Renault Rafale SUV: Everything you need to know

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Author: | Updated: 16 May 2024 09:46

Renault recently revealed its new Rafale SUV in full, and has now confirmed there’ll be  300hp 4x4 plug-in hybrid version developed with Alpine.

Based on the upcoming Austral, the Rafale is a large car that gets coupe styling cues. It’s aiming to take on the likes of Citroen’s C5 X and the Peugeot 408. Here’s what we know so far.

Renault Rafale front

Renault Rafale fast facts

  • Gets swoopy coupe-like styling
  • Based on the Austral platform
  • Potent Alpine-based plug-in hybrid offered
  • Will offer an alternative to C5X and 408
  • Deliveries to commence later this year

Renault Rafale side

Renault Rafale styling

First things first: the Rafale will feature SUV Coupe styling, with a silhouette not too dissimilar from what we’ve seen from Citroen and Peugeot with the C5 X and 408. But rather than just a four-door coupe, the Rafale is actually based on the Austral.

This gives it an SUV flair thanks to its higher right height and large alloy wheels. A large grille up front brings the car’s looks in line with other new Renaults, while a pair of angular headlights aren’t dissimilar to those on Peugeot’s 408.

Around the back, it’s clear this is very much an coupe-style SUV, with a swooping roofline that cuts off sharply. The model in these pics show the Rafale in Esprit Alpine trim, with the gloss black trim contrasting with the deep blue paint fantastically.

Renault Rafale interior

Renault Rafale interior and tech

Inside, you get the same infotainment tech that features in the Megane E-Tech. That means a large 12in portrait touchscreen and 12in digital driver display.  The system is Android-based, although supports Apple CarPlay too.

Passenger space in the rear is unlikely to be as impressive as the Austral due to its lower roofline, but there should be enough space to still make this a viable left-field family car.

Renault Rafale badge close-up

Renault Rafale drivetrains

Two drivetrains are available from launch, with both using a 1.2-litre petrol engine. The first is a hybrid E-Tech model that utilises two electric motors to produce a combined 200hp. It is also capable of offering fully electric drivetrain at lower speeds.

A plug-in hybrid developed with the help of Alpine is also offered, adding a further electric motor. Not only does this give the Rafale four-wheel drive, but it also ups power to 300hp.

When fully charged, you’ll get an electric-only range of up to 62 miles, while performance impresses too with 0-62mph taking 6.4 seconds. As a product of Alpine, the chassis has been adapted too. There’s lots of special parts to improve handling, with new dampers, springs and anti-roll bars.

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Renault Rafale release date

The Rafale will be available to order soon, with order books likely to open in the UK later this year. We’ll bring you the best leasing plans as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, you can compare prices on Renault’s current line-up by hitting the button below.

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