What is the Renault Kadjar?
The Renault Kadjar is a family-sized SUV crossover very much based on the Nissan Qashqai.
But rather than simply change a few badges, Renault has really made the Kadjar its own, with a comprehensive makeover inside and out. To our eyes it’s the more stylish car, and quality and refinement are generally better, too.
It competes in an extremely crowded area of the car market, with rival models including the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 3008, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
- Top speed: 117-130mph
- 0-62mph: 9.6-11.7 seconds
- Fuel economy: 41.5-55.4mpg
- Emissions: 111-136g/km CO2
- Boot space: 472-1,478 litres
Which versions of the Renault Kadjar are available?
There’s only the single body style for the Renault Kadjar – which is a five-door family-sized SUV.
The engine range isn’t particularly extensive, either, being limited to two petrols and two diesels, offering between 115hp and 150hp.
However, you can get an optional automatic transmission on most of them, and there’s the option of four-wheel drive on the top-spec diesel – which is becoming increasingly rare in this class.
Renault Kadjar styling and engineering
Most recently refreshed in 2018, the Kadjar is one of the better-looking SUVs available in this class, with bold front-end styling and a generally chunky appearance.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any angle, in fact, where it becomes obvious that the Kadjar is related to the Qashqai.
It’s a similar story inside. The interior is almost entirely filled with Renault components, and has a modern, minimalist appearance – but one that still sensibly keeps the direct manual controls for things like the air-conditioning, rather than shoe-horning them into the central touchscreen.
This makes everything easy to use. An impressive amount of sound insulation helps build a sense of quality, too, though there are still some cheaper plastics if you hunt for them.
Under the skin, the Kadjar is basically identical to the Qashqai, and uses the Renault-Nissan Common Module Family (CMF) platform – which means it’s also related to the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Pulsar, Renault Espace, Renault Koleos, Renault Megane and Renault Scenic.
Is the Renault Kadjar good to drive?
As the exterior rather hints, the Kadjar is a bit of a smooth operator in general.
It rides well, the steering is consistently weighted and doesn’t spring and mid-corner surprises, and there’s enough body control to press on at reasonably speeds.
Front-wheel drive versions have more than enough grip for most UK drivers, though the four-wheel drive models will get you across a slippery field with less difficulty, if that’s important.
Even the least powerful diesel engine has enough oomph, while the optional dual-clutch automatic transmission is pain-free and positive in its responses – and a nice improvement over the slightly soggy-feeling manual gearbox.
How much does the Renault Kadjar cost?
The Kadjar is well-price for the equipment you get and versus rivals – in fact it even makes some family hatchbacks look expensive.
Finance pricing is so-so rather than spectacular, as a rule, but don’t be afraid to haggle and look out for occasional special offers.
Want to find out what other buyers think? Read our comprehensive Renault Kadjar owners' reviews.
Renault Kadjar Model History
Current generation Renault Kadjar 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.
April 2017 – Higher-performance available with a new TCe 165 petrol engine, available on all trims apart from the entry-level Expression+.
September 2018 – Kadjar range revised with tweaked styling, a refreshed interior and the addition of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. New engines, including two 1.3-litre TCe units, replace 1.2- and 1.6-litre petrols.
There are no previous versions of the Renault Kadjar, and Renault has never really competed in this family SUV crossover class before – although the first generation Renault Koleos was a similar size.