The new Renault Kardian: this was supposed to be our Sandero

Renault has held a presentation of its new compact Kardian SUV in Brazil. Here it is intended to replace the second-generation Sandero Stepway, which appeared back in 2012. In fact, Renault planned a whole family, also including a sedan to replace the global Logan, and Russia was supposed to become the debut market for these cars last year! Camouflaged cars were tested, and production preparation at AVTOVAZ was close to completion, but the French company left our market, and the premiere never took place. But now the Kardian has seen the light of the ocean, and now it is an independent model: two years ago it was decided that there would be no ordinary hatchback or sedan in the Brazilian range.

At the top — Renault Kardian, at the bottom — Dacia Sandero Stepway

The European hatchback Dacia Sandero Stepway of the third generation is taken as a basis: the modular CMF-B platform, the wheelbase of 2604 mm and the body frame, including doorways and glazing, are related to the Cardiane. But the exterior has been seriously changed: Kardian has adopted a new Renault corporate identity with a “two-story” front optics and, as the French themselves say, a “dynamic silhouette”.

Compared to the outgoing Stepway, the new Renault Kardian is 49 mm longer (4119 mm) and 43 mm wider (1773 mm), but at the same time 34 mm lower: 1596 mm with roof rails and 1544 mm without them. An impressive ground clearance (209 mm) is claimed, and the volume of the luggage compartment is 358 liters according to the VDA method, or 1304 liters with the rear row folded.

The interior of the Cardigan is unified with the European Logan and Sandero models. They got the front panel, an eight-inch touch screen of the multimedia system and a microclimate control unit. But the steering wheel is different, and on the central tunnel, instead of the classic gearbox selector, there is an unfixed joystick with a separate parking mode button. And the handbrake control is electromechanical. The devices are virtual: a seven-inch display is installed under the visor.

In the Brazilian market, the SUV will be offered with a liter turbo (125 hp, 220 Nm), capable of running on a mixture of gasoline and ethanol, extremely popular in Brazil. The transmission is a six—speed Magna “robot” with two clutches, and there will be no “mechanics” in the Latin American market. The drive of the Cardigan is front, and the chassis is simple — with McPherson struts in front and a semi-independent beam in the rear.

The cars will be produced at the Brazilian Renault plant, but later the SUV will be registered at the company’s production site in Morocco. The machines assembled there are planned to be sold in many countries of the world, including Turkey, India and South Africa. Prices have not yet been announced, but the outgoing Stepway in the simplest version with a liter engine and “mechanics” costs 17 thousand dollars in Brazil. The new Kardian is richly equipped (the list of options includes six airbags, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring system, single-zone climate control), so it will certainly be noticeably more expensive. The start of sales is scheduled for March 2024.

At the same time, Renault announced seven more new models for markets outside Europe. But of these, only the Renault Niagara pickup truck is shown, and even then only in the form of a concept car. It is known that it will be equipped with a hybrid power plant consisting of an internal combustion engine with a 48-volt starter generator and an electric motor on the rear axle. The pickup truck will be able to move in fully electric mode. The serial Niagara should appear before 2027. Apparently, it will replace the Renault Oroch pickup truck, created on the basis of the first-generation Duster.

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