New Renault Symbioz

The New Renault Symbioz Continues a Long Line of Family Cars

Renault has a long history of family cars. The 16 was the first-ever hatchback, bringing a new level of practicality to the motoring world. The Espace was the first MPV and the Scenic began the compact MPV segment. The new Renault Symbioz may be the least innovative of these, but it still brings an impressive level of practicality for a car its size.

New Renault Symbioz

Family Flair

Family cars are no longer boring. Angular designs and bold styling are changing the appearance of family transport for the better and the Symbioz is no exception to this. The design flows well throughout the car, with the modern front end looking quite similar to that of the Espace. The rear is textbook Renault, following the template of most of their other offerings. The funky 19-inch wheels are intended to appear as if they are turning, even when it’s stationary, which feels weird to say – but Renault has somehow made it happen. In a market where rear overhangs are excluded for only the longest vehicles, Renault has extended this to maximise boot space.

New Renault Symbioz

Size-defying Space

The new Renault Symbioz is a bit like the TARDIS: significantly bigger inside than the outside suggests. At just 4.41m long, it’s one of the shortest in the C segment (small family cars). However, it has 492 litres of boot space, which can rise to 624 if the rear seats are slid forward. Furthermore, folding down the seats can take the luggage capacity to 1582 litres and the flat boot, with no lip,  makes it easier to slide in heavy items. The electric tailgate should also help if you have your hands full as it can be activated by swiping your foot under a sensor on the rear bumper. Add 24.7 litres of storage space in the cabin and you have a very practical, yet still compact car.

New Renault Symbioz

A Spacious Interior

The interior of the new Renault Symbioz is nothing to write home about but provides space and modern technology for all the family. The dashboard has soft-touch paint for the techno trim, whilst the more premium techno esprit Alpine and iconic esprit Alpine versions have a blue gradient pattern. The techno esprit Alpine has yellow and grey accents, whilst the iconic esprit Alpine has a sportier fabric on the seats, as well as blue stitching. The Solarbay opacifying glass sunroof changes the level of tint on demand, similar to the electrochromic roofs of more expensive cars. This also helps to regulate temperature, by letting in or blocking sunlight. The central 10.4-inch touchscreen features the OpenR Link multimedia system with Google built-in and the ability to download apps from the Google Play store. Renault has also cultivated exclusive partnerships with apps like Waze and Amazon Music for further connectivity.

New Renault Symbioz

A Focus on Efficiency

The Symbioz features the E-Tech hybrid 145 powertrain. It prioritises efficiency, not just through the use of a small engine and electric motors but also through software. The ‘E-Save’ function keeps 40% of charge to allow maximum power to always be deployed, whilst the software can predict your driving. Using maps, traffic and journey time, predictive hybrid driving can maximise electric power usage and increase efficiency. The Symbioz will always start in electric mode as a result, but the combustion engine will directly drive the wheels on the motorway. Two electric motors, a 36 kW e-motor and an 18 kW starter motor are used alongside a 94 brake horsepower 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a 1.2 kWh battery. The petrol engine has four gears, whilst the electric motor has two. To further add to the intelligence (and complexity), the engine and motors can be used in up to 14 different ways.

Keeping the Family Safe

Family cars have to protect your loved ones and the Symbioz has plenty of driving aids to ensure it. There are up to 24 of them, with varying levels of intervention. The rear emergency braking system can sense objects behind the car, like a cyclist or pole, and will alert the driver. If the driver continues, the car will safely stop. There’s level 2 autonomous driving, which allows the intervention to extend beyond motorway driving meaning the Symbioz can drive itself around town as well. This will come in handy if there’s an argument in the back during a traffic jam. Traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control with a speed limiter are nothing special anymore, but the Safety Coach is a distinct feature. It grades driving on factors such as speed and safety distances to give a score from 0 to 100 and provides personalised feedback – meaning it won’t just be the kids learning.

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