Renault Austral Review 2024

Renault Austral At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Renault Austral isn't a household name like some of its rivals, but it's a better car than the old Kadjar. The cabin is a big step forward, the technology is impressive and the hybrid is exceptionally efficient - it's just a shame the UK doesn't get the cheaper petrols.

+Hybrid beats rivals on official economy, cabin is smartly designed and well-finished, optional four-wheel steering is a nice touch.

-Only available as a hybrid in the UK, gearbox is complex and slow to react, ride comfort remains to be proven.

Looking for a hybrid SUV that you don't need to plug in? Your choice is more extensive than ever, and the new Renault Austral is an option well worth considering. But can it compete with our favourite petrol-electric SUVs on the market? Our 2022 Renault Austral review aims to find out.

We'd understand if you were a bit confused by Renault's range of late. While established models such as the Clio and Captur remain, the Megane is now an electric car, the Twingo is long-gone and the Scenic went the way of almost every other traditional MPV. 

So where does this new Renault Austral fit in? Well, it's the direct replacement for the moderately popular but largely unremarkable Renault Kadjar, filling the family SUV void it left. 

Key competitors for the Austral, then, include the somewhat-related Nissan Qashqai, the venerable Volkswagen Tiguan, the Hyundai Tucson and the Kia Sportage. End of story? It's a bit more complicated. 

Over on the continent Renault Austral buyers can choose from a total of five petrol engines with varying degrees of hybrid assistance. In the UK we'll get two - at least for the time being - and we'll still have to wait until a few months into 2023. 

Anyway, at least the version we get - the Renault Austral E-Tech hybrid - is a relevant one. Available in 160PS and 200PS forms, it's not a plug-in hybrid, but Renault calls it "the world's most efficient hybrid powertrain". That's a bold claim, but with some basis in fact because the Austral drinks less fuel on paper than all its key competitors. 

With a neatly evolved exterior design, the Austral's interior shares a lot with the impressive new Renault Megane E-Tech EV. That means it's much more modern and upmarket than the old Kadjar, and it's plenty spacious enough for a big family car. 

Renault has even leveraged its sporty Alpine sub-brand, adorning the Austral with Alpine-inspired trim levels and badging. To that end one of the available options is four-wheel steering - a unique offering in the class - which benefits low-speed agility and high-speed stability. Is it any good? Read on to find out. 

What does a Renault Austral cost?