In-depth reviews

Renault Arkana review - Interior, design and technology

Interior quality is a let-down in the Arkana, which costs more than a Captur but looks very similar inside

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 and Citroen C4, 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. That’s not as likely to happen with the interior, which looks a lot like the cabin of the latest Captur.

While the Captur’s interior is impressive, that car is a cheaper model aimed at a different base of customers - and it’s disappointing in that context. The materials used are suitable in a supermini-SUV, but not in a more grown-up model like this, as rivals including the Mazda CX-30 have much nicer interiors with no scratchy plastics and cheap-looking finishes.

If you go for a high-spec R.S. Line model, there are some faux-carbon details inside, but it’s not enough to disguise the cabin’s roots in lesser models. However, if you can look past these issues, the cabin is nicely functional, easy to live with and there’s plenty of standard equipment.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Entry-level versions of the Arkana have a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Bluetooth and a DAB radio. These models use a 4.2-inch TFT driver information display behind the steering wheel plus normal dials, though the hybrid versions all have a seven-inch unit incorporating the dials.

All versions have a reversing camera too, plus USB ports. The S Edition adds a 9.3-inch screen on the dash with sat-nav and all the features from the smaller screen. The seven-inch dial display is standard on all engines in this trim, plus automatic updates for the sat-nav.

We like the high-res screen but the graphics it uses don’t quite do it justice - the digital dials are crisp and clear, though, and smartphone connectivity is a must-have feature so we’re glad it’s standard.

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