New Renault Symbioz SUV to sit between Captur and Austral
The new Renault Symbioz SUV is set to rival the Nissan Qashqai and our exclusive image previews how it could look
Renault has no shortage of electric cars on the way – from the family-sized Scenic to the ultra-cute reborn 4 and 5. But the company still needs to sell efficient combustion-engined models to customers for several years yet, and it’s going to double down on that effort in 2024, launching an all-new family SUV called the Renault Symbioz.
The Symbioz will be positioned between the Captur and the Austral on size, with a slightly longer wheelbase than a regular small SUV. That will stretch it to an overall length of around 4.4 metres – only very slightly shorter, in fact, than a Nissan Qashqai, and pretty much the same length as a Kia Niro.
The new car, seen here in our exclusive image, will be designed mainly to replace the combustion-engined Mégane hatchback (still on sale in continental Europe, but ready to be phased out), while giving Renault an affordable rival to take on Chinese newcomers like the Omoda 5 and BYD’s Seal U. It’s all but certain to use the Captur’s CMF-B HS (high specification) underpinnings, and to therefore make use of its powertrains.
That means that the 1.6-litre E-Tech full hybrid will be the bedrock of the line-up, although Renault could choose to introduce a plug-in hybrid option, technically feasible on CMF-B HS, to give the car extra appeal with transitioning company-car choosers.
Expect Renault to pull no punches on practicality with the Symbioz, which will have to appeal to regular family-car customers until the end of the decade. It should have a relatively long roofline and boxy profile, with a sharper drop at the tailgate in a bid to improve rear headroom and maximise the available boot capacity.
The Symbioz should also, in time, succeed the unloved Arkana. Introduced in 2020 and facelifted in summer 2023, that South Korean-built model is unlikely to get a direct successor. Indeed, the coupé-SUV Arkana – which is slightly longer than Renault’s flagship Austral, despite being based on the same cheaper architecture as Clio and Captur – may be phased out slightly ahead of its normal seven-year model cycle.
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