Renault Arkana vs Honda HR: the match between the originals

Reasons to choose the Arkana …

By offering to variant “cut” in a compact SUV, Renault plays the premium, the general manufacturers have not yet invested in this niche of success. Sharing its basics with the little Capturthe much more imposing Arkana is seen as a more attractive alternative to the Kadjar (which is now living its last moments, waiting for a much more modern Austral).

With its 4.57 mArkana he is still 23 cm from his rival. The modern design, very well finished and very sporty in this RS Line finish (red edges and seams, Renault Sport logo, steering wheel with thick edge and more enveloping seats) is quite gratifying. And if the Arkana has it makes style a priority, has not sacrificed all its practical aspects. Access to the rear seats it does not require too much contortion and if the space feels right, getting into an HR-V feels like increasing gear (see next page).

Next to the trunk, this hybrid version of the Arkana sees its volume limited to 480 liters, when the thermal variations reach their maximum. in addition to 510 liters. An honest value in the end for the category, and above all much higher than that of its rival, which must be satisfied with a small trunk of only 310 liters. Unlike its brother the Captur, the Arkana does not adopt the plug-in hybrid engine of 160 hp and is satisfied with this version 145 hp E-Tech fully hybrid. A decision of which there is no reason to regret, as the architecture used here seems relevant.

In detail, the Frenchman combines an Atkinson 1.6 cycle petrol engine and two electric machines. Un 15 kW alternator-starter and 36 kW motor that drives the front wheels. The peculiarity of its kinematics is the clutch transmission of dogs without a clutch. The Arkana always starts electrically, the alternator-starter is responsible for raising the heat engine to the proper speed. before the dogs select the right gears. In theory, this technical choice improves performance and reduces consumption.

In practice, there are many all-electric units, they last much longer than in a Toyota hybrid, for example, and all without the utmost care of the right foot. A great performance that would almost seem to ride in a PHEV. In a more dynamic or abrupt driving in the city, the transmission, however, reveals slowness, causing some shocks.

Comfort lovers will also find this Arkana RS line a firm hair on the bulge. A more dynamic environment than its rival that favors smooth driving. But the French take advantage of this evolution to be much more comfortable as soon as the road begins to turn. Firmly camped on your undercarriage and taking advantage of the revised and consistent steering configuration, Arkana knows how to hurry with some skill.

The performance is nothing short of remarkable (more than 10 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h) and the vigorous pick-ups cause a noisy speed (nothing too bad compared to the screams made by the HR-V at full load …). But the Frenchman makes up for it with very low consumption levels for a petrol SUV equipped with an automatic transmission. In our test, the average stood at 5.8 l / 100 km. Exceptional. Especially because essentially urban travel would further reduce this result. Opposite, HR-V is also one of the good students, but without reaching such a level.

… Or prefer the HR-V

For its part, the Honda HR-V would benefit from better recognition. If your predecessor has always been able to play only supporting roles with us (although it is one of the best-selling urban SUVs in the world!)this new version changes everything to gain popularity, starting with his style.

Get out of complex lines and rounded shapes. The HR-V points abovet, in particular by a greater distance to the ground. Its flag, on the other hand, is lowered and ends in a very sloping rear window. The body panels are soft and the look conquering. Overall, this HR-V gains in maturity and presence.

Inside, the rather classic layout exudes a certain modernity. If quality could have benefited from better care, particularly for the choice of materials, impeccable ergonomics delights, at a time when adjusting the air conditioning requires concentration and dexterity … The classic choice of well-positioned knobs and a clear physical controls make life easier. A good point that the Japanese share with the Arkana.

Where the HR-V outperforms its rival, and competition in general, is in space. In the second row, the space is wide. By the knees, we can even say giant, included for an adult 1.90 m. He. Honda maintains the small hand game known in the other models of the brand (Civic, Jazz). “Magic” seats whose seat rests against the backrest to release a large cargo space over the entire height of the cabin. Easy and convenient. A possible maneuver for the location of the tank in front, but making the passenger seat not adjustable in height. It’s a choice.

