Renault Arkana Review & Prices

The Renault Arkana injects a bit of style into the family SUV class while still offering great value for money, however it's not all that practical and alternatives are better to drive

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RRP £27,095 - £31,395 Avg. Carwow saving £4,021 off RRP
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Reviewed by Jamie Edkins after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Sleek styling
  • Good value for money
  • Posh-feeling cabin

What's not so good

  • Limited practicality
  • Noisy hybrid system
  • Not as sporty to drive as the styling suggests

Find out more about the Renault Arkana

Is the Renault Arkana a good car?

If you fancy a sporty-looking coupe SUV, your only options used to be big, posh German cars like the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe, but there are a couple of more reasonably-priced models out there now which offer similar sleek styling, one of these being the Renault Arkana.

You can think of it as a slightly left-field alternative to cars such as the Skoda Karoq or the Nissan Qashqai. If those cars are a bowl of porridge for breakfast, the Arkana is more like a pain au chocolat. It may not be as sensible, but it’s a more exciting option. You may also be considering the Peugeot 408, which has bolder styling.

The front end will be familiar from other Renaults thanks to the C-shaped LED running lights, and you get LED headlights on mid-spec cars and up. It’s the side profile that really sets the Arkana apart, with a swoopy coupe-esque roofline lending it a sporty edge over alternatives.

This may look cool, however it doesn’t do much for interior space. While those up front won’t have any trouble getting comfortable, thanks to plenty of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel, the back seats aren't quite so accommodating. Headroom is pretty limited and there’s not much in the way of legroom either. A Skoda Karoq is a better bet for carrying people on a regular basis.

It may not be the most practical cabin, but at least it's well made. There are plenty of plush materials to be found, and everything feels well screwed together. The metallic feeling dials for the climate control are a particularly welcome addition, however, the interior doesn’t have quite the same design flair as a Peugeot 408.

At 480 litres, the boot is a decent size. It’s slightly bigger than a Peugeot 408 hybrid, but it’s a lot smaller than a Citroen C5 X and there are no clever features like a 12-volt socket or some hooks for your shopping bags. As for interior cubby spaces, you get an average glovebox and some large door pockets, but that’s pretty much it other than a pair of cupholders and a small cubby under the armrest.

What the Arkana lacks in interior space, it more than makes up for in standard equipment

What the Arkana lacks in interior space, it makes up for in standard equipment. Even entry-level Evolution models get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, but if you step up to the Techno model you get a better-looking 9.3-inch screen.

As for engines, you have a choice of one. The Arkana comes only with a 1.6-litre full hybrid. If you’re after a diesel SUV, you’re out of luck here. Take a look at the Citroen C5 Aircross instead. The 145hp hybrid system should return a claimed 60mpg, however a week with the car in a mixture of driving conditions saw us return an average of 44mpg.

Behind the wheel the Arkana isn’t as sporty to drive as the styling would suggest. A Ford Kuga will put a bigger smile on your face. The suspension is also quite firm, so driving on broken roads can become tiring. The Arkana is at its best on the motorway. It’s pretty smooth at speed, however the bigger wheels on the Esprit Alpine model do generate a bit of tyre noise.

The Renault Arkana may not be the most practical SUV on the market, however, it’s still worth considering if you're after a sporty-looking SUV with plenty of standard equipment and a decent price tag.

Keen on making a Renault Arkana your next car? Check out the latest Renault Arkana offers available through Carwow, as well as the best deals on the Renault line-up as a whole. Plus, we've got a wide selection of used Renaults, and once you've picked your next car, you can sell your car through Carwow too.

How much is the Renault Arkana?

The Renault Arkana has a RRP range of £27,095 to £31,395. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,021. Prices start at £23,419 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £287. The price of a used Renault Arkana on Carwow starts at £16,900.

Our most popular versions of the Renault Arkana are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.6 E-Tech FHEV 145 Evolution 5dr Auto £23,419 Compare offers

The Renault Arkana represents pretty good value for money, undercutting the Peugeot 408 by quite a big margin. It’s also slightly less expensive than the Citroen C5 X, however that car has more space on offer for the money.

All cars get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking, however you’ll want to step up to the Techno model for around £2,000 more to get a handful of useful equipment. This version gets a 9.3-inch touchscreen, up from the 7.0-inch screen you get as standard, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and faux-leather upholstery.

