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New Renault Symbioz SUV on sale now: Nissan Qashqai rival offers hybrid power for under £30k

Prices for Renault’s new family-focused SUV start from £29,295; full-hybrid power and Google technology are standard

The all-new Renault Symbioz mid-size SUV is on sale now and it takes aim straight at the best-selling Nissan Qashqai. It gets a full-hybrid powertrain as standard while prices start from £29,295, which undercuts the most basic Qashqai by nearly £1,000 and the e-Power hybrid version by more than £5,000.

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Buyers have a choice of three trim levels: Techno, Techno Esprit Alpine and Iconic Esprit Alpine. Standard kit includes a 10.4-inch central touchscreen running Renault’s Google-powered OpenR Link infotainment system with apps like Google Maps and Google Assistant built-in. It’s the same software found in the French marque’s all-electric Scenic family car and recently facelifted Captur small SUV.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also standard, along with a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, wireless charging pad, keyless entry, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera, parking sensors all around and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Upgrading to Techno Esprit Alpine specification (+£2,000) adds a set of 19-inch rims and sportier touches to the cabin like more body-hugging heated seats and French tricolore stitching. Plus, a heated steering wheel, hands-free powered tailgate, blind spot monitoring and Active Driver Assist which combines adaptive cruise control and lane centering. 

Range-topping Iconic Esprit Alpine models (+£4,000 over base Techno) feature luxuries like a nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, a 360-degree parking camera system, hands-free parking tech and ‘SolarBay’ opacifying panoramic sunroof.

Every model is powered by Renault’s E-Tech hybrid system, which uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and one electric motor to drive the front wheels, and a separate starter-generator motor that tops up the car’s 1.2kWh battery. The combined power output is 143bhp; enough for 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds.  

Along with some clever hybrid tech, the Symbioz weighs less than 1,500kg, allowing it to return up to 60.1mpg and emit 105g/km of CO2, according to Renault.

The Symbioz offers 492 litres of boot space as standard, but the rear bench can also slide forward by up to 16cm, which then provides 624 litres to play with at the expense of some rear legroom. The Qashqai has a 504-litre boot by way of comparison.

Click here for our list of the best hybrid SUVs...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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