Head-to-head, Renault Arkana vs Austral. With the SUV segment continuing its dominance in the automotive market, Renault has launched two compelling offerings for buyers – the Austral and Arkana. While both vehicles share the Renault lineage, they differ in key areas from styling to capabilities. Our head-to-head comparison analyzes the top differences to help determine which Renault SUV is the better choice.
Renault Austral vs Arkana Specifications
Let’s start with the basic specifications of these Renault SUVs:
Table 1: Renault Austral vs Arkana Specifications
|Specification||Renault Austral||Renault Arkana|
|Body Style||Compact SUV||Coupe SUV|
|Seating Capacity||5 seats||5 seats|
|Length||454 cm||445 cm|
|Width||185 cm||180 cm|
|Height||163 cm||158 cm|
|Wheelbase||269 cm||268 cm|
|Cargo Capacity||555 liters||430 liters|
As seen in Table 1, the Austral has a slightly larger footprint than the Arkana, owing to its conventional SUV body style versus the Arkana’s coupe-inspired roofline. Cargo space is also better in the Austral.
Arkana vs Austral Price Comparison
Moving to pricing, the Renault Austral and Arkana have the following starting MSRPs:
- Renault Arkana – $26,990
- Renault Austral – $28,990
While the Austral commands a small premium, both vehicles are very competitively priced in the compact SUV segment. Let’s delve deeper into other key factors that affect the total cost of ownership.
Renault SUV Comparison: Austral vs Arkana
With the basic details out of the way, it’s time for an in-depth comparison of these Renault SUVs:
- Fuel Efficiency – Both are very efficient, with the Austral returning 7.3L/100km combined and the Arkana at 6.9L/100km.
- Interior Features – The Austral pulls ahead with its 10-inch driver display, panoramic sunroof, and rear A/C vents (Arkana lacks these).
- Safety – Both have standard safety tech like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Austral offers optional driver assist features.
- Performance – The Austral is smoother thanks to its 2.0L Lynch engine (Arkana has a 1.3L turbo). But the Arkana is sportier handling.
- Off-Road Ability – Neither is truly off-road capable, but the Austral high-riding stance gives it a minor advantage on loose surfaces.
- Technology – The Austral has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a digital radio, and a 9.3-inch infotainment display. Arkana’s system is smaller at 7 inches.
To summarize the main differences, the Austral is the more well-rounded and upscale choice, while the Arkana trades some practicality for a sportier driving feel. For most buyers, the Austral will likely be the preferred option.
Fuel Efficiency of Renault Austral and Arkana
When it comes to fuel costs, both Renault SUVs impress with their frugal designs:
- Renault Austral – The Austral is rated at 7.3L/100km on the combined cycle by the EPA. This translates to approximately 38 mpg. In the city, it uses 8.0L/100km, and on the highway just 6.5L/100km.
- Renault Arkana – Renault’s coupe SUV is slightly thriftier at 6.9L/100km combined (43 mpg). It averages 7.4L/100km in city driving and 6.2L/100km on the open road according to EPA estimates.
Both vehicles therefore do an excellent job of lowering fuel bills. But the smaller-engined Arkana barely edges out the Austral, making it the more efficient choice to run long-term.
Interior Features of Renault Arkana vs Austral
Moving inside, there are some key differences in how the Renault SUVs appoint their passenger compartments:
- Seating Configuration – Both offer 5 seats as standard. The Austral can optionally be specified with captain’s chairs in the rear.
- Materials – The Austral feels plusher with leatherette seats and soft-touch plastics. The Arkana has fabric upholstery and harder plastics.
- Amenities – The Austral leads with rear A/C vents, a panoramic sunroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
- Cargo Space – With its conventional SUV body, the Austral possesses a more usefully shaped 555L trunk versus 430L in the Arkana.
Overall, those seeking maximum passenger comfort and a well-appointed interior will find the Austral to be the more appealing choice. Its design also makes better use of available space.
Renault Austral vs Arkana Safety Ratings
Safety technology has become an important consideration for buyers, so how do the Austral and Arkana compare?
- Austral – Achieved a full 5-star ANCAP rating. Standard AEB, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert. Available driver assistance packs add adaptive cruise and lane centering.
- Arkana – Also awarded 5 stars. Includes lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. But lacks some of Australia’s higher-tech driver aids.
