We drive the new hybrid Austral. Does this justify the purchase? – Observer

Betting on a 100% electric future, Renault understands that by then it will need cars with a basic petrol engine, but not necessarily plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), with less weight on the wallet, and less pollution, because that technology has been phased out. A trend that has already lost access to aid in Germany, a trend that promises to spread to other markets, thanks to misuse. Thus, the full hybrid mechanics of the Austral, the most important C-segment SUV in Europe and the 2nd in Portugal, where the brand intends to make a difference.

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Built on the CMF-CD platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the same platform that gave rise to the Qashqai. The Austral replaces the Kadjar, which offers more interior space, more equipment and more refinement, and has already received 10,000 orders worldwide, according to those in charge of Renault Portugal. (debuts here, replacing Initiale Paris).


We already talked about this French SUV here, during the international presentation of the model (which you can see below). But now that we’ve had the chance to drive it longer, it’s time to better understand it on the occasion of its arrival on the Portuguese market. if it lives up to expectations who created

Two versions, but the hybrid has 200 hp

Austral’s national range consists of two different mechanics: a mild hybrid (mHEV), simpler, less powerful and more accessible, and a second full hybrid (HEV), more complex and, above all, more powerful and economical. The mild hybrid, or mild hybrid, uses a 1333cc supercharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 160hp and 270Nm, boosted by the presence of a small 12V electric motor and a mini-battery with a capacity of just 0.15kWh. has a small advantage, it provides a “sailing” driving mode in which it cuts the combustion engine on flat ground or on slight slopes. However, in addition to 160bhp, a top speed of 175km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds, the Austral mHEV claims consumption of 6.2l/100km, which corresponds to CO emissions of 138g.2/ km.

We led Australia. An SUV for those who don’t want a diesel or PHEV

Although the mHEV version is more affordable, The most popular Renault SUV has to be the Austral HEV, which produces 200 horsepower from hybrid mechanics. It has a petrol combustion engine, a 1.2 Turbo with 131 hp and 205 Nm, a 400V electric motor with 68 hp and 205 Nm, and a second electric motor on board with only 34 hp. energy to charge the battery using the combustion engine. In addition to providing roughly the basic electric motor, it is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 2 kWh (1.7 kWh usable), more than usual for an HEV, to increase the level (and duration) of assistance to the gasoline engine. 5 km in electric mode depending on conditions and terrain profile. During testing, we drove between 2 and 3 km without the 1.2 Turbo engine “waking up”. The result is a top speed of 175 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds, but more importantly average consumption of 4.6 l/100 km and emissions of 104 g CO2/ km. This is despite weighing almost 60kg more than the 160bhp mHEV version.

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The Australian model we drove, a 200bhp HEV, was still equipped with these devices 4Control Advanced system, a four-wheel steering solution where the rear wheels also turnto help the model’s agility in the city, giving it the same turning radius as a small Clio at low speeds, and then at higher speeds to optimize cornering behavior, lean the body less and describe the tightest corners with a different efficiency.

Asphalt and surprisingly agile SUV

On the roads of the Algarve, crossing the mountains of Monchique, 4Control Advanced confirmed its effectiveness., helping to avoid surprises in sudden closing corners, preventing the SUV from running away from the front, then more predictable in more open corners, contributing more to the effectiveness of behavior in a model that exhibits suspension adjustment. asphalt pavement compared to dirt roads in poor condition. 4Control also requires the assembly of a rear axle with independent wheels, which in itself improves comfort and handling.

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A drive to the south and the next day in the opposite direction helped us figure out the consumption, and here the Austral HEV had some of its nicest surprises in store for us. The first was the operation of Active Driver Assist, a device that keeps the speed, the distance to the car in front and the SUV in the center of the lane. allowing us to drive more comfortablyhelped head-up display with sufficient information. With a 90 km/h speedometer, the Austral HEV recorded consumption of just 4.3 l/100 km, one of the lowest in the segment. At 120 km/h the value rises as expected, but only to 5.7 l/100 km, which is a very interesting value.

7 year warranty and prices from €34,200

The new Renault Austral is available from us in mHEV versions with 160 hp, Equilibre and Techno equipment levels for €34,200 and €36,700 respectively. However, the manufacturer believes it will be the most powerful Austral, a 200bhp HEV, and this version is offered in three different equipment lines. The most affordable of these is the Techno Esprit Alpine (€39,700), followed by the Iconic (€41,700) and the top of the range Esprit Alpine, offered for €46,200.

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The new hybrid SUV of the French brand Class 1 on national highways if equipped with Via Verde, because at the level of the set of front wheels it is between 1.1 and 1.3 meters. But Austral also debuts the manufacturer’s latest commercial argument, which is a A 7-year or 150,000km warranty should give individual customers extra peace of mind.

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