets carbon-effect decorative fittings, and there’s black roof lining to boot. Better still, the car gets heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as a “hands-free” parking system and electrically adjustable seats.
All those headline prices buy you the 1.3-litre TCe 140 engine, which uses “micro hybrid” technology – essentially a clever stop-start system that uses a 12-volt starter generator to make the system faster and more refined, as well as more efficient. The TCe 140 engine produces 138 bhp and sends it all to the front wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The sprint to 62 mph takes 9.8 seconds, and it’ll return 48.7 mpg when driven more sedately.
Alternatively, you can spend an extra £1,000 to get the E-Tech hybrid powertrain. With two electric motors to help out the 1.6-litre petrol engine, the car can travel short distances on electric power alone. Unlike a plug-in hybrid, though, the system cannot be charged from a plug. That means the petrol engine and regenerative braking are needed to refill the 1.2 kWh battery pack. Nevertheless, Renault reckons the car can make “80 percent of urban journeys solely with electric power”.
Officially, the 143 bhp E-Tech powertrain will manage 57.6 mpg, with carbon dioxide emissions of 111 g/km. With 143 bhp, it takes just under 11 seconds to get from a standstill to 62 mph.