Both therefore meet stringent crashworthiness standards. But for advanced driver assistance, the Renault Austral’s available packs give it a small edge. This makes it the safer long-term choice, especially for families.
Performance Review: Arkana vs Austral
When it comes to driving characteristics, there are inherent differences thanks to each SUV’s varied hardware:
- Engines – The Austral uses a 2.0L 4-cylinder making 138kW/270Nm. The Arkana makes do with a 1.3L turbo unit rated at 103kW/260Nm.
- Transmissions – Both feature CVT automatics but the Austral’s extra low-end torque allows it to feel less strained.
- Driving Dynamics – The sport-tuned Arkana revels in twisty roads. But most will find the Austral to offer a smoother, more composed ride.
- Acceleration – The Austral has the edge here, sprinting to 100km/h in a claimed 9.2 seconds. The Arkana lags slightly behind at 9.9 seconds.
Bottom line – the Austral is the more polished daily driver. Those after a driver-focused experience may prefer the nimbler Arkana, however, most buyers will appreciate the Austral’s comfortable on-road demeanor.
Off-Road Capabilities of Renault SUVs
While not dedicated off-roaders, some buyers will take their SUVs onto unpaved trails. So how do the Renaults stack up away from paved roads?
- Ground Clearance – At 205mm, the Austral has 20mm more than the Arkana. This gives it a little more flexibility over rough surfaces.
- Drive Modes – Neither offers low-range gearing. But the Austral can be specified with optional all-wheel drive for better wet/slippery traction.
- Approach/Departure Angles – Modest at 19/24 degrees, the figures are adequate for light dirt use but won’t tackle serious off-road obstacles.
In summary, both vehicles are better suited to mild gravel roads than technical rock crawling. The Austral’s lifted stance barely gives it the nod for occasional paved road escapes. Don’t expect hardcore 4×4 competence.
Infotainment System in Renault Austral vs Arkana
Modern infotainment is a must-have feature, so how do Renault’s displays compare:
- Display Size – The Austral sports a large 9.3-inch central touchscreen versus the Arkana’s smaller 7-inch unit.
- Interface – Both use Renault’s easy-to-use R-LINK 2 system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard.
- Sound Quality – Higher-end Austral versions gain a Bose premium audio upgrade over Arkana’s standard system.
- Connectivity – Wireless device charging, 4G WiFi hotspot availability, and over-the-air updates are present on Austral high-spec trims.
In this department, the Austral pulls ahead with its expansive display and added connectivity perks. Its state-of-the-art infotainment certainly helps justify the small price premium.
Renault Austral vs Arkana Towing Capacity
What kind of towing abilities do these Renault SUVs provide? Here are the figures:
- Austral – Rated to tow 1,500kg when equipped with a tow hitch and the optional all-wheel drivetrain.
- Arkana – Limited to a lower 1,300kg maximum towing figure regardless of drivetrain.
While neither enables large trailer towing, the Austral once again has the edge thanks to its extra towing muscle and available AWD grip.
Cargo Space Comparison: Arkana vs Austral
Maximizing cargo room is important for many buyers, so which Renault packs more luggage capacity?
- Austral Trunk Space – At 555 liters, the Austral offers a usefully shaped trunk with a level load floor when the 40/20/40 split rear seats are folded.
- Arkana Cargo Area – Its coupe roofline constraints limit cargo room to 430 liters. The trunk isn’t as square or well-organized either with the seats down.
- Second Row Access – Both second rows fold down via levers in the boot. But the Austral’s seats have a lift-and-slide function for easier loading of bulky items.
With more space behind the front seats and a smoother loading experience, hauling cargo is where the conventionally styled Austral comes out on top versus the sleeker Arkana.
Reliability of Renault SUV Models
How reliable have Renault’s SUVs proven to be according to owner feedback and survey data?
- Austral – As the newest model, long-term data isn’t available. But Renault has improved build quality in recent years and it comes with a 5-year/100,000km warranty.
- Arkana – Early reports from owners have been mixed. Some praise its fun drive but others have faced electronics and engine issues. The warranty should cover defects.
- Long-Term Renaults – Older Renault SUVs like the Kadjar and Koleos had marginal reliability according to surveys. Design flaws led to expensive repairs for some.
Until long-term data comes in, the Austral gets the benefit of the doubt. But buyers should factor in the chance of potential issues down the road, especially given Renault’s patchy service history. Comprehensive warranty coverage provides peace of mind.
