Can Renault emulate some of Nissan success with their Qashqai rival asks Suzanne Keane
What is it? The Kadjar is the bigger brother of the Captur and is built on the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai. Renault have designed the Kadjar to act as 3 cars in one – an SUV with 4×4, the storage space of an estate and the head and knee space of a saloon.
Who is it aimed at? The Kadjar’s main selling point is its practicality and versatility; it blends a family hatchback and a compact 4×4, like the Qashqai, but with a different look.
Styling? The front of the Kadjar is dominated by the Renault diamond and chrome lines across the grille emphasise the width along with sharp bonnet creases. Moving towards the rear robust lines lead towards sporty shoulders and 3D effect taillights set off the back end.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was powered by a 1.5 diesel engine with 110bhp. Also available is a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine with 130bhp and a 1.6 diesel engine with 130bhp in the 4×4 model.
What about inside? Inside the cabin it’s spacious although the finish in our test car did seem very plastic and I’d recommend upgrading to the leather steering wheel in Dynamique Nav trim and above. This steering wheel has a really nice flat bottom design and the wide centre console has a grab handle for passengers which hints at the Kadjar’s off-roading ability. The boot can hold 527 litres and with the passenger seat down can take loads up to 2.6m in length.
On the Road? On the road the 1.5L 110bhp diesel engine is more than adequate for everyday driving and on motorways it cruised along effortlessly although the pedals do feel a bit too soft for more spirited driving. Even on bumpy backroads it’s quite comfortable and when we tested it at the launch in Spain it was more than capable of handling off-road tracks too.
And Safety? Reassuringly a five star rating has just been confirmed in the EuroNCAP and there are a host of
excellent passive and active safety features to keep you and your brood well cocooned.
Options? There are 3 engines available – a 1.2 petrol 130bhp, 1.5 diesel 110bhp and 1.6 diesel 130bhp. The Kadjar is available as both 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive and in 4 trim levels – Expression +, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav.
Expression + models come with front foglights. LED daytime running lamps, A/C, Bluetooth and Tyre Pressure monitoring. Upgrading to Dynamique Nav will get you 17” alloys, R-Link multimedia with Sat Nav, Keyless start, Lane Departure warning, traffic sign recognition, dual zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and a leather steering wheel.
Dynamique S Nav also comes with 19” alloys and parking sensors while the Signature Nav gets LED headlights, Panoramic roof, Bose 8 speaker system and a Nappa leather steering wheel.
How much? The Renault Kadjar starts at €24,990 and depending on engine choice emissions range from 99g/km to 126g/km. The 110bhp diesel engine will consume just 3.8l/100km while the 4×4 130bhp model will use 4.8l/100km.
Verdict? The Qashqai has been a huge success for Nissan and since the Kadjar is built on the same platform it’s ideal for someone who loves the practicality of a family sized crossover but wants to be a little different.
Why you’ll buy one? Economy; Space; styling
Why you won’t? Interior feels quite cheap in the lower trim levels
Skoda Yeti – priced from €24,490
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross – priced from €20,995
Nissan Qashqai – priced from €24,495
2015 Renault Kadjar Expression +
Engine: 1,461cc with 110bhp @ 4,000RPM and 260NM torque @ 1,750RPM
Max speed: 182km/h
0-100 kph: 11.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 99 g/km (€190)
Model price range: €24,495 – €34,495 (Test Car – €27,695)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 3.8 l/100km (74.3 mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 527 litres (1478)
Car Seats: 3 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2646 mm
24th September, 2015