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Yawn, the Renault Symbioz is a new hybrid crossover

Renault’s latest family car will go up against things like the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan

Published: 02 May 2024

The new Renault Symbioz is an exceptionally boring car. Heck, we do want you to read the rest of this news story, but we value your time too much not to warn you upfront.

The Symbioz name comes from the French word ‘symbiose’, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek ‘symbiosis’. And yes, you’d be right in thinking that means Renault is pitching its latest crossover as “a car for families looking for space and efficiency”.

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Slotting between the Captur and the Austral in Renault’s crossover SUV lineup, the Symbioz apparently showcases Renault’s new design language with sharp lines, a large rear end and “a piercing gaze” created by tapering headlights. It’ll be a rival for massively mainstream cars like the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan.

There will just be one powertrain from launch – the E-Tech hybrid 145 will pair a 48bhp electric motor with a 94bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.2kWh battery. As with all of Renault’s E-Tech series-parallel hybrid setups there will also be a second electric motor that acts as high-voltage starter generator, as well as a clutchless dog 'box with four gears for the petrol engine and two for the main electric motor. The result is a claimed WLTP figure of over 60mpg and a kerbweight of under 1,500kg.

That’s fairly interesting, of course, but the rest of the Symbioz is a bit of a non-event. Renault references the 16, the Espace and the Scénic as clever family cars and says that this crossover “shares this same DNA”, but all it seems to be shouting about is the sliding rear bench seat. Not exactly revolutionary.

The Symbioz is 4.41m long and 1.79m wide, with a 492-litre boot when rear legroom is a priority. If there’s nobody in the back seats, the bench slides forward 16cm to allow for 624 litres of boot space. Renault also proudly states that the Symbioz “boasts 24.7 litres of storage space inside the cabin, including seven litres in the glovebox alone.” Yawn.

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You get wireless phone charging and plenty of USB-C ports as standard inside, plus a 10.4-inch vertical touchscreen and a 10.3-inch digital dial display. You also get Renault’s fancy Solarbay glass roof with liquid crystal tech. Although in more exciting news, there will be a mid-range trim level called ‘techno esprit Alpine’. Sounds exciting.

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