Renault Austral hybrid drive only in the top version (photo: Keinan Cohen)
After two models that each tried with a different name (Koleos and Kadjar) to penetrate one of the most popular categories in Israel, Renault returns for a third round, this time under the name Austral.
Under the new name there is a list of changes that should allow him this time to present a more convincing product than in the previous rounds.
The persuasion starts with the use of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CMF-CD platform, i.e. like the current Outlander, Qashqai and X-Trail.
At 4.5 meters in length it is slightly larger than the Cadjar it replaced and the wheelbase adds 2 cm to 267 cm.
The volume of the trunk ranges from 430 to 555 liters depending on the position of the rear row that moves on a rail.
The volume in the gasoline version is 575 liters.
The multimedia screen is angled towards the driver, the operating system is Google's (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
The passenger cabin has a new, technological look with a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a 12-inch Hebrew multimedia screen with a Google operating system that provides access to road services, navigation, voice activation and other applications.
Apart from these also compatibility with Apple and Android devices.
Two USB sockets in the front and another pair in the back, control of the gears from the steering wheel, air conditioning outlets for the rear seat and split climate control on the entry level.
The higher trim levels add a multisense system with variable driving modes, a surround camera, a dimming mirror, chrome finish, a combination of leather in the seats, ambient lighting, a panoramic roof, sunroof and more.
The highest finish level also has massage and heating for the driver's seat and steering wheel.
In terms of safety systems, these differ significantly between the various trim levels.
When both entry levels are content with lane departure correction, automatic braking and driver monitoring.
The intermediate level also adds "dead zone" vehicle detection with active lane departure prevention.
If you also want adaptive cruise control you will have to go for the highest and most expensive trim level.
The Australian has 5 crash stars in the European crash test that are also relevant to the base specification.
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The rear seat moves on a rail, allowing you to maneuver between the legroom and the trunk (photo: manufacturer's website)
The Australian can be obtained in two drive configurations;
gasoline or hybrid.
We know the gasoline engine from other Renault-Nissan models - 1.3 liters, which here will arrive in a 140 hp version for the entry levels and NIS 158,000 for the higher trim levels, the gearbox is continuous, and the performance is 10 seconds to 100 km/h in the first and -9.7 seconds in the more powerful version.
The maximum speed in both is 174 km/h.
If you want the flagship version, you will have to go for the hybrid one, here, too, is a power unit that we met at the concern - a 1.2-liter gasoline engine, three cylinders connected to two electric motors that provide 200 hp together.
Of the two electric motors, one is used for propulsion and the other as a starter and as part of the transmission combination system in the special Renault-Nissan gearbox that combines a standard four-speed gearbox for the petrol engine and one with two gears for the electric engine.
The performance is 8.4 seconds to 100 km/h and a maximum of 175 km/h.
The Australian leaves its rear steering system abroad, and its turning diameter is 11.4 meters (instead of 10.1 with the system).
Adaptive cruise control?
Only in the more expensive model (photo: manufacturer's website)
Australian prices start at NIS 175,000 for the entry-level version with the 1.3-liter engine with 140 hp. The higher trim level with this engine rises to NIS 180,000. The Iconic trim level paired with the
158 hp engine will cost 195,000 shekels
This level of finish with the hybrid engine will rise to 200 thousand shekels and for the highest level of finish with the hybrid engine you will pay 250 thousand shekels.
This is a very ambitious price range when it faces older and more established vehicles in the local market such as the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Toyota Rav 4 or even its sibling from the Nissan Qashqai - all of them are stronger than it and do not require compromises such as giving up adaptive cruise control in the base versions.
The hybrid version is already pushed into the price range of vehicles with a more advanced plug-in drive and also against the Nissan Xtrail which was just launched in its more senior version.