First Look at the Renault Austral SUV

09 Mar 2022 by Megan Maxwell

If you had a chance to catch up with our January blog on cars to look out for this 2022, you may have noticed the all-new Renault Austral.

Replacing the Kadjar SUV, the new mid-sized SUV Austral is set to bring a whole new vibe to its fleet.

But what can we expect?

Renault announced that the new family-sized model is in its final development stages this month, with a primary focus on fine-tuning the Austral’s engine options and reliability. These final checks include testing the new CMF-CD3 platform and their all-electric engine options, further confirming the brand’s all-electrified line-up featuring E-Tech hybrid and mild-hybrid units. A fleet of around 100 test cars, and a team of 900 drivers, will cover ‘confirmation runs’. This will accumulate to around 373,000 miles covered on the open road and the remaining 870,000 miles completed on a test track.

The French firm claims the new platform makes the Austral “a true joy to drive” – addressing its rigidity and “optimised” suspension set-up as factors that give the potential for “true driving pleasure”. Likewise, the mid-sized SUV is equipped with torsion-beam rear suspension as standard, but top-rung cars with four-wheel steering get a multi-link set-up at the rear. The cars also get a 13:1 steering ratio (down from 14.7:1 as standard) for more precise handling and a turning circle of just 10.1 metres. 

Fresh Face on the Block

Describing the car as “robust as well as agile”, the Austral embodies the beginning of Renault’s new design language – with more dynamic lines and improvements to common design elements. Meanwhile, the Austral will combine eye-catching livery with line-distorting shapes, colours and the newly updated Renault logo. Amongst the reveal, the SUV will feature C-shaped headlights, 4×4-inspired chunky skidplates and alloy wheels measuring up to 20-in in diameter.

Inside the cabin, the brand’s latest OpenR Link infotainment system will feature. Powered by Android Automotive, the set-up combines a 12.3-in dash with a 12-in touchscreen.

The brand has confirmed the Austral line-up will consist of two full-hybrid powertrains, which will incorporate the latest-generation E-Tech hybrid. Revealed engines for the Renault Austral comprise of a 1.3 TCe 12-volt mild-hybrid unit that is set to produce 138bhp and 157bhp and crack 45.6mpg, and a 1.2 TCe motor with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology for combined outputs of 157bhp and 196bhp.

Additionally, there will also be a mild-hybrid petrol option that Renault indicates as a “genuine alternative to diesel”, given that it’s claimed to be capable of 53mpg. This pairs the same engine with a 48V battery and a belt-integrated starter-generator for an electric boost under load – further reducing petrol consumption.

Renault revealed the new name for the SUV – Austral – epitomises the French origins of the manufacturer and evokes the colours and warmth of the southern hemisphere.

The 4.5m-long, five-seat SUV will appear soon, with Renault taking orders in mid-2022 and deliveries due in the Autumn.

However, it is yet to be confirmed it will be sold in the UK – so what are your thoughts? Do you think it could fit into the UK roads? Let us know in the comments!

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