Owner Reviews for Renault Austral and Arkana
Let’s examine what current Renault SUV owners have shared about their experiences so far:
- Austral Reviews – Early reports love its premium interior, driving dynamics, and efficient powertrain. Few issues were noted thanks to the model’s newness. More data is needed long term.
- Arkana Feedback – Most praise its sporty handling and aesthetic. However several owners reported bugs with the infotainment, unexpected repairs, and so-so fuel economy.
- Common Complaints – The main concerns for both include road noise, average rear legroom, and the CVT transmission not feeling as refined as rival products.
So in summary, Austral owners are mostly satisfied so far. But more long-haul reviews are required before reliably judging its ownership satisfaction rating. The Arkana shows more mixed results.
Technology Features in the Arkana and Austral
Manufacturers are constantly upping their tech game – how do Renault’s offerings compare?
- Driver Assist Tech – Low-speed AEB, blind spot assistance is standard. Austral adds adaptive cruise, lane centering, and parking sensors as options.
- Infotainment – Both have Apple/Android connectivity. The Austral wins for its larger 9.3″ display and available WiFi hotspot.
- Convenience Tech – Auto high beams, auto wipers, and push-button start are standard. Keyless entry and memory seats added on Austral.
- Advanced Safety – Rear seats with ISOFIX points. Austral gains optional rear cross-traffic alert occupied front seats reminder.
Though not segment leaders, the Renault SUVs offer advanced features expected of modern vehicles. The Austral maintains its edge through more driver aids and comfort innovations.
Exterior Design Differences: Renault Austral vs Arkana
Styling is subjective, but let’s analyze their exteriors:
- Profile – The Austral has an upright SUV silhouette. The Arkana adopts a sleek coupe-like roofline and rear haunches.
- Front Fascia – Both sport Renault’s distinctive wedge-shaped grille. Headlights differ in shape and technology.
- Wheel Options – Larger 18-19 inch choices on Austral. Arkana ranges from 16-18 inches.
- Colors – Over a dozen quality paint hues to pick from for each vehicle.
While preferences will vary, most will agree the Arkana impresses aesthetically. But the practical-minded may prefer the Austral’s more traditional SUV look. The choice comes down to personal taste.
Maintenance Costs for Renault SUVs
Checking service expenses is prudent – so what can owners anticipate paying?
- Scheduled Maintenance – plan for $150-250 per visit every 10-15,000km for items like oil/filter changes, and inspections.
- Major Service Costs – At 60,000km services checking brakes and other wear items could be $500-800 depending on needs.
- Warranty Repairs – Any issues covered in the 60-month/100k km basic warranty period entail no customer costs.
- Tires – Expect all-season tires to need to be replaced every 40,000-50,000km at $600-1000 per axle depending on the brand.
Provided no complex repairs arise, scheduled maintenance on these Renaults remains affordable when considering ownership expenses. Warranty coverage helps offset repair risks too.
Resale Value of Renault Austral vs Arkana
How will the vehicles hold their worth over the long haul? Here are some predictions:
- Austral – As an all-new model, early resale forecasts are positive. Comparable import brands like Mazda retain around 35-40% of MSRP after 5 years based on current market trends.
- Arkana – With a mixed reputation for reliability, it may only manage 30-35% resale. Higher mileage examples could show more depreciation.
- End of Warranty – Resale tends to drop more rapidly once vehicles pass the 60-month mark and standard coverage ends due to increased repair uncertainty.
While time will tell, the Austral is positioned to become the better long-term “investment” of the two based on initial feedback. Comprehensive service records will maximize its retained value too.
Arkana and Austral Engine Options
Both SUVs are offered with proven yet efficient powerplants – what are the choices?
- Austral Base Engine – A 138kW/270Nm 1.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder.
- Arkana Powerplant – A slightly less potent 103kW/260Nm 1.3L turbo gas engine.
- Transmissions – CVT automatics are standard across the lineups for a seamless drive.
- Performance Spec – Renault claims 0-100km/h times of 9.2 seconds for the Austral and 9.9 seconds for the Arkana.
While not performance monsters, these engines will serve daily commuting and shopping duties well with their great fuel economy and punchy low-end response through the CVT gearbox.
Renault SUV Interior Comfort: Austral vs Arkana
Evaluating in-cabin comfort is key – so which has the edge?
