Renault will switch primarily to SUVs and vans next year, with the Megane RS the sole passenger offering.
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Renault will attempt to reverse a five-year sales slide with a trio of new or updated SUVs due in Australian showrooms from 2021 – and a renewed focus on vans.

The French brand will drop the Renault Clio hatchback and Renault Zoe electric car, leaving the Megane RS hot hatch as the sole passenger-vehicle offering.

It will also continue to sell a range of three vans, in small, medium and large sizes.

The all-new Renault Captur city SUV (pictured below) will arrive at the beginning of next year, priced from about $30,000 drive-away.

It will be followed by a new coupe-like SUV, the Renault Arkana (pictured at the top of this story), which will replace the Renault Kadjar in the second half of 2021.

An updated Renault Koleos mid-size SUV is due in local showrooms in the first half of 2021, about the same time as a facelifted Renault Megane RS arrives.

Renault Australia senior product manager Charly Clercin said the business case for city hatchbacks such as the Clio “is becoming harder to sustain”.

He cited figures that showed sales of small SUVs had increased by 200 per cent since 2011, as demand for city cars fell by 70 per cent.

“We are not alone in taking such decisions, with most manufacturers realigning their line-up to accommodate the change in demand (towards SUVs),” said Mr Clercin.

He said Hyundai has axed the Accent, Honda will cancel the Jazz, and the Fiesta ST is the only city hatchback left in Ford showrooms.

When outlining the new Renault Captur, he said: “Forget what you remember about its predecessor, only the name is the same”.

“The all-new Captur has been a huge success in every market where it has been launched, establishing itself as one of the biggest-selling SUVs in Europe, beating the likes of (Nissan) Juke and (Volkswagen) T-Roc,” said Mr Clercin.

The 2021 Renault Captur will be available in three model grades – Life, Zen and Intens.

The base models will come with 7-inch infotainment screens, alloy wheels and paddle shifters; the flagship gains advanced safety aids, a digital dash display and a 9.3-inch infotainment screen, Bose audio, heated and electric seats, and a 360-degree camera.

The flagship may receive a five-star safety rating as it is equipped with all available advanced safety features, however models without this equipment may earn a lesser score.

All models will be powered by a turbocharged 1.3-litre three-cylinder petrol engine paired to a seven-speed auto driving the front wheels.

Pricing and a full list of equipment will be announced closer to launch, but Renault was aiming to start the new Captur range from $30,000 drive-away.

The coupe-like, Korean-sourced Renault Arkana SUV (pictured above and at the top of this story) will replace the Renault Kadjar.

The company says the Renault Arkana is a “segment breaker” and a rival to the Mazda CX-30, VW T-Roc, and Kia Seltos.

Renault is aiming to reverse a five-year sales slide and its weakest market share in almost a decade; its sales have halved in just five years.