Renault Arkana – the birth was successful
Well, that’s done. A little over nine months have passed since the first premiere of the Arcana concept at the 2018 Moscow Motor Show, and at Renault – just in time – “gave birth”: all possible pickings of the new Renault Arkana were made public, all prices became known (from 999,000 to 1,499 990 rubles), and we finally found ourselves behind the wheel of the first production cars.
True, Renault continues to issue information in batches. So this time, only cars in the top Style and Edition One configurations with a new 1.3-liter turbo engine and a new CVT were brought to the test in St. Petersburg. Of course, I really wanted to “touch” simpler and less well-equipped modifications with a 1.6-liter 114-strong “aspirated” on the “mechanics” and four-wheel drive, as well as the cheapest monoprivial version “drum” for 999,000 rubles – this is, by the way, a direct competitor to Veste Cross. But “renoshnikov” can also be understood: they want to demonstrate the maximum capabilities of the car.
Up to this point, we could only watch Arcana as a concept at the Moscow Motor Show or indoors during a static presentation. We can only guess how the cross-coupe will look like on the “will”, on the streets of the city, among other cars and in the wild. And I must say that the car did not disappoint us at all.
In reality, Arkana looks as cool as the pictures. The unusual form factor of the body (in fact, it is liftback), a sloping roof, beautiful colors, 17-inch wheels and LED optics in all trim levels, powerful bumpers, a plastic body kit and a high window sill – all this adds up to a very nice looking ensemble. This is the most harmonious and fresh-looking Renault from the entire range of the company. Arkana looks cool, especially in the dark with headlights on.
Many do not get tired to mention the similarity of this type of body with, for example, BMW models – X6 and X4. In fact, they are just as similar as all sedans or hatchbacks are. About any copying or borrowing is not the question. And if we talk about this type of body, then rather Arkana marks in the Skoda Octavia. By the way, the usual all-wheel drive and Scout versions of Octavius also left our market, and the Arcana is just a liftback of the same class C. So Renault may well fit into this empty niche, especially considering the fact that it costs much less than 4×4 versions Skoda.
After the publication of the first article devoted to the static presentation of the Arcana, for some reason it seemed to many that the salon copies the interior of the new Duster, which is not for sale in Russia. This impression is erroneous. Yes, some details, of course, are present, but still it is a completely different interior decoration. Here is another front panel, other seats and air ducts, another “tidy”, Easy Link multimedia with an 8-inch touchscreen for the two upper configurations or as a Techno package for the Drive version for 30,000 rubles (it also includes four additional USB connectors and a camera rear view). The same cost is the package Comfort City 2 for the same version of the Drive, which includes climate control, heated steering wheel, washer nozzles and windshield.
About the interior of the Arcana in general, we can say that it looks better than it actually is. If you do not sit in the chair and do not touch anything with your hands, then this, it seems, would fall to the yard and the car a class higher. But you must understand that in order to maintain such prices, the “renoshniki” simply had to use materials and technologies easier. So, all the plastic in the cabin is hard à la Kaptur or Duster, the seat’s leatherette is cheap, the screen between the tachometer and the speedometer is monochrome, the central display does not always respond to pressing the first time, and you have to work to adjust the vents they work somehow indistinctly, and they overlap completely not with a special “ring”, but with an ordinary sideways movement, which is inconvenient.
There are some questions about the seats and the landing. The front seats seemed too soft and with a low level of lateral support. In the corners, you fall out of them, and when you exit the car, the sidewall slips almost to the frame. But for those who remember the “stools” of Duster and Kaptur, these chairs will seem like heavenly. Steering wheel on the flight – oh yeah, finally it appeared! – not enough tall drivers have to stretch their hands. But it’s still better than nothing. There is a little more space in the back row than in Kaptur or Duster, but the roof presses on the head more strongly. Honestly, we expected a little more space, considering that the wheelbase (2721 mm) is the longest in the class. Nevertheless, Arkana quite easily accommodates three passengers, and in the middle there is a comfortable armrest in the upper trim levels: a trifle, of course, but, for example, it is not available for Kreta at all.