New 2022 Renault Austral SUV: hybrid engines confirmed

The new Renault Austral SUV will rival Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai, and will come exclusively with hybrid powertrains

Renault Austral SUV in camouflage
  • Replacement for Renault Kadjar SUV
  • E-Tech hybrid will offer lowest CO2 emissions
  • Due on sale in the next few months

An all-new SUV called the Renault Austral will replace the Renault Kadjar in 2022. The new car will sit above the Renault Megane Electric E-Tech crossover but will be offered with conventional mild-hybrid petrol engines at launch.

Renault has released new teaser images of the Austral, as the model enters its final development phase. From these images, it’s clear that the Austral will bear resemblance to the Megane E-Tech Electric SUV, but it’s likely to have larger air intakes on the front. It’ll also get the newly revised diamond-shaped Renault badge on the nose of the car, while at the rear, the Austral will most likely incorporate an LED light bar.

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Thanks to Renault’s alliance with Nissan, the Austral will sit on the same CMF-C platform as the Nissan Qashqai. The new car will be slightly larger than the outgoing Kadjar, putting it in line with similarly sized rivals like the Ford Kuga and Hyundai Tucson.

On the inside, a 200mm increase in the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) relative to the Kadjar will provide more room for passengers in the back. The Austral will also feature the same OpenR Link infotainment system that is found in the smaller Megane E-Tech. This consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, alongside a tablet-style 12-inch central display.

Renault Austral SUV rear view

Despite an industry-wide push towards electrification, the Renault Austral will not be available as an electric car at launch. Instead, buyers will be offered an updated version of Renault’s 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine. This engine also features in the Qashqai, where it produces either 138 or 153bhp, with both getting mild-hybrid assistance. The Austral will also be available with a 1.2-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine; we’ll have to wait to see if the performance figures explain why there are two very similarly sized engine options.

An E-Tech hybrid version is also on the way. This version will be the most economical, because it’ll have the biggest battery. CO2 emissions are claimed to start from just 105g/km for this engine. It’s not currently known whether it’ll be a ‘self-charging’ hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, though.

Before the Austral arrives in late 2022, Renault has updated the outgoing Kadjar as a ‘last hurrah’ for the popular family SUV. If you simply can’t wait for the new car, you can find out about the updated model here.

Read our reviews of current Renault models or check out our guide to the best family SUVs

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