Stylish and efficient SUV bristles with appeal
- Comfortable seats
- Cheap to run
- Reliable platform
- Practical design
- Some scratchy plastics
- Disappointing manual gear change
Strip away the curvaceous bodywork of the Renault Kadjar and what’s underneath is very similar to the Nissan Qashqai.
In fact, it’s a product of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which means the best from both firms in terms of chassis design, engine line-up and gearboxes. The styling, technology, fixtures and fittings are all pure Renault, however, which is why it’s best to look at this car as the Captur’s bigger brother rather than a re-badged Nissan.
And in fact, we reckon this is a particularly nice SUV to look at. The Renault design language has been carried over from the rest of the range, but it seems to suit a car of this size better than smaller vehicles like the Clio.
It drives well too, is comfortable, seriously quiet and very practical to boot. There really isn’t a lot to dislike about the Kadjar.
Trio of engines
You’ve a choice of three engines – a 1.2-litre TCe 130 petrol along with 1.5- and 1.6-litre diesels, referred to as dCi 110 and dCi 130, respectively. Then you can pick from a six-speed manual gearbox or an EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The most popular is the dCi 100, capable of CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km and fuel economy of 74.3mpg.
The diesels also get the option of a four-wheel drive system, that can send power to the rear wheels when the fronts begin to slip. This works well, but the reality is not many buyers will go for it.
Packed with kit
You’ve got a choice of five trim levels and a further seven optional packs to decipher when deciding which to buy. We’re expecting most buyers to get the third level up – Dynamique S Nav – which features a huge amount of kit for a relatively low list price.
You can get a lot of safety kit too, plus this Renault received a five-star Euro NCAP rating. We liked the Visio system you get on all but base-spec cars, particularly because it’ll read traffic signs and warn you when you stray over the indicated speed limit. It also includes lane departure warning and an automatic headlight-levelling function.
So, another entry into the pumped-up family hatchback sector – a market that continues to expand rapidly.
Although based on the popular Qashqai, the Kadjar is a very impressive machine, plus it benefits from Renault’s four-year warranty and breakdown cover.
It also boasts strong residual values, which means lease deals are likely to be better value, so as long as the Renault-only parts remain reliable, the French option looks like a great proposition.
Renault Kadjar SUV model history
- July 2015 – Available to order with first deliveries in September, the Kadjar doesn’t replace any existing Renault models. Sharing its underpinnings and mechanicals with the Nissan Qashqai, the Kadjar is available in front- and four-wheel drive versions. Petrol engines are restricted to the 1.2-litre TCe 130, while diesel buyers have a little more choice with the 1.5-litre dCi 110 and 1.6-litre dCi 130. Four familiar trim levels are offered in Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav guises.
- April 2016 – Range expanded with the introduction of a seven-speed dual-clutch EDC automatic gearbox on all TCe 130 petrol-engined versions. At the top of the line-up a flagship Signature S Nav trim is introduced in conjunction with TCe 130 petrol engines and dCi 110 and dCi 130 diesels.
Read the full Renault Kadjar SUV review to find out why this is an appealing package for families.
What owners say about this car
My wife and I test drove a few cars and we were in two minds about petrol or diesel. As... Read owner review