THE ‘secret’ is out. The 2022 Renault Arkana Intens EDC is the French car maker’s smart, sexy, seductive SUV coupe. Confident and elegant, the new crossover is a real head-turner that’s packed full of flair, and premium features.
With strikingly sleek yet muscular looks, the Arkana offers a great overall package at an attractive price. The stylish front grille is adorned with Renault’s new diamond logo, complementing its signature C-shaped sweeping LED lights.
Intimidating, pumped body lines are paired with a gorgeous set of 18-inch tow-tone alloy wheels, wrapped in Kumho Solus 215/55 rubber.
Inside the Arkana, we are spoiled further by the designers at Renault with an interior that is just as luscious as its exterior. Comfortable black leather and suede seating, electric adjustable front row seats, and driver and passenger heated/ventilated seats all feature.
A heated leather steering wheel, textured chrome interior trim, climate control with air purification and a 9.3-inch full colour touchscreen infotainment system are all included. Don’t let the Arkana’s size fool you either, space is plentiful.
You can fit three basketball MVP’s in the second row, which means average sized adults or your knee-high humans will feel like they’re travelling first class. There’s also front cup holders, door pockets, rear seat storage, and ISOFIX points.
A drop-down armrest featuring rear cup holders helps to keep the peace in the back as well, should you need to separate passengers. Second row passengers also enjoy dual USB charging ports and aircon vents, making sure entertainment and comfort go together.
The boot offers a decent 485-litres. Fold down the rear 60:40 split fold seating and ta-da, you have a magical 1,268-litres of storage. There is extra hidden rear cargo storage too, hidden under the false boot floor with the space saver spare.
Our junior reviewers fondly referred to the infotainment screen as the “Car’s iPad”, and while you can’t install Roblox on it, you do get AM/FM/DAB+ radio, and an Arkamys Auditorium sound system with 6-speakers.
The sound system is excellent and does a good job of hiding the outside world. We did notice the front speakers have BOSE branding too, which is nice. That said, you won’t be landing any EPA violations for blasting the neighbours.
It’s a quality audio experience that will let you pump some Dominique by The Singing Nun, so you can pretend you’re cruising the French countryside. You’ll also get Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports and an AUX input.
The Arkana is powered by a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine offering 115kW of power and 262Nm of torque. It’s little heart is more than enough for your daily commute or weekend travels, but if you need more than that, it’s not really there.
It’s got some grunt, but we found the power delivery a little wanting. Paired with a smooth 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this front-wheel drive coupe-style SUV offers a claimed 6.0-litres/100km.
In our attempt to prove the claimed 9.1 second 0-100km/h time, along with some urban and scenic spirited driving we managed 8.5-litres/100km. Not a bad result given our stringent aggressive testing criteria.
On the road, the Arkana is all about style, right down to its hands-free key card. Push the start-stop button and hit the accelerator and you’re in for an enjoyable, smooth and comfortable drive. You can choose from eight ambient interior lighting options too.
Now, there are limits to your exploration adventures given the suspension and drivetrain combination, but on the tarmac, there is minimal cabin road noise, stable cornering and an overall ride that will keep even the fussiest sleepers at peace in dream world.
That suspension we mentioned can feel a little stiff on rougher roads and the steering can feel slightly delayed but precise, nonetheless. Overall, the Arkana delivers enjoyment, with decent stopping power too.
The Renault multi-sense system lets you choose from Eco, Sport and MySense modes, but just like the shift paddles are more of a novelty, selecting Sport isn’t going to let you run the quarter mile in under 10 seconds.
The 2022 Renault Arkana Intens EDC receives a glowing 5-star ANCAP safety rating too, thanks to six airbags, tyre pressure monitor, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and an active emergency braking system.
There’s also traffic sign recognition and easy park assist. The latter provides hands free parking. Available in three variants, with our test vehicle splitting the Zen and R.S. Line, the Intens is priced at $42,157 drive away.
All models come with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, 5-years capped price servicing and up to 5-years 24/7 roadside assistance. That’s a lot of peace of mind for your financial investment. For the price though, there’s a few things we’d like to see.
They’re only little things, mind you, but a decent 360-degree surround view camera would go a long way to further solidifying the appeal of the Renault, as would the inclusion of a sunglasses holder somewhere. Little things, like we said.
Our test vehicle was draped in Zanzibar Blue, but you can also choose Solid White, Universal White, Metallic Black, Metallic Grey and Flame Red. There is only the one interior colour/trim choice.
It’s not often that you can associate class and style with affordability, but you can here. The 2022 Renault Arkana Intens EDC is a great all-rounder, and a potentially perfect daily driver, weekend explorer and family uber.
You can build and price a new Renault Arkana Intens EDC on the Renault Australia website, but it’s also worth shopping around to see if you can get a better offer.
Our test vehicle was provided by Renault Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Renault Arkana Intens EDC, contact your local Renault dealership.