Categories: Tests

Renault Austral (2023) test: what is the entry-level worth?

Presented just over a year ago, the replacing the Kadjar is off to a very promising start. With one design at a time more modern but also more assertive, and richly endowed interior as well as great driving pleasure, the Renault Austral seduces and even manages to become the favorite SUV of the French. He has even recently surpassed his little brother l’Arkana, sortie en 2021 and especially the unbeatable Peugeot 3008son concurrent direct.

Last year, when it was officially presented, theAustral had impressed us. Finishing Esprit Alpine with a shale gray bodywork in a satin finish, 20-inch alloy wheels, OpenRLink multimedia system with a huge touch screen and 200 hp full-hybrid E-Tech engine… In short, Renault had logically presented its compact family SUV at its best day. But the harsh economic reality of the moment prevails. In this period of inflation, prices are driven up and not all budgets can afford to spend €45,300 for an over-equipped Austral.

Today, we wanted to know if the entry-level version, available from €34,000 in the Equilibre finish, could appeal to smaller budgets!

Design: no full LED and imposed 17″ rims

With this first level of Equilibre finish, the Austral is far from being ridiculous. Quite the contrary! The dynamic lines and its overall look are identical to the more expensive versions. If we are attentive, we notice that the light signature is slightly different. The headlamps remain full-LED but the lower part of the “C” is not lit. This part is replaced by a chrome plastic upright, which does not alter the look of the SUV. In the same way, the lower part of the front face differs slightly. No front bumper with the “Lame F1”, a body element inaugurated with the Mégane E-Tech. Finally, impossible to miss the 17-inch rims which, it must be said, denote a little on this modern SUV. Access to large, more elegant rims of 18, 19 or 20 inches being reserved for higher finishes.

Interior: a modern presentation but still too much plastic

In this “basic” Austral, Renault does not ignore essential elements. If the choice of OpenR Link instrumentation with the large 12.3-inch panel is available as an option (at €1,200), the native panel is quite correct! It is just as responsive, intuitive and above all readable. A delight. Another positive point is the storage. These are plentiful and offer plenty of room to store all personal belongings. The materials on this Equilibre finish are a subtle mix of fabrics made from recycled materials, shiny plastics and hard plastics for the lower parts. The upholstery is entirely made of this recycled fabric which seems rather durable at first touch. It remains to be seen how this will behave over the years.

In the back, there is plenty of room for passengers in the Austral. Headroom, legroom and elbowroom are generous. On the other hand, no panoramic roof for this Equilibre version. The sliding seat is also absent. It’s a shame because it allows, on the higher finishes, to increase the trunk volume up to 630 liters! The latter, with a fairly high loading threshold measured at 77cm, still offers 530 liters, which places it at the top of the category basket. Finally, no electric tailgate on the entry level. This is only accessible from the Techno endowment (from €36,500) for an additional cost of €450.

At the wheel: a new 3-cylinder that does the job

Even in its first level of finish, the Renault Austral thus offers a correct interior endowment for its positioning. But what about on the road? Faced with a dynamic Peugeot 3008 which also starts at 130 hp but with an automatic gearbox, the diamond SUV has a sizeable competitor. Renault has learned lessons from the past with a fairly bland Kadjar and now offers a much better copy with a good chassis and good driving pleasure!

Combined with a new small entry-level engine, a block 1.2 L of 3 cylinders offering 130 hp of power pour 230 Nm of torque, the “little” Austral is not at all under-powered. In this precise configuration in a mechanical box, our SUV weighs 1,528 kg on the scale and can be taken very easily on the roads… The curves follow one another without rolling and the pleasure is quite convincing despite a slight lack of power once loaded. . The soundproofing of the engine is good with little feedback from vibrations. Finally, if the engine does not need to be whipped too much in the revs to move forward, it will be necessary to skip several gears when overtaking on the motorway… Precisely, if this 6 box is relatively good, driving in town will obviously be much less pleasant than the 160hp version with automatic transmission, even more flexible and gentle in urban driving. In terms of comfort, if the Austral is known to have suspensions set a little too firm for a family model, the small 17-inch rims come to save the day. With more rubber, the roughness is less felt (the top-of-the-range models offer 18, 19 and even 20 inches).

