Renault Kadjar Review

The Renault Kadjar SUV was first unveiled in 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show with sales beginning that year and a facelift model was introduced in 2018. It's based on the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai but the Kadjar offers a similar amount of room at a lower price point. It falls in between the smaller Renault Captur and larger Arkana in the line up and offers a great amount of equipment across a small number of trim levels and engine options.

Our Renault Kadjar review will guide you through the latest model and help you to decide which model is best for you.

Design and Style

Being built on the same platform as the Qashqai doesn't mean that its the same car with a different badge. Although the brands claim that only 60% of their parts are shared, Renault actually say that as much as 95% of what you find in the Kadjar is brand new.

The large Renault logo on the front grille makes it unquestionably part of the brand but it's complimented by the wide front and curvy bodywork. The pulled back headlights meet the front grille for a striking first impression and are matched with equally as stylised taillights. With the standard 17 inch alloy wheels the Kadjar looks pretty smart but the upgraded 19 inch diamond cut alloys make it really stand out.

The styling of the Kadjar is much more rounded than the Qashqai and it's selection of bright paint colours work well with it's stylishly formed flanks and chrome detailing to make it stand out amongst other SUV models.

Interior

The 2018 facelift reduced the number of trims down to two, which makes it much easier to decide between them but also means that the interior is a higher standard from the entry level model. The facelifted Renault Kadjar has improved the quality of materials used inside the cabin which make it feel a lot sturdier and less cheap than the original did.

There's no physical dials for the driver to read, instead a digital display fills the space behind the steering wheel, and allows you to see a variety of information. It's not customisable like you can have in some other, and more expensive, SUVs but all of the crucial information is there are you would expect and it's easy to read on the go.

If you're confused about some of the controls when you first get in, don't panic. The Renault Kadjar has some unique design choices for it's controls including audio controls located on a separate stalk behind the steering wheel, switches for heated seats being in the centre area near the armrest, and cruise control functions near the electronic parking brake.

Comfort and Practicality

The driver's seat offers plenty of room and comes with adjustable height and lumbar support as standard. The Techno adds height adjustment for the front passenger and upgrades the materials to synthetic leather and cloth for an elevated feeling. The steering wheel column also has powered assisted adjustment for height, rake, and reach which makes it even easier to get comfortable and set it to the correct position for yourself.

The rear seats are wide enough for three adults but the transmission tunnel is raised which reduces the amount of room that the middle passenger will have at their feet meaning they'd need to share with the other two passengers. The back seats also have isofix points for child seats and the rear doors open pretty wide so that it's easier to move their seats in and out of the back.

With all five seats in use you can make use of 472 litres of boot space which is is 42 litres more than the Nissan Qashqai offers. The SEAT Ateca offers a little bit more with 510 litres but the Kia Sportage is way ahead of them both with 591 litres.

Folding the rear seats down will open the space up to a full 1478 litres and is made easy by what Renault calls EasyLife quick folding seats, seats that can be folded with the pull of a lever built into the boot. This is particularly helpful if your hands are full or if you're by yourself as it saves juggling whilst you try to fold the seats.

Performance and Engine Options

The only decision that you need to make for the Renault Kadjar's engine is whether you want to opt for the six speed manual gearbox or the seven speed automatic gearbox. Both of these are a 1.3 litre petrol engine that offers 140PS. Renault have ditched their diesel engine for the Kadjar and currently have a full range of plug in hybrid powertrains and electric cars available elsewhere in the Renault range.

Looking at performance, Renault suggest that you can achieve up to 44.1 combined mpg with either gearbox and can expect emissions to fall into the 139g/km to 148g/km range.

It may lose out to other family SUV models as it doesn't have a four wheel drive, but the Renault Kadjar is sturdy enough that it shouldn't be a problem for the majority of drivers. It is a high sided car that doesn't have too much body roll and has plenty of grip on corners so is a generally comfortable drive.

Trim Levels

To keep things simple again, the Renault Kadjar has two trim levels available: the Equilibre and the Techno.

The entry level Equilibre has a strong array of equipment that places it ahead of rivals such as the Skoda Karoq. You can expect automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, cruise control with a speed limiter, electronic parking brake, front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, 7 inch touch screen with sat nav and TomTom Live, power assisted adjustment for the steering column, privacy glass, two USB sockets for the rear seats, and 17 inch alloys. The Equilibre does have halogen headlights rather than LED, which is an unusual choice for a new car, but full LED headlights do come with the top trim Techno.

The Techno trim adds 19 inch diamond cut alloy wheels, roof bars, a chrome surround for the fog lights, Adamantium front and rear skid plates, faux leather and cloth upholstery, full LED headlights with LED turn indicators, LED fog lights with cornering function, automatic high beam, rear air vents, a height adjustable passenger seat, and an auto dimming rear view mirror.

The Renault Kadjar also has accessory packs which can be added to your chosen model which includes items like side steps, roof bars, and a roof box. The lighting pack includes illuminated door sills and side styling bars with entry lights whilst the pet pack adds a partition grille and all in one boot liner. These options allow you to tailor the Kadjar range further to suit your every day needs.

Reliability and Safety

The Renault Kadjar has a five star Euro NCAP rating from 2015 which has now expired. This doesn't mean that they now deem the car unsafe instead, their ratings only last for 6 years and then require a retest. A retest means that they can confirm that any changes in technologies and testing conditions When looking at competitors it is mostly on par with the Hyundai Tucson and the Kia Sportage in every category.

The current Kadjar range has a number of safety features that come as standard which help to rate it so highly. These include ABS with electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assist, lane departure warning, front fog lights with cornering system, and hill start assist. The Techno trim level adds blind spot monitoring, flank protection, and an emergency braking system.

For peace of mind Renault provide a 5 year warranty which has unlimited mileage for the first 2 years and is then capped at 100,000 miles for the remaining 3 years. You can also extend this annually for 12 months at a time, as long as your mileage remains less than 100,000.

Prices

As there's only two trims available on the Renault Kadjar, there are only two base prices for the models. The Equilibre starts at £26,295 from new whilst the Techno starts at £27,895. If you have the choice between the two it's worth paying the additional £1600 to get your hands on the additional equipment.

Looking at competitors it's almost priced identically as the entry level Skoda Karoq and is a little more expensive than the equivalent Nissan Qashqai, but has more equipment than the latter.

As you would expect, adding on any of the additional packs or accessories will increase the base price further as well as changing the transmission or paint colours.

Summary

The Renault Kadjar is a great option for a family SUV. It's price point is incredibly attractive, especially for the amount of equipment that comes with it, and it's really functional to boot. You can expect to be able to fit the whole family in the car comfortably, regardless of age, without feeling like you're all crammed in there.

It's great warranty offering also means that it gives you great peace of mind as your car gets older too, beating several competitors for its length and mileage allowance. Renault have certainly made a strong contender in the crossover category and the Kadjar should definitely be a consideration for you.

Renault Kadjar