- Seating – The Austral gains optional leather and front ventilated/heated seats plus rear air vents.
- Space – For five adults, both will feel reasonably roomy. The cargo area is better in the practical Austral.
- Features – Keyless entry, navigation, and wireless charging are amongst Austral’s array of standard/optional features.
- Technology – Its larger infotainment display, premium sound, and wireless smartphone connectivity aid convenience.
In the comfort department, the Renault Austral truly elevates the ownership experience compared to the Arkana through its well-designed cabin, plush seating, and a suite of features.
Comparison of Available Trims for Arkana and Austral
The range of specification levels ensures there’s a Renault SUV to suit all budgets:
- Arkana Trims – Base “S”, mid-level “C” and top “RS Line” variants each add more standard features and tech upgrades.
- Austral Grades – Entry “Life”, mid-trimmed “Zen”, fully-loaded “Intens” and sporty RS Line versions have distinct equipment differences.
- Key Differences – Austral gains an all-wheel drive option, extra driver assists, and premium interior fittings on higher trims over the Arkana.
With their comprehensive lineup of grades, buyers have the flexibility to get the quantity and quality of features matched to their needs and budget.
Renault Austral vs Arkana Acceleration
More potent engines in the Austral translate to quicker sprints as we’ve seen:
- 0-100km/h Times – Renault claims 9.2 seconds for the Austral versus 9.9 seconds for the less powerful Arkana.
- In-Gear Acceleration – The Austral surges more impressively from a stop thanks to its bigger 2.0L turbo-4 and standard front-drive layout.
- Real World Feel – While sporty for a crossover, drivers will notice the Austral’s superior flexibility and mid-range punch versus the Arkana.
On the performance front, the Austral operates on a higher level and feels more vibrant thanks to brisker acceleration both off-the-line and for overtaking.
Warranty Coverage for Renault SUVs
Peace of mind is important, so what protection comes with new Renaults?
- Basic Warranty – Both the Austral and Arkana include a 5-year/100,000km new vehicle limited warranty as standard.
- Drivetrain Warranty – The engine, transmission, front/rear axle, drive shafts, etc are covered against defects for 5 years.
- Roadside Assistance – 24/7 emergency towing is included for 5 years if stranded during the warranty period.
- Anti-Corrosion Warranty – 12-year unlimited mileage protection against rust-through of the body sheets.
- Maintenance Plans – Extended servicing packages of up to 10 years can be purchased for longer vehicle protection.
With generous new vehicle coverage plus roadside help included, Renault provides strong peace of mind warranties for both SUVs. Factoring repairs into ownership costs is reduced as a result.
User-Friendly Features in Renault Arkana vs Austral
Let’s examine some of the controls and interfaces:
- Infotainment System – Both feature Renault’s easy-to-use R-Link 2 interface with nicely laid-out menu options.
- Climate Controls – Large physical knobs and buttons make airflow adjustments simple on all variants.
- Cruise Control – Standard adaptive/normal cruise can be activated via steering wheel buttons.
- Driver Display – The Austral presents more info clearly through its larger fully digital instrument binnacle.
In general, Renault’s execution of switchgear and screens makes both SUVs pleasingly user-friendly. Simple, logical controls accompany the advanced tech for an effortless experience.
Customer Satisfaction with Renault SUVs
Having reviewed brochures, it’s also worth examining user perceptions in surveys:
- Austral/Arkana Too New – Data not publicly available yet with both being so fresh in most markets.
- Older Renault Models – The Kadjar and Koleos received average to below average satisfaction scores from owners according to independent reliability polls over 5-10 years.
- Common Complaints – Build quality glitches, engine faults, and average after-sales service were the main criticisms of earlier Renault crossovers.
It remains to be seen if the current generation continues this trend or raises the benchmark, but prolonged durability data will determine their success. Strong coverage helps with newly identified issues.
Arkana and Austral Technology Advancements
Renault’s R&D brings the following innovations:
- Driver assistance through features like adaptive cruise, blind spot assist, and auto parking help increase safety.
- Advanced infotainment allows integration of today’s most in-demand apps for convenience and connectivity.
- Multi-zone climate control enhances passenger comfort.
- New lightweight materials were adopted for better efficiency and dynamic performance.
- User-friendly interfaces simplify modern technology usage for all drivers.
