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Car Review

Renault Arkana review

£26,765 - £31,065
Published: 11 Dec 2023


What is it like on the inside?

The Arkana’s interior is fairly conventional for the modern times we live in, and Renault has done basically nothing to it despite the arrival of a facelift in 2023.

There’s the ubiquitous, portrait touchscreen in the middle of the dash; a 9.3-inch number (from the mid-spec car up) that doesn’t really have an awful lot to do. Same can be said for the 10-inch digital driver’s display. The ambient lighting is nice, though. Meanwhile the entry car gets a pair of seven-inch screens.

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The centre console plastics are a bit cheap and hard – sore on your leg if you rest it there. There are some interesting material choices in the rest of the cabin and the material accents around the place help lift the atmosphere. The seats are reasonably supportive, but it takes a little while to find the right seating position. Do you lean into the sporty angle, or take advantage of that raised ride height?

Is there space in the back?

There’s plenty of room in the back of the car and you don’t really feel penalised by the sloping roofline, a neat packaging trick from Renault. That said, it's a two adults/three kids sort of back seat. It feels reasonably airy thanks to rear door windows that extend back to your shoulder and there are tiny quarterlights in the C-pillar to add extra light.

Because of the coupe styling it doesn’t feel like you’ve got much window to look out of on the move, the tall body and low roof conspiring to minimise the glass all round. Likewise, with a heavily sloped rear window that doesn’t have a wiper, visibility is reduced in the rain.

The boot is wide and flat and goes back a long way, but it’s shallow because of the hybrid batteries that had to be squirrelled away somewhere. Still, the Arkana’s 480 litres of boot space (there’s another 30 litres under the floor in the petrol car) offer more storage than you get in any of the Cupra Formentor, Toyota C-HR or Citroen C4.

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I’m feeling lavish, what’s the top-spec trim like?

Ah, the esprit Alpine? Odd one this. Understandably Renault has gone to great lengths to cash in on the F1 pedigree of its sister brand by producing a new range-topper that covers the Arkana in flashy Alpine badges, fake leather and suede upholstery. It looks slick but - in a car like this - feels a tad embarrassing-father-takes-sports-day-too-seriously. Maybe that’s just us.

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