If you want luxuries such as heated seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, electric seats and rear privacy glass, you’ll have to splash out just over £3,000 over the base price on the Esprit Alpine model. This also gets sporty styling upgrades and larger 19-inch alloy wheels, however this does drive the price up.

Performance and drive comfort

The Renault Arkana is pretty economical, however visibility is poor and it’s not the most comfortable car in its class

In town

Driving in town is pretty stress-free in the Renault Arkana. It always starts in all-electric mode, meaning you can glide around in silence and it gets off the line at a decent pace. Handy for pulling out at busy junctions.

You won’t want to hit any potholes or speed bumps at speed though, because the suspension is pretty firm. It’s not uncomfortable, but something like a Kia Sportage is more composed over broken surfaces.

The option of a ‘B’ mode for the gearbox does make town driving a bit easier. The car will use regenerative braking when you lift off the accelerator to slow you down and put energy back into the battery.

This is really useful, but when you do have to press the brakes they can be a bit grabby, with a light brush of the pedal slowing the car quite harshly. This can make low-speed manoeuvres awkward.

What makes urban driving a real chore is the visibility. The windscreen is quite shallow, and the front Pillars are chunky which creates blind spots looking forward, while that sloping roofline means your view out of the back and over your shoulder is pretty poor.

This means the reversing camera you get on Techno models and above is essential, but it’s not the best system out there. It’s quite a grainy image, so parking in the rain or at night can get difficult. There’s no option of a 360-degree camera either, something which would be really appreciated here.

On the motorway

Things improve when you hit the motorway. It’s pretty comfortable once you start going faster, and the blind spot monitoring you get on Techno models compensates for the lack of over-the-shoulder visibility.

There’s not much in the way of wind noise, although you do get a bit of tyre roar if you go for the Esprit Alpine model thanks to its larger wheels. The engine noise can get intrusive as well. It sometimes feels like you’re cruising at 70mph in third gear, with the engine revving too high and creating a lot of noise.

If you spend a lot of time on the motorway, you might fancy adaptive cruise control to automatically keep you a safe distance from the car in front. Well this feature only comes on the top-spec Esprit Alpine model. All models do get standard cruise control.

On a twisty road

The Renault Arkana isn’t as sporty to drive on a twisty road as its coupe styling lets on. It feels secure and the steering is accurate enough, however it doesn’t really encourage you to push hard through the bends.

Switching into sport mode doesn’t help either. The steering becomes a bit heavier and the throttle response is improved, but ultimately the Ford Kuga is the SUV to buy if fun is at the top of your wish list

The suspension deals with uneven roads well enough, although you may find it a bit firm if comfort is your priority. You get quite a lot of engine noise through the cabin and it can feel slightly underpowered if you need to overtake a slower-moving vehicle.

Space and practicality

The Arkana has a decent-sized boot and plenty of room up front, however, those in the back will be wanting more space

There's plenty of space in the front of the Renault Arkana, with loads of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel to help you find your ideal driving position. That said, the very tallest drivers may wish for a touch more headroom.

The seats are supportive and comfortable enough, so tackling long slogs up the motorway is no bother at all, although you might struggle if you have long legs with a lack of thigh support.

There are plenty of places to keep your drinks on the go as well, with two useful cup holders in the centre console and door bins that are large enough to fit a big flask.

There’s also a handy tray in front of the gear lever with some USB charging ports for your mobile phone, as well as a small cubby under the armrest. The glovebox is a decent size, despite the fact that a chunk of it is taken up by the fuse box.

Space in the back seats

It’s once you step into the back that you notice the biggest drawback of that sloping roofline. Knee room is okay, although not as generous as the Peugeot 3008, but headroom is pretty limited.

Kids will be fine in the rear, and it’s easy to fit a child seat as well. The doors open nice and wide, and the ISOFIX anchor points are easily accessible, just try not to lose the removable plastic covers. Kids may also not like the high window ledges restricting their view out.

Adults won't be quite so comfortable. Tall people will struggle for headroom, made worse when you try to carry three people. There’s a hump in the floor as well, meaning you may have to deal with squabbles over foot space.

