Renault Arkana Review & Prices
The Arkana is Renault’s attempt to add a bit of excitement to the family SUV segment, while still offering low running costs and everyday practicality
Find out more about 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.
The front end will be familiar to any Renault fans out there thanks to the C-shaped LED running lights, and you get LED headlights as standard across the range. 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, though 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, it doesn’t have the design flair of a Peugeot 3008.
What the Arkana lacks in interior space, it more than makes up for in standard equipment
At 480 litres, the boot is a decent size, and the seats fold totally flat to make carrying longer items easier. It’s just a shame 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. Even entry-level Evolution models get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, keyless entry and lane departure warning. Step up to the Techno model, and you get a better-looking 9.3-inch screen.
Engine wise, 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. That said, the 142hp hybrid will return almost 60mpg according to official figures, and a week with the car saw us average 54mpg.
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 good fuel economy.
Keen on making a Renault Arkana your next car? Check out the Arkana latest 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.
The Renault Arkana has a RRP range of £26,995 to £31,295. However, with carwow you can save on average £3,675. Prices start at £23,868 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £281. The price of a used Renault Arkana on carwow starts at £19,000.
Our most popular versions of the Renault Arkana are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.6 E-Tech FHEV 145 Evolution 5dr Auto||£23,868||Compare offers|
The Renault Arkana undercuts the Peugeot 3008 on price, however, it’s slightly more expensive than the Skoda Karoq and Citroen C5 Aircross. You’ll have to pay a premium if you want the E-Tech hybrid model as well, however, it is very well equipped for the money.
All cars get 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist and a 7.0-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The mid-range Techno model represents the best value thanks to the larger 9.3-inch screen, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Renault Arkana is comfortable and easy to drive day-to-day, though visibility is poor and it’s not as sporty as the looks would have you believe
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 decent pace. Handy for pulling out at busy junctions.
You may find the suspension to be on the firm side, and things can get a bit unsettled over broken surfaces. It’s by no means uncomfortable, but something like a Kia Sportage is better at handling bumps in the road.
You have a ‘B’ mode for the gearbox in the hybrid model which essentially means you hardly have to touch the brake pedal around town. 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, as can the visibility.
The view out of the back is pretty poor thanks to that sloping roofline, and thick A-pillars create blind spots up front. Thankfully the standard-fit reversing camera helps a lot, as do the large door mirrors and light steering.
If you really struggle with parking, R.S Line models and up come with an automatic parking feature which can automatically navigate you into both parallel spaces as well as perpendicular bays.
On the motorway
The Arkana is a pretty decent motorway cruiser. The cabin remains hushed at speed, with the exception of a bit of wind noise coming from around the mirrors, and overall it’s a comfortable car to eat up the miles in.
The steering weighs up nicely at speed and it feels secure, although bumps in the road can send a jolt through the car. The hybrid engine is noisy when you put your foot down to overtake, however it quiets down once you’re up to speed.
If you do a lot of motorway miles, it’s worth stepping up to the Techno model for its standard-fit adaptive cruise control. It can keep you a safe distance from the car in front automatically, taking a lot of stress out of long drives.
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 weighs up a touch 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 some may find it a bit firm. You get quite a lot of engine noise through the cabin, especially in the hybrid model, and it can feel slightly underpowered if you need to overtake a slower-moving vehicle.
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 those with longer legs may struggle 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.
The packaging of the hybrid system eats into boot space a little, but the 480 litres on offer is decent - if not quite as much as the 526 found in the Kia Sportage and Mild-hybrid models get a generous 513 litres of space, not as much as a Kia Sportage, and also behind the Nissan Qashqai E-Power's 504 litres. Still, there’s no load lip to lift stuff over, and the rear seats fold flat with no awkward ledges.
Non-hybrid Arkanas get an adjustable boot floor, with the option of some underfloor storage with it raised to its highest position. There aren’t any bag hooks to be found in the boot, which is a shame because your shopping can roll around through the bends. A 12-volt socket would be nice to see as well.
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 new 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 3008, 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 higher spec R.S Line and above to get it wrapped in leather.
Entry-level models get old-school dials in front of the driver, with a dinky little screen in between. You’ll need to step up to the Techno mode if you want the 7.0-inch digital drivers’ display. It’s clear and easy to read, if not as customisable as the system you get in the 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.
The system is easy enough to use and the menus are all simple to navigate. The graphics are decent as well, although the screen isn’t as fast or responsive as the one you get in a Volvo XC40.
The upgraded screen also 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.
There is just the one engine options 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 looking at something like a Citroen C5 X.
The 142hp E-Tech hybrid emits 108g/km of CO2, meaning you’ll pay £170 for your first year of tax. Renault claims this model will return 58.9mpg, and we managed a respectable average of 54mpg.
0-60mph in the E-Tech takes a leisurely 10.8 seconds. If you’re looking for a properly quick family SUV, something like a Volkswagen T-Roc R may be more up your street.
There are no diesel models to be found here, although the E-Tech hybrid is economical enough for long-distance drivers. That said, if you really want a diesel family car you’ll need to look at something like a Skoda Karoq.
The Renault Arkana scored the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test, meaning the crash 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.
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.
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