Out with the old, in with the new as Renault is bidding adieu to the Kadjar to make room for the new Austral. The latest round of teasers gives us a closer look at the finer details we will find inside the cabin once the compact crossover will hit Europe later this year. The interior already looks far more sophisticated compared to its predecessor’s cabin and should feel better to touch as well thanks to softer materials.
Rather than having a hard dashboard as it's usually the case in the mainstream crossover C-segment, the Austral has a padded cover with a matte finish, "very soft to the touch." The dash's LED ambient lighting extends onto the door cards where there is foam padding, also applied to the rear doors. A rather pleasant surprise is the adoption of genuine wood treated using a Japanese lacquer decoration technique maki-e.
Renault has put extra effort to make the door cards more upscale by applying a textile material fading from black to light gray. The textiles are combined with fine-grain synthetic leather (synderm) to enable a posh environment. Also shown in one of the teasers is the center console incorporating a hand rest adorned with chrome accents. It slides forward and aft, making a mechanical clicking noise akin to the dial on a safe, according to the French marque.
As it's always the case when a car manufacturer teases a new product, the images depict the range-topping version. It's been pompously called "Iconic" and will be the only one to have the fancy open-pore wood finish. The company goes as far as to say it spared no expense when it came to picking the materials to use inside the Austral's cabin. From what we can tell, it looks more upmarket compared to its sister model, the Nissan Qashqai.
Overall, the new compact crossover will have an interior design and layout strongly resembling that of the Megane E-Tech Electric. As previously announced, the Austral is going to offer 24.3 inches of screen real estate and will do away with the clunky gear lever of the "old" Kadjar. More than 30 liters of cargo volume are spread throughout the cabin, and there should be plenty of rear legroom after removing the bulky transmission tunnel.
The official debut is scheduled to take place on March 8 at 9:30 AM CEST. However, it won't be at the Geneva Motor Show since the Swiss event is not happening this year. Instead, Renault will introduce the Austral during an online-only event.