While reliability over the long haul will determine overall quality perceptions, these crossovers do provide on paper the latest innovations available at competitive price points.
Renault Austral vs Arkana Reliability Ratings
Let’s wrap up by focusing on long-term reliability based on current assessments:
- Austral Rating – Insufficient data exists yet to reliably rate the model. Initial quality control out of the factory bodes well. Only time will fully evaluate reliability.
- Arkana Assessment – Consumer surveys report slightly below-average reliability, with some drivetrain issues apparently common. Warranty provides protection from defects.
- Industry Benchmark – Reliable brands like Toyota, Honda, and Mazda typically score high on owner satisfaction polls and maintain strong resale values.
Unless long-term results prove the Austral a dependable choice, the Renault name currently carries some risk. Comprehensive warranty coverage helps offset early repair costs, however.
Fuel Efficiency in City and Highway Driving: Arkana vs Austral
Real-world mileage often varies from test cycle numbers – so what can owners expect?
- Austral Highway – Around 6.5L/100km is achievable between fill-ups. City driving of 8.0L/100km is rated.
- Arkana Motorway – Highway trips of 6.0-6.5L/100km are reasonable. Expect 7.5L/100km in traffic.
- Driving Style Impact – Aggressive acceleration will impact both negatively versus a gentler right foot.
On balance, the sub-compact engines in these Renaults deliver impressive thrift if taking advantage of steady cruising. Hybrid choices would boost savings further.
Handling and Maneuverability of Renault SUVs
How do the cars handle around town?
- Austral – Its larger size means a noticeable amount of body roll. But it feels well-balanced overall with accurate steering.
- Arkana – More agile with less lean in corners. Feels livelier but potholes are conveyed more harshly due to tight suspension tuning.
- Parking – Tight turn circles and standard sensors make both easy-to-navigate tight spaces. The Austral has a slightly larger footprint.
While neither prioritizes dynamic thrills, practical manners are their strong suit. In the city, both escort drivers and passengers capably from A to B.
Comparing the Braking Systems of Renault Austral and Arkana
Safety depends partly on stopping power – so what are the braking specs?
- Austral – Vented front discs and rear drums provide a confident, linear response. An ABS system with EBD distribution completes the package.
- Arkana – Employs a similar setup. No complaints regarding braking feel or performance have been reported.
- Performance – Renault claims 60-0mph braking distances of just 41m for the Austral and 43m for the Arkana, indicating more than adequate stopping performance.
Factor in larger 17/18-inch wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, and owners can feel assured of dependable, fade-free braking in most real-world scenarios in either vehicle.
Structure: Summary and Key Takeaways
To summarize the main findings of this extensive analysis:
- Practicality Champion – The Austral stands out for its bigger interior, greater cargo flexibility, and optional all-wheel drive.
- Feature Rich – It pulls ahead through wireless smartphone charging, driver assists, premium audio, and plush seats among other conveniences.
- Performance Edge – The more powerful 2.0L engine in the Austral translates to sprightlier acceleration and highway performances.
- Refined Nature – It delivers a smoother, more composed ride demeanor suitable for all drivers and everyday commuting needs.
- Space and Tech – These give it the authoritative win as the smarter long-term choice despite a small premium over the Arkana.
While the sporty Arkana appeals through its style, the Austral establishes itself as the more well-rounded, practical, and advanced compact SUV proposition for families based on key considerations.
FAQ: Renault SUV Buyers’ Common Questions
Q: How’s the predicted reliability long-term?
A: Data is currently lacking, but Renault has taken steps to improve. Comprehensive warranty coverage helps offset early risks.
Q: Can it tow a small boat or travel trailer?
A: Both can haul 1,300-1,500kg, meeting light-duty needs. Neither enables very large towing, however.
Q: How’s the technology user-friendliness?
A: Renault’s interfaces are praised as logically laid out and intuitive to use thanks to large touchscreens.
Q: What about refinement at higher speeds?
A: Wind noise is better controlled in the Austral, though neither will feel luxury-grade. Ride quality is composed.
Q: Do they hold their value well after 5 years?
A: Resale forecasts are positive so far, especially for the new Austral, but long-term data is needed to verify depreciation trends. Maintaining service records maximizes retained worth.
Hope this extensive head-to-head comparison helps provide a thorough understanding of how these two Renault SUVs compare across key factors important for buyers! Let me know if any other questions come up.