SCOTTISH drivers have traditionally shown a liking for French cars.

In addition to vehicles produced by brands from other countries, I have owned cars from Citroen, Peugeot and Renault, and currently run a product from one of them.

The Scottish Car of the Awards are organised and judged by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers (ASMW). Its current Family SUV of the Year comes from a French company and is the new Renault Austral E-Tech full hybrid, pictured.

The ASMW said: “Space and practicality are a must in this sector and the Renault Austral delivered on both.

“However, what really caught our judges’ attention were the user-friendly high-tech interior and impressively frugal drivetrains that deliver some of the best running costs in its class.”

Three versions of the Austral are offered – the £34,695 Techno, £36,695 Techno Esprit and £39,195 Iconic Esprit.

The Austral has a turbocharged 1.2 petrol engine and a total output of 197bhp.

I have driven the flagship Iconic Esprit and was impressed by its economy. While not matching the official 57.7mpg rating, I returned around 52.0mpg. Emissions are low at 110g/km.

The Iconic Esprit differs from the other two Australs in that it has four-wheel steering. It makes low-speed manoeuvring about town much easier but can take a bit of time getting used to regarding bends on the open road.

Renault claim the Iconic Esprit is good for 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 108mph.

The Austral has a sliding rear seat which enables its boot capacity to be extended from 430 litres to 550 litres.

Features of the Iconic Esprit include a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats with massage function and a 360-degree camera.