As the Renault-Nissan alliance allows both companies to use each other’s resources, Renault has decided to take advantage of its partner’s Britain-leading crossover underpinnings.
Based on the Qashqai, the Renault Kadjar is the French brand’s first foray into the compact SUV segment and with that successful chassis underneath it should be a hit.
With its angular and modern styling, the Kadjar is a big step forward for the brand, who had recently made its name manufacturing people carriers and small hatchbacks.
But can the Kadjar live up to the standard of its chassis partner, and can it make a name for itself in the crowded crossover segment? We take a look…
Under the bonnet of the Signature Nav model we tested was Renault’s dCi 130 1.6-litre diesel unit that produced 128bhp and 320Nm of torque. Although petrol engines are available, the diesel offerings are much better as they make more sense to the Kadjar’s character as a day-to-day crossover.
With the diesel paired to a six-speed manual that sends the power through the front wheels, the Kadjar we tested can get from 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 118mph.
Ride & Handling
If you’re looking for a crossover that handles well and is smooth enough for the daily commute, then the Kadjar might be for you. Although the high sides mean that it isn’t the best handling motor in the world, the Kadjar is good when compared to other small crossovers as it offers plenty of grip and the body doesn’t lean too much either.
The ride can be a little unsettled on the open road when at cruising speed – but apart from that, the Kadjar rides comfortably and quietly.
Interior & Equipment
Available in six trim levels, the Kadjar has plenty of kit to offer from its Expression+ standard specification. You get Bluetooth, DAB radio, daytime running lights, air conditioning, 60/40 split rear seats, tinted rear windows, emergency brake assist, cruise control with speed limiter, an Eco mode and fog lights.
In the Signature Nav model we tested, you also get full LED headlights, a fixed panoramic sunroof, 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, a nappa leather multi-functional steering wheel, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a Bose seven-speaker surround sound system.
At this point in the range though, you will find automatic climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen multimedia system with satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, one-touch easy-folding rear seats, a rear parking camera and the Visio safety system – which includes lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high beam control.
To make sure the Kadjar stacks up against rivals in terms of practicality, it comes with 527 litres of boot space, which can be extended to 1,478 litres when the rear bench is folded down. Renault has also engineered the Kadjar to have 30 litres of storage spaced throughout the cabin, making it even more useful.
Prices for the Kadjar start from £19,485, which makes it quite competitive when compared to other crossovers rivals. For the Signature Nav model we drove, pricing starts from £26,565.
For diesel engine options, the returns will be very good indeed, as you can get 65.7mpg and a quoted 113g/km CO2. Also, if you choose to sell your Kadjar, it holds its value better than most of its rivals.
The family-focused Kadjar is a car that offers plenty of upsides for those in the market for a crossover. It has lots of space, an economical line-up of engines and funky styling – although that is really down to the eye of the beholder. It may be late getting on the bandwagon, but when you consider that it is based on the thoroughly successful Nissan Qashqai, it has the DNA for success. For the more comfortable options, prices are a bit steep, but overall the Kadjar is a solid option in the crowded crossover segment.Enquire Now on a new Renault today