New 2023 Renault Austral: E-Tech hybrid prices announced
Renault’s new mid-sized SUV has arrived with full hybrid power and starts from around £35,000
Renault added a new SUV to its line up last year, called the Austral. It replaced the Kadjar in the ever-competitive C-segment SUV market but offers a higher specification than its predecessor thanks to key advances in technology and electrification.
Renault has now announced that the Austral is available to order with pricing starting from £34,695. The entry-level ‘techno’ features 19-inch alloy wheels, LED light front and rear, flush roof bars, surround parking sensors with a rear-view camera, a 9.3-inch head-up display and keyless entry.
Above this is the £36,695 ‘techno esprit Alpine’ which adds 20-inch alloy wheels, Alpine badging, carbon-effect fabric in the cabin, blue stitching on Alcantara upholstery, plus heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Other features include a powered bootlid, a massage function for the driver’s seat, road sign recognition and adaptive cruise control. The Alpine name also adds a sportier bodykit.
The range-topping Austral is the ‘iconic esprit Alpine’, priced from £39,495. Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering system help reduce the Austral’s turning circle, plus there’s an uprated sound system, 360-degree camera, a panoramic sunroof and a wireless smartphone charger.
The Austral will be built at Renault’s production facility in Valencia, Spain. It uses the latest iteration of the Group’s CMF-C/D platform, evolved from the one used by the Kadjar. The updated platform has allowed Renault to incorporate profound changes into the new model, in terms of design, interior layout, driver assistance and hybrid drivetrain technology.
Sizing up at 4.51 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and with a height of 1.62 metres, the Austral is similar in size to the car it replaces. It looks almost completely different to the Kadjar, however, and has been designed using Renault’s latest design cues, as seen on the all-electric Megane E-Tech Electric.
The Austral is the first combustion engined model to make use of Renault’s new ‘sensual tech’ design ethos, so we can see how some of the electric Megane’s styling details translate on to a car with an engine under the bonnet.
The interior is all new as well, moving on significantly from the Kadjar’s cabin design and tech. It’s based around the ‘Open-R’ cockpit with Android Automotive-powered infotainment displayed on a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch portrait-orientated central touchscreen.
Renault offers the Austral with just one engine - a conventional hybrid. Other markers receive a 12-volt mild hybrid engine as well. The Austral E-Tech has 197bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine combined with a 67bhp electric motor linked to a small 1.7kWh battery.
Drive is sent to a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the battery is recharged through braking regeneration. Renault claims that around 80 per cent of what it terms ‘city driving’ is done fully electrically, and that depending on spec the Austral E-Tech can return 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km.
Click here for our review of the new Renault Megane E-Tech Electric SUV...