Renault Unveils New Symbioz Hybrid SUV

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Renault is revisiting its pragmatic, family-oriented origins with the debut of the new Symbioz hybrid, a compact SUV roughly the size of the Nissan Qashqai. The company asserts that the Symbioz harks back to the spacious, versatile predecessors like the Renault 16 and the original Scenic and Espace models, renowned for their family-friendly designs.

However, such assertions appear somewhat overstated to us. Upon closer inspection, the Symbioz lacks the innovation of its predecessors. It presents itself as a reasonably attractive, yet entirely conventional C-segment SUV, distinguished primarily by its impressively spacious cargo area.

Renault Symbioz Hybrid

Nonetheless, this simplicity may prove to be its strength. The compact SUV market is thriving in Europe, and while Renault's electric Scenic E-Tech competes in size with models like the newly refreshed Nissan Qashqai, its electric powertrain may not align with the preferences of many consumers. The majority still seek combustion engines, albeit ones that are fuel-efficient. Thus, the Symbioz is launched with a sole powertrain option: a full-hybrid inline four engine.

Measuring at 4,413 millimeters, the Symbioz occupies a position between Renault's existing SUV offerings—the smaller Captur and the larger Austral—both of which are also powered by internal combustion engines. It shares the CMF-B platform with the Captur and the Clio supermini. While the front end displays a clear resemblance to the Captur, the overall design of the Symbioz is characterized by stronger, more angular lines.

Renault Symbioz

The inclusion of a sliding rear bench enhances cargo space, expanding it from a modest 492 liters to an impressive 624 liters. Renault boasts of 24.7 liters of storage within the cabin, including a spacious 7-liter glovebox. The option to equip the darken-on-demand Solarbay glass roof, similar to that seen in the Scenic E-Tech, adds further appeal. This feature, controlled either by switch or voice command through the integrated Google Assistant technology on the 10.4-inch vertical touchscreen, increases headroom by 30 millimeters.

2024 Renault Symbioz

The powertrain combines a 1.6-liter petrol engine generating 94 horsepower with a 52 horsepower main electric motor and a 24 horsepower starter generator. The total output of 143 horsepower is transmitted through an automatic transmission to the front wheels. Interestingly, the gearbox features four ratios for the petrol engine and two for the electric motor.

With Renault's longstanding commitment to safety, it comes as no surprise that the Symbioz is packed with safety features. Twenty-four such features are incorporated, allowing drivers to personalize their preferences via the My Safety Switch, enabling deactivation of up to six unwanted ADAS functions with a single press of a button.

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