At least there is an armrest with a couple of handy cupholders, and the door bins are a good size as well. Those in the back are spoilt for choice with charging solutions as well, with two USB sockets and an old-fashioned 12-volt.

Boot space

The 480 litres of boot space you get in the Arkana is pretty average for a swoopy coupe SUV. It’s around nine litres more than you get in hybrid versions of the Peugeot 408, however it falls considerably short of the more traditionally-shaped Kia Sportage’s 526-litre capacity.

The load lip is quite high on the Arkana, so hauling heavy suitcases is a bit tricky. At least there’s no drop down into the boot so you can just slide items straight out, unless you drop the false floor to its lowest setting. If you leave the floor raised up then there’s a handy amount of space underneath for hiding things away.

When you fold the rear seats down they lay flat with no ridge, making the most of the 1,263 litres of space you’re left with. What’s not so good is the bulky load cover, which you can’t store in the car anywhere.

This boot is lacking in any clever features. There are no hooks for shopping bags, no tie downs and no 12-volt socket. You get a light and that’s your lot.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The Renault Arkana has a posh-feeling cabin with plenty of kit, it’s just not quite as snazzy to look at as some alternatives

The Renault Arkana has an impressively solid cabin that could easily go toe-to-toe with German alternatives such as the Volkswagen T-Roc. There are plenty of soft-touch plastics on the dashboard and doors, and all the switchgear feels solid and is nicely damped.

It’s not the most eye-catching cabin in this segment, that prize goes to the Peugeot 408, but there are still plenty of nice metallic flashes around and everything is logically laid out. There’s also ambient lighting throughout the cabin to lift things even further.

You get physical dials for the climate controls, which are a welcome addition in a world of fiddly touch screen-based systems. All models get a multifunction steering wheel, although you’ll have to go for the Esprit Alpine if you want to have it heated.

Entry-level cars get a small screen in front of the driver, whereas mid-spec cars and up get a larger 10.0-inch digital driver’s display. It’s pretty easy to read, however the displays aren’t that customisable like they are in a Kia Sportage.

The infotainment screen is the dominant feature of the cabin. As standard, you get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All other models get an upgraded 9.3-inch screen with sat nav built in. It’s worth spending the extra for this bigger screen because the 7.0-inch one looks a bit puny.

The system is easy enough to use and the menus are all simple to navigate, however the Arkana doesn’t get the same clever Google-based software you have in the Renault Megane E-Tech. As a result, it’s not quite as slick to use.

The upgraded screen from Techno and Esprit Alpine models gets things like live traffic updates, meaning it can warn you of any upcoming jams and divert you around them. This works well enough, however, you’ll still be better off plugging your phone in and using Google Maps through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

MPG, emissions and tax

There is just the one engine option for the Renault Arkana, a 1.6-litre E-Tech hybrid. There are no plug-in options to be found here, so company car buyers looking for the lowest tax rates will be better off going for something like a Citroen C5 X.

The 142hp E-Tech hybrid emits 107g/km of CO2, meaning it sits in one of the lower tax bands. Renault claims this model will return around 60mpg, however a week with the car in varied driving conditions saw us return 44mpg on average.

The E-Tech hybrid is economical enough for long-distance drivers, if you really want a diesel family car you’ll need to look at something like a Skoda Karoq.

Safety and security

The Renault Arkana scored the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test, meaning the structure is excellent at keeping you and your occupants safe if the worst should happen.

There’s plenty of safety kit on board as standard, including autonomous emergency braking, which can perform an emergency stop for you at low speeds if you don’t react in time, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, as well as the usual plethora of airbags.

All cars also get parking sensors and a reversing camera, while mid-spec models and up get rear cross-traffic alert and blindspot monitoring.

Reliability and problems

All new Renault models are covered by a five-year warranty, which is above the three years offered by many manufacturers. This includes unlimited miles for the first two years, and then up to 100,000 miles thereafter.

There are no reliability woes to report with the Arkana, although there was a recall at the beginning of 2022. There were 1,562 cars affected by this, and the issue relates to overheating of the electric power steering system. If you buy a Renault Arkana second-hand, check with your local dealer that the recall work has been done. If it hasn’t, the repairs won’t cost you anything.

Buy or lease the Renault Arkana at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £27,095 - £31,395 Avg. Carwow saving £4,021 off RRP
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