Renault is a brand that has always been known for its innovation and creativity. The French automaker has a history of producing cars that combine practicality, performance, and personality. And the latest addition to its lineup, the Renault Austral E-Tech, is no exception.
The Renault Austral E-Tech is a mid-size SUV that offers a full hybrid powertrain, a sleek design, and a high-tech interior. It is the successor of the Renault Kadjar, but it is more than just a facelift. It is a new model that aims to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai, and Toyota RAV4 in the crowded and competitive segment of hybrid crossovers.
But what makes the Renault Austral E-Tech stand out from the crowd? And why should you consider it as your next family car? In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and drawbacks of this new hybrid SUV, and see how it compares to its rivals.
What is the Renault Austral E-Tech?
The Renault Austral E-Tech is a hybrid SUV that uses a petrol engine and an electric motor to provide power and efficiency. It is not a plug-in hybrid, so you don’t need to charge it from an external source. Instead, it recharges its battery by regenerating energy from braking and coasting or by using the petrol engine as a generator.
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces 140 hp and 205 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 50 kW electric motor, adding another 60 hp and 205 Nm of torque. The combined output is 200 hp, enough to propel the SUV from 0 to 62 mph in 8.4 seconds and to a top speed of 124 mph.
The powertrain is connected to a smart multi-modal gearbox, which has four speeds for the petrol engine and two speeds for the electric motor. The gearbox can switch between 15 different combinations of drive modes, depending on the driving conditions and the driver’s preferences. The gearbox also has no clutch, which means the car always starts in electric mode, making it smoother and quieter.
The Renault Austral E-Tech can run on electric power alone for up to 80% of city driving, according to Renault. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions and improves the driving experience. The SUV has a claimed fuel economy of up to 60.1 mpg and a CO2 output of as low as 105 g/km, which are impressive figures for a hybrid crossover.
The Renault Austral E-Tech also has a four-wheel steering system, which is available on the top-spec version. This system improves the agility and stability of the car by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels at low speeds and in the same direction at high speeds. This reduces the turning circle, enhances the cornering performance, and increases safety.
What is the design of the Renault Austral E-Tech?
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a modern and elegant design that reflects its hybrid nature and its premium positioning. The SUV has a bold front end with a large diamond-shaped grille, a sculpted bonnet, and sleek LED headlights. The headlights have a distinctive lighting signature, with a C-shaped daytime running light and a matrix LED function that automatically adjusts the beam to the traffic and weather conditions.
The side profile of the Renault Austral E-Tech is dynamic and muscular, with a sloping roofline, a glossy black roof, and a chrome window surround. The SUV has a generous ground clearance of 190 mm and a wheelbase of 2.72 m, which provide a good balance between off-road capability and interior space. Depending on the trim level, the SUV also has 19-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels that add to its sporty appeal.
The rear end of the Renault Austral E-Tech is stylish and sophisticated, with a spoiler, a skid plate, and a dual exhaust. The tail lights have a 3D effect and a horizontal LED strip that connects them. The SUV also has a hands-free tailgate that opens and closes with a simple foot gesture under the bumper. The boot capacity is 555 liters, which can be expanded to 1,580 liters by folding the rear seats.
The Renault Austral E-Tech is available in nine colors, including two exclusive ones: Esprit Alpine Blue and Esprit Alpine Grey. The Esprit Alpine versions are inspired by the legendary sports car brand and feature some distinctive design elements, such as a front bumper with an F1 blade, a matte shadow grey color, and 20-inch Daytona alloy wheels.
What is the interior of the Renault Austral E-Tech?
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a spacious and sophisticated interior that offers a high level of comfort and convenience. The SUV has a digital cockpit that consists of a 10.2-inch instrument cluster and a 9.3-inch or 12-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim level. The touchscreen is vertically oriented and has an openR link multimedia system that integrates Google services, such as Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.
The Renault Austral E-Tech also has a head-up display that projects key information on the windscreen, such as speed, navigation, and driver assistance systems. The SUV has a wireless smartphone charger and a Harman Kardon sound system that delivers premium audio quality. The SUV also has a 360-degree around view monitor that displays the immediate environment of the vehicle in 360 degrees, making parking and maneuvering easier.
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a generous space between the driver and the passenger and a modular storage capacity of 35 liters. The SUV has a sliding center console that can be adjusted to the driver’s preference and a large glove box that can fit a laptop. The SUV also has a panoramic sunroof that floods the cabin with natural light and a multi-sense system that allows the driver to choose from four driving modes and eight ambient lighting colors.
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a high-quality, ergonomic interior with soft-touch materials and chrome accents. The SUV has comfortable and supportive seats that are available in fabric, leather, or Alcantara, depending on the trim level. The SUV also has a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats, which enhances comfort.
What are the safety and driver assistance systems of the Renault Austral E-Tech?
The Renault Austral E-Tech has a comprehensive range of safety and driver assistance systems that make driving safer and easier. The SUV has up to 30 advanced driver assistance systems that include:
- Adaptive cruise control, that maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front and can stop and restart the car in traffic.
- Lane keeping assist, that warns the driver if the car drifts out of the lane and can gently steer the car back to the center.
- Blind spot warning, that alerts the driver if there is a vehicle in the blind spot, and can apply a corrective torque to avoid a collision.
- Traffic sign recognition, that detects and displays the speed limit and other traffic signs and can adjust the speed accordingly.
- Highway and traffic jam companion that combines adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist and can partially take over the steering, acceleration, and braking on highways and in traffic jams.
- Emergency braking assist, that detects and warns the driver of a potential collision and can apply the brakes automatically if necessary.
- Rear cross traffic alert, that warns the driver of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking spot and can apply the brakes if necessary.
- Park assist, that can automatically steer the car into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, with the driver only controlling the speed and the brakes.
The Renault Austral E-Tech also has a pedestrian horn that emits a low-level sound when driving in electric mode to warn pedestrians of the car’s presence. The SUV also has a high beam assist that automatically switches between high and low beams, depending on the traffic and lighting conditions.