Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Renault Arkana - Interior, design and technology

The Renault Arkana’s interior is a let-down in terms of both design and infotainment

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£26,980 to £31,280
Find your Renault Arkana
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The Renault Arkana is aimed at buyers who are conscious about style. Its coupe-like shape and SUV-like ride height mean it sits in a niche part of the market, although there are still rivals in the shape of the Toyota C-HR, Peugeot 408 and Cupra Formentor, all vying for the same customers. 

The Arkana’s styling is probably the biggest reason to buy one – Renault is banking on buyers falling in love with the exterior looks and the presence it exudes. However, some potential buyers may be put off by the interior. It’s nearly identical to the one in the Renault Clio and Renault Captur, and while it looks and feels right for a circa-£20,000 supermini or SUV, it’s underwhelming in a coupe-SUV sold on its looks – especially if you’d paid more than £30k for a range-topping version. By comparison, the 408 features a cabin that’s been just as heavily styled as the interior.

The Arkana’s interior looks even more dated if you were to take a peek inside the Renault Austral or electric Renault Megane E-Tech. The French firm’s newer models feature crisp dual-display infotainment setups and Google-powered technology. Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the Arkana’s interior is how simple it is, with physical piano-style buttons and rotary dials for the climate controls, as well as the solid build quality. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

We also liked some of the touches in our Esprit Alpine-spec model, such as the French tricolour flags and stitching, and suede door panels and seat. However, they’re not enough to overlook some of the scratchy plastics and cheap-looking finishes you don’t get in more grown-up rivals, including the Mazda CX-30.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Entry-level versions of the Arkana come with a seven-inch touchscreen as standard, although models in Techno trim and above get a 9.3-inch portrait display. Similarly, base cars have a 7-inch TFT driver information display behind the steering wheel while the rest of the range features a full 10-inch driver information display that occupies the whole instrument pod. 

We found the resolution of the 9.3-inch touchscreen in our test car was decent, although it’s laggy and Renault’s older infotainment software isn’t nearly as intuitive as its new Google system featured in the Megane or Austral. The home page is split into three main widgets to give easy access to all of the major functions, while a switch on the dashboard allows you to toggle through the various drive modes.

Thankfully it’s even easier to bypass the built-in infotainment system, as Renault has made wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across the Arkana range. The systems work well here, with phones connecting quickly once you start the car, and expand into the full area of the portrait set-up. There are a few shortcut buttons to key features, and we’re glad to see Renault has kept physical air-con controls at least.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Have you considered?

New BMW X3 prototype review: first impressions of next-gen mid-size SUV
BMW X3 prototype (camouflaged) - front tracking
Road tests
14 Apr 2024

New BMW X3 prototype review: first impressions of next-gen mid-size SUV

New Kia Sorento 2024 review: a good car just got even better
Kia Sorento - front
Road tests
10 Apr 2024

New Kia Sorento 2024 review: a good car just got even better

Volkswagen ID. Buzz review
Volkswagen ID. Buzz - front tracking
In-depth reviews
5 Apr 2024

Volkswagen ID. Buzz review

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift
Nissan Qashqai reveal - front
News

New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift

In addition to its new much sharper design, the Qashqai now features Google apps and voice assistant built in
17 Apr 2024