Renault Austral review - Reliability and safety
A top-draw safety score and lots of standard driver assistance tech are positives but some interior foibles undermine the feeling of quality
Renault boasts up to 30 advanced driver assistance systems on board the Austral, but the main point is that this family SUV received the maximum five-star rating from safety experts Euro NCAP in 2022. It did better than the Alfa Romeo Tonale and Kia Sportage (both tested in the same year) in adult, pedestrian and safety assistance categories.
Every version comes with front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, land departure warning, emergency lane keep assistance, and front and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter warns you of vehicles crossing your path, which is particularly useful when emerging between parked cars onto a busy road.
There isn’t much we can add about the Austral’s reliability because it is too new to have been included in the latest 2023 Driver Power survey. Renault as a brand didn’t do brilliantly, coming in 29th place out of 32 in the best car manufacturer rankings. Owners rated fuel economy and running cost as particular brand highlights, areas the Austral excels in.
They were less impressed with the interior of their cars, and this is an area where Renault could put some more work into the Austral. There are soft materials used on the dash, and a few neat metal finishes give it a premium look, but the hard plastics used in the lower sections of the dashboard look cheap, and the flimsy air vents undermine the feeling of quality compared with the likes of our preferred family SUV choice, the Hyundai Tucson.
The standard Renault manufacturer’s warranty is three years or 60,000 miles, which is typical of rival brands. However, Hyundai offers five years/100,000 miles, while Kia ups this to seven years/100,000 miles. None can match Toyota, which provides up to 10 years of coverage – provided you have your car serviced annually at a franchised Toyota dealer.
The Renault Austral requires annual servicing or every 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can set up a Renault ‘Easylife’ servicing plan from the manufacturer’s website and come in two, three, or four-year plans. Pricing per month depends upon your annual mileage.
In this review
- 1Renault Austral reviewThe Austral is a strong effort from Renault, but it’s unlikely to dominate the ultra-competitive family SUV market
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt wafts nicely under electric power around town, but rivals have smoother hybrid systems and a better ride at speed
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsExcellent fuel economy, low emissions, and slow depreciation mean the Renault Austral should be very cost-effective to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe interior is a mixed bag of some neat touches, and a few quality issues. The standout part is the infotainment system
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWhile the Austral’s cabin has some clever touches, it can’t quite match the overall load capacity of its rivals
- 6Reliability and safety - currently readingA top-draw safety score and lots of standard driver assistance tech are positives but some interior foibles undermine the feeling of quality