As for the engine, the Honda HR-V does not offer a whole range of engines like the Arkana. It will be hybrid or nothing. The Japanese also combines a small 107 hp Atkinson 1.4 cycle with an electric motor, showing a power total of 131 hp. A totally classic architecture but more innovative in its operation. In most driving, the thermal block only activates a generator that recharges the battery. It only comes into play when more power is needed or on the highway, and that’s it by means of a CVT transmission of fixed gear.

In fact, the HR-V reveals driving in the city smoother. More comfortable than its rival of the day, it benefits from more adaptable damping, lighter steering and a transmission that offers great responsiveness. But this drive is also the cause of sudden and unpleasant increases in engine speed with minimal acceleration. (by the way, soundproofing is not your forte). And when it does not provide torque to the wheels, the rotational speed of the block, disconnected from the actual speed, disturbs.

It is better, however, to drive this HR-V at a very slow pace, otherwise the risk of crashing its front axle a bit smooth and sinking it over the suspensions. The small Honda, on the other hand, achieves a good synthesis between sufficient performance and controlled consumption. But even with a very good 6.2 / 100 kmit does not reach the sobriety of its rival.


Much more modern than its replacement, equipped with a sleek and sober hybrid engine, the HR-V lacks no arguments. It also outperforms all its competitors in terms of practice. But the Arkana is not a bad family car, on the contrary. The Frenchman adds a touch of dynamism, a more rewarding presentation and is more fuel efficient. All for the same price.

Renault Arkana E-Tech Hybrid 145 RS Line

To buy

Price: € 37,200

Residual value after 48 months: € 19,950

Gasoline range: from 140 to 160 hp, from € 30,800 to € 34,150

Diesel range: –

Plug-in hybrid range: –

Fiscal power (CV): 5

Warranty / mileage: 2 years / unlimited mileage

Average AM / Manufacturer consumption: 5.8 / 4.8 – 5.2

CO2 (g / km) / Penalty: 112/0

Service interval: 1 year or 30,000 km

Country of production: South Korea

Number of points of sale: 3750


Front / rear elbow width (cm): 1439/1453

Back leg space (cm): 211

5 / a 2 (l) boot volume: 480/1296


Engine: 4-cylinder petrol, 16 valves, Atkinson cycle, indirect injection + 36 kW electric motor and 15 kW starter alternator

Displacement: 1598

Power (hp to rpm): 94 hp + 36 kW (143 accumulated)

Torque (Nm to rpm): 148 (and 205 electric motor)

Weight (kg): 1435

Length x width x height (m): 4.57 / 1.82 / 1.57

Wheelbase (m): 2.72

Deposit (l): 50

0 turn (m): 11.2

Maximum speed (km / h): 172

0 to 100 km / h (s): 10.8

Standard tires: 215/55 R18

Tires tested: 215/55 R18


Semi-autonomous driving: € 600

None other: –

Night vision: –

360 ° parking assistance: € 350

Spare wheel to save space: € 180

Honda HR-V 1.5 e: HEV advanced style

To buy

Price € 36,520

Residual value after 48 months: € 16,300

Gasoline range: 131 hp from € 31,520

Diesel range: –

Plug-in hybrid range: –

Fiscal power (cv)

Warranty / mileage: 3 years / 100,000 km

Average AM / Manufacturer consumption: 6.2 / 5.4

CO2 (g / km) / Penalty: 122/0

Service range: NC

Country of production: Japan

Number of points of sale: 89


Front / rear elbow width (cm): NC

Back leg space (cm): NC

5 / a 2 (l) boot volume: 304/1274


Engine: 4-cylinder petrol, 16 valves, Atkinson cycle, indirect injection + 79 kW electric motor

Displacement: 1498

Power (hp to rpm): 107 + 79 kW (131 accumulated)

Torque (Nm to rpm): 131 (and 253 electric motor

Weight (kg): 1380

Length x width x height (m): 4.34 / 1.79 / 1.58

Wheelbase (m): 2.61

Deposit (l): 40

0 turn (m): 11.3

Maximum speed (km / h): 170

0 to 100 km / h (s): 10.7

Standard tires: 225/50 R18

Tires tested: 225/50 R18


Semi-autonomous driving: Series

None other: –

Night vision: –

360 ° parking aid: –

Spare wheel to save space: –

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