The Nissan Qashqai is well known as being the car that started the trend for mainstream family SUVs, despite the fact that Nissan took a bit of a risk when they launched the first generation Qashqai back in 2006 and subsequently invented the crossover family SUV. The current third generation, the All-New Nissan Qashqai SUV, was revealed in 2021 and brought with it a new style into an increasingly competitive market.
The Renault Kadjar was initially developed alongside the second generation Qashqai and was launched in 2015 and then given a facelift in 2018 which updated the design and some of the interior specification.
Renault and Nissan have been strategic partners since 1999 and were the leading manufacturing group of light vehicles in the world in 2017. They took their current name, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubushi Alliance, in 2017 when Nissan acquired a controlling interest in Mitsubishi and made them an equal partner in the alliance.
The All-New Nissan Qashqai SUV has a much needed facelift from the second generation Qashqai that came before it. It has ditched the rounded and bubble like body, like other cars in the Nissan range, for something with stronger lines and sharp details.
Looking at the Renault Kadjar, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for the Qashqai at first glance but they are based on the same platform thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance which sees the manufacturers share many of their technical designs across their respective brands.
The Kadjar feels less imposing than the Qashqai thanks to it's more curved body styling and rounded edges. It's reminiscent of a smaller hatchback, like Renault's Clio, but with more room which makes it a perfect family car. Both have higher driving positions than your family hatchbacks do which is great for a better view of the road.
The interiors of the Nissan Qashqai vs Renault Kadjar are actually very similar thanks to their family connection and both are incredibly well built. The Qashqai has been praised for its spacious interior and the infotainment system is the same as the one used in the Kadjar.
Either car will comfortably host taller passengers in the rear seats but the Kadjar is more suited to 4 adults than 5 due to it's shorter width.
The Qashqai has a false boot floor as a standard which makes it more flexible for space than the Kadjar, which only has one level, and allows the rear seats to fold completely flat when not in use. This makes the Qashqai more practical if you need to fill the rear of your car completely. The Kadjar, however, offers more room with all of the seats folded with 1478 litres compared to the Qashqai's 1447 litres.
The Nissan Qashqai has more trim levels available than the Renault Kadjar which is great for variation within the range but does mean that you can end up having to pay more to have specific features if you opt for the Qashqai.
The entry level Equilibre on the Renault Kadjar includes front and rear parking sensors whereas the Nissan Qashqai only offers both of these from the mid range N-Connecta, which is an additional £4000 more than the Kadjar.
The Renault Kadjar also has a 7 inch screen for its infotainment system and Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity across both trim levels, as well as automatic air conditioning that works with the air vents. Again with the Nissan Qashqai you have to step up to the second trim level, and pay an additional £2600 from the entry level Visia.
However, at top trim levels you can expect more from the Nissan Qashqai vs Renault Kadjar such as leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, wireless Apple Carplay, a panoramic sunroof, 20 inch alloy wheels, and a premium Bose sound system.
As a standard, there is a selection of safety and driver assistance equipment that comes with the latest Nissan Qashqai. This includes lane departure warning, intelligent front emergency breaking with pedestrian, cyclist and junction assist, forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, blind spot warning, blind spot intervention, rear automatic braking, and driver attention alert.
The Kadjar does offer less driver assistance features as standard when compared to the Qashqai. The Qashqai has a full range that fall under it's Intelligent Mobility umbrella separate to its safety and security equipment that is on every model in the range.
Looking at fuel consumption, both cars offer very similar results for fuel economy with the best combined mpg of 44.1 for the Renault Kadjar and 44.9 for the Nissan Qashqai with the DIG-T158 engine. The Qashqai has lower CO2 emissions, a maximum of 143 g/km, compared to 148 g/km for the Kadjar so is the more environmentally friendly option.
The Qashqai also benefits from mild hybrid technology in all of its engines which balances out the higher power that they put out compared to the Kadjar engines. Unfortunately neither currently has full hybrid or electric version but both brands offer these on different models across their range.
For a full SUV experience the Qashqai offers a four wheel drive option if you opt for the DIG-T 158 which gives you optimal traction and control on rough terrain. The Kadjar only offers front wheel drive and you can expect to get better fuel consumption from the two wheel drive Kadjar against the four wheel drive Qashqai.
Overall, either the Nissan Qashqai or the Renault Kadjar is a great option as a small SUV. Both have ample amounts of room and share many similarities in tech and build thanks to their connection to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
The Qashqai has more engine options and some more luxurious options at the higher end of the spectrum but the Renault pips it for total cargo space and fuel economy when compared to the Qashqai's four wheel drive option.
Our knowledgeable teams at Specialist Cars Nissan and Specialist Cars Renault in Aberdeen are always on hand to answer any further questions and help you to narrow down your choice to find the car that's the best fit for you.