In terms of consumption, this little 3 cylinder micro hybrid 48 volt remains fuel efficient for a gasoline engine. On the other hand, it is still far from the sobriety of a diesel. According to laboratory measurementsAutoPlusthis Austral 130 has been measured with an average of approximately 7.2/L per 100 km. Faced with its direct tricolor competitors, the Citroen C5 Aircross and the Peugeot 3008, with equivalent motorization the Austral does better. The latter respectively consume between 7.3 and 7.4 l/100 km in the same exercise.

Read also :

Jeep Avenger test: love at first sight in sight?

Alfa Romeo Giulia (2023) test: the Italian still in the race?

Toyota Corolla (2023) test: a revolutionary new hybrid engine?

Verdict: a decent entry-level Austral

For smaller budgets, the Equilibre finish is a must. Accessible from €34,000, this Austral is still convincing with correct equipment for the category. Without being a thunderbolt, this new 3-cylinder block remains sufficient for most uses. In addition to being relatively frugal, it offers good driving pleasure. If your sights are on this 1st level of finish, we nevertheless strongly recommend the city pack (charged at €400) which offers reversing cameras, which are very useful for maneuvering the 4.50 m of the French SUV. Add to the ticket a paint different from the basic white (+ €650 for a paint) and the bill is just over €35,050.

On the other hand, if the budget allows it, we really recommend the Austral with the engine and the superior finish. The Techno version coupled with the 1.3 L 4-cylinder 160 hp block with automatic gearbox offers the best possible compromise for this Austral. The approval is greatly improved with an even more peaceful driving in the absence of a little progressive clutch. With the large 12-inch central screen, on the other hand, it will be necessary to count on more than 38,000 € on average for a well-equipped Austral Techno 160.

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Version : 1.2 Mild Hybrid Advanced 130
  • Finish: Balance
  • Prix : 34 000 € (€35,050 for our test model)
  • Bonus/Malus : 0 €
  • Engine type: Turbo petrol (1.2 L, 3-cylinder)
  • Displacement: 1199 cm3
  • CV : 7
  • Power: 130 hp
  • Couple : 230 Nm
  • Fuel
  • Transmission : Traction
  • Gearbox: 6-speed manual
  • Tank: 58 liters
  • WLTP consumption: 5.2 L/100 km
  • Lab fuel consumption: 7.2 L/100 km
  • Acceleration: 10.9 sec
  • Length: 4.51m
  • Width: 1.83m
  • Height: 1.62m
  • Poids : 1 528 kg

Options of the model tested (+ €1,050):

  • Shale Gray color (+ €650)
  • Pack city (+ 400 €)
    • front, rear and side parking aids
    • reversing camera

Published by

Recent Posts

He converts an old Japanese car into dragster

Too old, the engine of this Japanese does not allow it to participate in drag…

5 hours ago

He films himself at motorcycle rodeo and traps himself

A 22-year-old man has been arrested by police after posting a video of his motorcycling…

6 hours ago

He leaves his Rolls-Royce with the keys outside to test the security of his city

The owner of a Rolls-Royce left his car and keys unattended for several hours. When…

6 hours ago

Survey: what factors influence your car purchase?

A recent survey examines the factors that influence the purchase of used cars by French…

7 hours ago

Flashed 13 times on motorcycle, he hides his license plate with his hand

While he had hidden his motorcycle license plate 13 times in front of speeding cameras,…

7 hours ago

ZFE: the diesels saved thanks to this kit?

The EPZs prevent a large part of the French from moving freely in the metropolises.…

8 hours ago

Electric cars: in the end, aren’t the batteries the most polluting?

It's no secret that electric cars pollute. But did you know that the battery is…

9 hours ago