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This SUV-coupe thing is the new Renault Arkana

Mark Nichol

23 Sep 2020

Renault has become the latest – and most mainstream – manufacturer to jump on the SUV-coupe wagon with the Arkana.

Renault has announced that it will put this SUV-coupe crossover, the Arkana, into production shortly and it will go on sale in the UK from next year. As you can see, it’s one of those sloping ‘sportback’ type SUVs famously invented by BMW with the original X6, but which haven’t really made it into the mainstream yet. Until now, that is.

There are a few of these things available already, of course. BMW does an X4 alongside the X6; Mercedes-Benz does the GLC- and GLE Coupe models; Audi does the Q3 Sportback; and Porsche does the Cayenne Coupe. You’ll notice the theme there: they’re all ‘premium’ manufacturers. That makes Renault here the first ‘mainstream’ maker to do one. In Europe, anyways.

Launched all the way back in 2018 at the Moscow Motor Show, it’s taken Renault some time to decide that Europe is getting it, but we’re going to put our necks on the line here and say that it’ll probably be successful, and probably be the first of many. We already know that Volkswagen makes a Tiguan Coupe for the Chinese market, which is now likely to come over here too.

Those who baulk at this sort of thing note that SUV-coupe crossovers don’t really serve much purpose aside from to remove a load of rear headroom and boot space from a standard SUV. Perhaps, but the Arkana here does have a sizeable boot, which at 513 litres is more than enough for family duties. It shrinks to 438 litres in the hybrid.

Drivetrains, then. You’ll be able to get a 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid with 138bhp immediately, called E-Tech, or if you don’t need the tax breaks you can have a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol with either 128- or 158bhp. Both versions have mild hybrid tech. There’ll be a couple of DCi diesels too, with similar outputs.

If you can’t tell from looking at the pictures it’s about the same size, footprint wise, as a Renault Kadjar. That means it’s a family crossover, basically, although it remains to be seen exactly how much rear head space is lost, as well as whether Renault tunes it to drive a little more sharply, given the whole 'coupe' thing. We can expect it to cost a little more than a Kadjar, like for like, in true ‘less for more’ coupe style.

That means a starting price in excess of £20,000 for a 1.3-litre turbo model, although it’s likely that Renault will give the thing more kit as standard than a Kadjar, including the large portrait orientation touchscreen you seen in the picture below. That’s a higher end thing in the Kadjar.

First deliveries are expected September 2021.

Mark Nichol

23 Sep 2020