Renault Arkana first driving test: Cheeky chic — Motoringnz

It is suspected that this was Renault determined to make a ‘thing’ about the car that is unlike anything else, thanks to its styling. If that’s the case, then it’s a cheeky piece of shit, monsieur.

Coupe crossovers aren’t prolific, but this isn’t the first to roam the streets; others have been there for years. On a larger scale, there are the BMW X6 and Mercedes Benz GLE and GLC coupes. In an almost deadly dimension of the Arkana, there is the BMW X4.

Yet these are emphatically premium cars, with corresponding price tags. At Renault you get the look, but you don’t have to pay expensive dollars. And it will certainly draw attention.

Before we get into that, let’s agree that any real secret may come from the background. A fine print ‘did you know’ is that, like Koleos, it belongs to Renault-Samsung of Busan, South Korea (it’s sold there as the Samsung XM3).

Another pub quiz tip is that this Arkana is a Mark 2. The first was a purely built-in car, and for Russia, in a factory that currently no longer makes Renaults. For, er, political reasons. Coincidentally, the transfer of the factory to the Moscow authorities was confirmed ‘tentatively’ on the day of this first run.

That this is a ‘Special K’ Renault is nothing to worry about. The design and engineering were carried out entirely in France. Everything about the car appears to be completely European, even more than is the case with Koleos. In any case, it has two advantages.

First, there’s the build quality – nothing against the craftsmanship of the factories in which French is the working language, but South Korean manufacturers are really committed to being considered the best in the world. Aside from a very occasional and slight rattle from the underside of the dash, the Arkana Intense I drove was a shining example of quality. Seamless paint, perfect closures.

The other plus of buying from the top of the Pacific is that there is much more certainty in the supply. Renault NZ won’t share volume predictions, but seems confident it can get as many cars from Busan as it needs, when it needs them. Fingers crossed.

For all of Renault, including vans, market share has been increasing every year, but it’s still a niche – just 620 vehicles sold in 2021 – and the overall offering will be challenging, says local boss Sam Waller. Knowing that all brands are in this position helps, but not much.

“The industry has been dealing with it for the last 18 months and we will continue. It’s no different than what we see with electronics in stores, or in your hardware stores, where inventory is missing from the shelves.

“We just need to make sure we bring as many vehicles into the country as we can.”

That’s reassuring. The Arkana also sells itself by potentially being the right car, in the ‘right’ sector, at the ‘right’ price, possibly targeting the ‘right’ people.

SUVs and crossovers are the ‘happening’ product of the moment. Anyone who’s pitching like this does, specifically for those who’d like to move away from a small car to the SUV space, but aren’t sure about making the full switch, and also want something a little bit of flair, are definitely ready to go. do good.

As far as design goes, any possible confusion with the more premium German coupe crossovers won’t hurt this one. It’s a great looking car, although brand spotters should start up front to confirm its provenance, as this is the most recognizable aspect of the design that follows the Renault look.

At a stop at the Pelorus Bridge cafe, the Intense I was driving caught the attention of a passing couple. They were well versed in what Renault was up to; they had actually hung on to their Skoda in hopes of securing the Captur. Based on nothing more than a quick glance at the Arkana, they wondered if it might be a better choice. When that’s all, the country’s 15 dealers will be busy.

Renault Arkana first driving test: Cheeky chic — Motoringnz

Source link Renault Arkana first driving test: Cheeky chic — Motoringnz

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