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New Renault Austral: price, specs & release date

Phil Hall

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Phil Hall

Renault Austral Esprit Alpine in Satin Shale Grey front-three quarter

The Renault Austral SUV has been revealed with a hybrid engine range, posh interior and the option to fit four-wheel steering. 

The Renault Austral is a rival to models like the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq, Ford Kuga and Mazda CX-5

Renault Austral Esprit Alpine in Satin Shale Grey rear-three quarter

2022 Renault Austral price and release date

The Renault Austral is expected to cost from around £25,000 if it gets confirmed for UK sale – that's still up in the air, although the company will make a decision in the coming months. High-end hybrid models will likely cost closer to £40,000 thanks to their sophisticated powertrains and four-wheel steering. 

Renault Austral interior

2022 Renault Austral styling

The Renault Austral has avoided striking styling like you see in the Kia Sportage, so it's less polarising but, you could argue, also less modern. It looks relatively conventional with subtle creases and curves, bookended by pretty diamond effect matrix LED headlights and intricate micro-optic tail lights. You can choose from alloy wheels between 17 and 20 inches in size as well as eight paint finishes. 

2022 Renault Austral Alpine Esprit

The Satin Shale Grey you see here is only available on the Renault Austral Alpine Esprit model which is to Renault what ST Line and R-Line are to Ford and Volkswagen. As well as the fancy paint, Alpine Esprit models get a sporty body kit and 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside, you’ll find blue stitching and piping, Alcantara upholstery, a Nappa leather steering wheel with red, white and blue (Alpine colour) stitching, aluminium pedals and ‘Alpine’ logoed door sills. 

Renault Austral front and back seats

2022 Renault Austral interior

The big talking point about the new Renault Austral is its interior, which is a positive infotainment-fest. You’ll find a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel and a 12-inch centre display, with the option to fit a 9.3-inch head-up display. The infotainment is powered by Google so you can expect it to operate slickly via the touchscreen and to have incisive voice recognition. You'll also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

With no conventional buttons clogging up the cabin, the course is clear for Renault to load the interior with expensive-feeling trim pieces. Even basic models get padded textiles, while top-of-the-range versions get real wood trim in place of the Alcantara in sporty Alpine Esprit cars. 

You also get luxurious levels of space to go with the luxury feel. Renault claims the Austral’s 27.4cm of rear-seat knee room is class leading and the back seat slides backwards and forwards on 16cm runners.

With the back seats up, you get 500 litres of boot space that rises to 1525 litres with the seats folded away – each can be dropped individually. To go with that load-lugging capacity, there’s also an additional 35 litres of smaller storage spaces hidden around the cabin that'll be ideal for keeping the cabin tidy when its shepherding the family from A to B.

Renault Austral Esprit Alpine in Satin Shale Grey profile

2022 Renault Austral engines and performance

You can have your Renault Austral with a choice of four petrol engines – including a full-blown petrol-electric hybrid. 

Basic models get torsion beam rear suspension, while high-end models get multi-link rear suspension in conjunction with 4Control four-wheel steering that give the Renault a 10.1m turning circle – impressive given a tiny Volkswagen Up needs 9.8m. 

In terms of engines, the range is topped by the E-Tech hybrid model which uses a combination of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and 1.7kWh battery to produce 200PS through a dog box automatic gearbox. It can return fuel economy of up to 61.4mpg – surprisingly economical thanks to an ability to set off and run on electric power for short distances. 

The mid-range engine is a 130PS 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol with 48V mild-hybrid technology that means it can coast on the motorway and gets a light electrical boost under acceleration, helping it return fuel economy of up to 53.3mpg.

Even the basic engine – available with 140PS and a six-speed manual or with 160PS and a CVT automatic – gets mild-hybrid technology, although only a 12V system. It’s a relatively old engine – already fitted to cars like the Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes-Benz A-Class – which explains its up-to 45.5mpg rating. 

Along with the hybrid engines, you also get uprated self-drive technology. The Austral is available with Level 2 autonomy meaning it can accelerate, brake and steer for you on the motorway and A-roads.

Renault Kadjar Review 2022 Front View

Find a used Renault Kadjar for sale

Much like the Austral – which will be based on the new Nissan Qashqai – Renault’s current midsize SUV, the Kadjar, is based on the old Qashqai but is slightly bigger. As a result, you get even more interior space, and a healthy standard equipment list is another big selling point. Finally, you get a choice of petrol and diesel engines, none of which cost a fortune to run. You can get hold of a Kadjar for less than £8000, although that’ll buy you a car with well over 100,000 miles. Around £13,000 gets you a 2017 car that’ll have less than 30,000 miles and would be the wiser choice if you can rise to it.

Looking for more new car news?

Hit the links for the latest on the Volvo XC40, Ineos Grenadier and Alfa Romeo Tonale

Not yet, but it will soon be replaced by the Renault Kadjar.

The Renault Austral is based on the new Qashqai, however it could offer a little more space inside. 

Renault Kadjars are popular family cars, so they’ll hold their value better than a hatchback, but they’ve not got the kerb appeal of a premium German car and will depreciate quicker as a result. 

There once was a car named Austral | Renault Group

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