Siobhan Donohoe and Sarah Quinlan, General Manager O’Briens Renault, with the all-new Renault Arkana Picture: Christopher Dunne
My first ever car was a Renault 19, passed down from my parents to every sibling in my family. It was Renault’s first sleek car and she was eyecatching for her day.
Renault don’t disappoint so when O’Briens Kilkenny asked me to take their all new Arkana for a test drive month, I jumped at the chance to get behind the wheel.
More importantly it’s Renault’s first purpose-built hybrid and first SUV model with sleek coupé styling. In other words she is a head turner, she looks like no other car in its class.
Sleek, smooth and sassy sums up this Renault model. Their are all-new Arkana range begins with the well-specified Iconic, moving up to the S Edition and R.S. Line. I’m lucky enough to drive the R.S. Line, which comes with all the bells and whistles, boasting dynamic, muscular design with sporty details inside and out.
I’m not surprised the drive is so smooth with a choice of advanced E-Tech hybrid or TCe electrified powertrains, fitted exclusively with refined automatic transmission for the most efficient and responsive driving experience.
When we shop we want to be able to use our six senses, especially when it comes to an important purchase like a car. So I would highly recommend a test drive at O’Briens Kilkenny on the Waterford Road.
Using your six senses
1) Your Sight – check out the incredible interior and exterior of the Arkana where sportiness is found in every detail.
The Arkana has a Formula 1 style front splitter, coupled with 18-inch Silverstone alloy wheels and the twin-exhaust pipe, as well as diamond-cut alloy wheels and full LED lighting technology.
The distinctive exterior is complemented by a spacious, comfortable interior trimmed with high quality materials across all models, featuring sophisticated details including multiple ambient lighting choices and premium upholstery options.
The sportier aesthetic disguises a cleverly packaged and spacious interior. The rear seats have been oriented to maximise leg and head room for rear occupants and can fit up to two child seats with a third older child sitting comfortable. It’s a great family car with generous boot space (from 480 litres) while still retaining an eyecatching sporty look. Passengers can enjoy plenty of headroom despite the sloping roofline of Arkana.
2) Your Smell – nothing beats that new car smell. The premium cabin of the Arkana R.S. Line also exudes style with a mix leather-suede upholstery with red over-stitching. Behind the perforated leather smooth steering wheel sits a carbon-look sleek dashboard.
3) Your Touch/Feel – it includes Easy Link touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. The 9.3-inch portrait-oriented system is neatly integrated into a sweeping dashboard.
Multi-Sense driving modes can be controlled via the touchscreen or one of the soft keys, giving drivers the option to customise the interior lighting with eight options available as part of the mode selection.
The brakes are easy and light while being extremely responsive.
4) Your Hearing – you’ll need to test the radio and other audio equipment as this car is loaded with technology. It has USB ports and a driver instrumental panel. The bluetooth is Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatible.
The multimedia system with DAB radio, which has the Arkamys Classic sound system with six speakers.
5) Your Common Sense will tell you this is great value for a model that’s helping the environment by using a combination of petrol and electric power. The E-Tech Hybrid powertrain embodies the best of what Arkana has to offer.
Available on all Arkana models is a TCe 140 petrol engine that utilises clever technology.
Customers have a choice of either micro hybrid or E-Tech 145 hybrid systems. The mild-hybrid system works with a 12-volt battery which also stores energy recovered during braking.
The energy is then used to support the petrol engine in acceleration and to offer smoother stop and start functionality.
The E-Tech 145 hybrid system combines two electric motors with a petrol engine, the electric motors working together with the petrol engine when you pull away, come to a standstill or when you need extra power in acceleration which reduces fuel consumption.
The system also allows you to drive short distances in full electric mode. The 1.2kWh battery doesn’t need to be plugged in as it recharges through regenerative braking.
6) Your Sixth Sense is about trusting your instinct and when it comes to all the safety of the all-new Arkana there is certainly no doubt.
Available with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and blind spot warning, ensuring the safest and most reassuring drive.
All models come with Active Emergency Braking System with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist with active steering, safety distance warning, tyre pressure monitoring, cruise control with speed limiter and Renault Emergency Call with SOS button that automatically engages in the event of an accident.
Test drive it for yourself. The All-New Renault Arkana is available from €28,990 and is available to pre-order at O’Briens Kilkenny.
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