The Renault Austral is a new huge C-segment SUV from the French automaker. It features numerous technical advancements, and you may get a Renault in an Alpine trim for the first time. While the Renault 5 won't be available until 2023 and the Renault 4 won't be released until 2025, the Renault Austral will be on sale in five European countries in the following months.
Renault Austral replaces the one-season-only Renault Kadjar, and it joins the Renault Arkana as the only two cars in the massive C-segment, which accounts for more than 40% of all new vehicles.
With the addition of the Austral, Renault's product line-up in the market category is complete. The Renault Arkana debuted last year and is also a huge success, with over 100,000 sold. Because it is an Austral, a full-blooded SUV with a lot of space and clever solutions, the Renault Arkana can be classified as a C-SUV Coupe.
In terms of its dimensions, the Renault Austral is 1.62 meters in height, 1.83 meters in width, 4.51 meters in length, and 2.67 meters in wheelbase. Available in 3+ variants, it has a height clearance of 18 centimeters.
Equilibre is the name of the most basic edition, Techno is the medium tier, and Iconic is the top trim. Also, an Alpine trim variant differs primarily in cosmetics from the standard models but shares their powertrains.
Once behind the wheel of the Renault Austral, drivers familiar with the Renault Megane Electric will feel right at home. The 12-inch panels and the lightning-fast Google Automotive system are taken straight from the OpenR system.
The interior can be customized in four different ways, including four distinct color schemes. The Renault Austral also features a 9.3-inch head-up display that provides speed, active ADAS systems, and navigation information. The gear selector is positioned next to the wheel, just like in the Renault Megane Electric, freeing up space for a cutting-edge storage console with six liters of space and wireless charging. Also included are two cup holders, a 12 V power outlet, and a pair of USB Type-C power outlets.
The cabin has been upgraded for a higher level of exclusivity, with options like genuine wood for the door panels and instrument panel, leather/Alcantara upholstery, and a state-of-the-art sound system from Harman Kardon with 12 speakers and 485 watts of power.
The most powerful configuration is a 400 V complete hybrid from E-TECH. The power output of 200 horsepower is provided by a 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine producing 131 horsepower and a 50-kilowatt electric motor. It has a combined torque of 410 Nm. The engine is mated to a 15-speed automated transmission.
The Renault Austral also offers a mild hybrid with 140 and 160 horsepower. The foundation for this motor is a 1.3-liter, 4-cylinder engine built in tandem with Daimler. A 12 V lithium-ion battery aids in cranking over this motor. While the 140-hp model has a manual transmission, the 160-hp model features a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Renault Austral offers two distinct steering configurations. You can choose between standard front-wheel steering and rear-wheel steering of up to 5 degrees using Renault's 4 Control system. The system has been widely known and acknowledged, including in Renault Laguna and Renault Espace. The Renault Austral offers a significantly upgraded version of the technology, which results in an even tighter turning circle and improved and more dynamic driving qualities, especially on the twisting roads of the countryside. In its standard configuration, the Austral's turning radius is 11.2 meters; with 4Control, it's only 10.1 meters.
The Renault Austral comes standard with up to 32 separate advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) designed to make driving, parking, and, most importantly, occupants' lives safer. New features include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go (for up to 30 seconds), speed limit sign recognition, hands-free parking, and 360-degree, three-dimensional parking cameras.
Matrix LED Vision lights are another choice in the convenience-safety nexus; they can automatically detect oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, and other road users, so you never have to worry about flashing your headlights.
When it comes to passive safety, it's hard to argue with the fact that Austral is your best bet. It's equipped with seven airbags, and if EuroNCAP tests it later this year, it should receive five out of five stars.
The Renault Austral can tow up to 1800 kilograms when equipped with a mild hybrid system or 1500 kilograms with an E-TECH engine (200 or 160 horsepower) and a caravan in a standard, level position.
Renault's Valladolid, Spain, factory has also produced the Renault Megane and the Renault Kadjar, and these cars use the CMF-CD Alliance platform on which the Austral is based.