In-depth reviews

Renault Arkana review

The new Renault Arkana is a stylish-looking coupe-SUV, but the French manufacturer’s other SUVs outshine it

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

£24,810 to £29,370
  • Stylish looks
  • Well equipped
  • Roomy interior
  • Poor ride
  • Interior quality
  • Dull to drive

The Renault Arkana succeeds in many ways for its small niche as a coupe-SUV without a premium price tag - and there are plenty of attractive finance offers that mean it’s pretty good value for money in some ways.

Yet there may be a reason for these low prices, as the Arkana’s powertrains aren’t as convincing here as they are in other, smaller Renault models and the ride isn’t as good as what we’ve come to expect from the brand. The Arkana misses the mark when you consider that a smaller SUV like the Captur is better value, while the larger Kadjar is more comfortable. However, it’s smart-looking, practical and has a lot of standard safety kit.

About the Renault Arkana

The Renault Arkana is a new niche model for the brand, and although it’s based on the same underpinnings as the Captur crossover, it’s larger and the coupe-like shape means it has a different kind of appeal. Renault has specifically named the Toyota C-HR as a rival, which gives you a good idea of where it sits in the market. Other competitors include the latest Citroen C4, another French model with smart looks, and you could consider a Mazda CX-30 as an alternative as well.

If you’ve been to Russia you might have seen a model called Arkana there, but this version is pretty much completely different to that model and is built in South Korea. While it uses the CMF platform of the Captur, the Arkana is actually bigger than its Kadjar sibling, which technically sits above it in the range.

There are two engines, a 1.3-litre petrol engine with 138bhp, or an E-Tech hybrid model with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined 140bhp. Both use an automatic gearbox as standard, and even the normal petrol has mild-hybrid assistance.

The Arkana shares many styling elements with other models in the Renault range - the C-shaped headlights are the most noticeable aspect, along with the trim piece on the bottom of the doors and the plastic cladding around the wheel arches. These are all very familiar from the Captur, though the Arkana’s sloping rear roofline and other exaggerated features help it stand out.

There are only three trim levels: Iconic, S Edition and R.S. Line. Standard equipment on the base model includes LED lights, 17-inch alloys, fabric seats, a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and climate control, while safety kit includes traffic sign recognition, AEB, lane keep assist and a rear-view camera with parking sensors.

S Edition models add a blind spot warning, plus a larger 9.3-inch screen and a seven-inch driver’s info display. There’s also 18-inch alloys and adaptive cruise control. R.S. Line gets a sportier look with 18-inch alloy wheels and extra trim pieces, plus heated seats and leather seats.

Prices look high given that the Arkana feels like a scaled-up Captur rather than an upmarket new model, but we have spotted plenty of low-cost finance deals that could mean it’s worth considering - yet the strength of its rivals mean it’s not the easiest model to recommend.

If you're looking to buy a Renault, why not visit our sister site for the latest deals...

Have you considered?

New Mercedes-AMG C 43 2022 review
Mercedes-AMG C 43 - front
Road tests

New Mercedes-AMG C 43 2022 review

Does the downsized Mercedes-AMG C 43 sports estate deserve to wear the AMG badge?
28 Jun 2022
Honda HR-V: long-term test review
Honda HR-V long term test: Chris Rosamond with Honda representative
Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V: long-term test review

First report: Practical, sporty and frugal SUV makes a good first impression as it joins fleet
18 Jun 2022
New 577bhp Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood
Kia EV6 GT
Kia EV6

New 577bhp Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood

Upcoming Kia EV6 GT will rival the fastest electric cars
15 Jun 2022
Toyota Yaris Cross: long-term test review
Toyota Yaris Cross First report - James Brodie with Yaris Cross on riverbank
Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross: long-term test review

First report: Fuel-sipping baby hybrid is making a good first impression
5 Jun 2022

More on Arkana

New Renault Arkana 2021 review
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana
26 Nov 2021

New Renault Arkana 2021 review

Does an eye-catching coupe-SUV body give the new Renault Arkana the edge over other mid-size SUVs? We find out...
Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review
Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR
Renault Arkana
23 Oct 2021

Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review

Toyota's C-HR is an exceedingly competent small SUV, but does the new Renault Arkana have it beat?
New 2021 Renault Arkana: prices and specs confirmed
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana
26 May 2021

New 2021 Renault Arkana: prices and specs confirmed

The new Renault Arkana coupe-SUV is priced from £25,300 and is available with either 138bhp mild-hybrid or 143bhp full-hybrid powertrains