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New Renault Rafale: prices confirmed as Renault SUV range grows again

Renault’s growing range of models now includes the Rafale SUV

Pricing and specifications have been announced for the new Renault Rafale with an on-sale date of 8 May. The new Rafale, which was initially unveiled in June 2023, will launch with a full-hybrid powertrain before a plug-in hybrid alternative joins the range later. 

A coupe-SUV alternative to the similarly-sized Austral SUV, the Rafale sits above the recently-revealed Symbioz SUV and Renault’s other coupe-SUV - the Arkana. Starting at £38,195, it’s pitched as a rival to the Citroen C5 X, BMW X2 and Peugeot 3008. Three trim levels will be available from launch, named ‘Techno’, ‘Techno Esprit Alpine’ and ‘Iconic Esprit’.

Renault Rafale: pricing and specifications

The entry-level Rafale Techno model gets 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED light signatures and automatic windscreen wipers. Every Rafale gets a 12.3-inch driver’s display and a 12-inch central touchscreen inside. There’s a six-speaker sound system in the techno, plus a wireless smartphone charger, automatic dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. 

The Techno Esprit Alpine starts at £42,195 and brings an exclusive set of 20-inch diamond-cut wheels in black, an alloy boot lip plate, sportier exterior styling, matrix LED headlights and Renault’s ‘4Control’ four-wheel steering. On the inside, there’s Alcantara quilted and perforated upholstery, Alpine badging, a heated synthetic leather steering wheel, heated front seats, an electric boot lid, a 9.3-inch head-up display and a rear central armrest with charging ports. 

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Iconic Esprit Alpine heads off the range at £44,695. It adds a panoramic sunroof, puddle lights, a 12-speaker sound system, hands-free parking and a 360-degree camera. 

For its safety systems, the Rafale gets as standard; adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, emergency brake assist, blind spot warning, distance warning alert, lane departure warning with emergency lane keep assist, emergency braking assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection and rear cross alert, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert and hill start assist. 

The Rafale’s boot capacity stands at 535 litres - slightly down on the Austral’s 555 litres, but up on the Citroen C5 X’s 485 litres. 

Renault Rafale: powertrains and technical information

The Renault Rafale will only be offered with a single powertrain at launch. It’s the same full-hybrid system seen on the Austral, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the Rafale sits on the same CMF-CD platform as the SUV. A coupe-SUV, the Rafale is 200mm longer, 17mm wider and 11mm lower than the Austral however. 

As in the Austral, the Rafale’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is mated to two electric motors for a total output of 197bhp and 205Nm of torque. The front-wheel drive set-up sees one electric motor deliver 70bhp with the other 35bhp motor connected to the clutchless multimodal automatic transmission. The 0-62mph time for the Rafale full-hybrid stands at 8.9 seconds (0.5 seconds slower than the Austral), although the top speed is 3mph faster at 111mph. Also thanks to its sleeker coupe-like roofline, the Rafale is more economical than the Austral with a WLTP rating of 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km. 

Like the Austral there’s four-wheel steering available - reducing the turning radius to 10.4 metres and a selection of regenerative braking levels. Compared to the Austral, the Rafale gets a wider track, specific springs, shocks and roll-bar settings - which “optimise comfort as much as verve” according to Renault. 

A plug-in hybrid will join later with 296bhp. Details are yet to be announced, but it will get an electric motor on the rear axle and four-wheel drive. Full-electric power will be available and Renault claims the Rafale will offer plenty of “fun behind the wheel”. 

Renault Rafale: exterior design

The Rafale was designed by Gilles Vidal - the same man that penned the recently-facelifted Clio and the Scenic Vision concept in 2022. There’s some obvious similarities between those models and the new car including its intensely sharp surfacing, prominent three-dimensional grille and vertical lower lights situated on the extremities of the front end. 

The rear features a roof spoiler, sleek rear lights and no wiper - deemed unnecessary by Renault due to the 17-degree rake of the rear window. 

Renault will launch several new colours with the Rafale, including Matte Satin, White Pearl and Summit Blue. Three other colour options include Flame Red, Diamond Black and Shadow Grey. 

Click here for our list of the best SUVs...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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