Review: Renault Kadjar (2015)
Renault styled alternative to Nissan Qashqai. 4WD steers and handles well for an SUV. Reasonably economical.
Ride of 2WD can feel unsettled on less than perfect road surfaces. Only one 1.2 turbo petrol engine.
Renault Kadjar (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £19,790, brokers can source from £15,634
- Contract hire deals from £195.68 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 14–19
- On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure
Stylish, good to drive and keenly priced, the Kadjar encompasses everything that’s good about Renault’s remarkable resurgence in family crossovers. Born out of the Nissan-Renault alliance, and built in Palencia, Spain, the Kadjar shares a lot of its technology with the impressive Qashqai, but outshines its British-built rival with better practicality and a longer four year 100,000 mile warranty.
Like the Qashqai, the Kadjar majors on everyday practicality and comfort, with a spacious and high quality interior plus lots of storage. However, owing to its clever use of space, the Renault boasts a larger boot than the Nissan, with 472 litres when the rear seats are in place.
It uses the same engines as the Nissan which means a 1.2-litre TCe turbo petrol with 130PS and two dCi diesels - one a 1.5-litre with 110PS and the other a 1.6-litre with 130PS. A six-speed manual is standard across the range, as is front-wheel drive, although you can specify a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive.
The most efficient engine - and the best seller - is the 110PS 1.5 dCi with an official 74.3mpg with sub 100g/km of CO2. With a 0-62mph of around 12 seconds, the front-wheel drive diesel might not be the most exciting, but it has sufficient pace to cope with motorway driving and family life. Only those living in rural areas will want to sacrifice economy - 58.9mpg - for the 1.6 diesel with four-wheel drive.
The Kadjar is rewarding to drive with its soft but responsive steering providing lots of feedback through the corners. The ride is supple too, although models on 19-inch wheels will feel unsettled on rough roads. (17-inch wheels with 215/60 R17 are optional.)
Entry-level Expression+ models get a decent amount of kit as standard - Bluetooth, DAB, air conditioning and safety kit - but lack some important equipment, such as height adjustment for the driver's seat and alloy wheels. However, pick one of the higher trims and it's difficult to find many faults with the comfortable and capable Kadjar.
Affordable and stylish, the Kadjar represents a significant step up for Renault and has lots of family appeal, with keen pricing and low running costs. As a result the Kadjar is a compelling choice for those who want an alternative to the conservative Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga.
What does a Renault Kadjar (2015) cost?
Renault Kadjar (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The Renault Kadjar is practical and comfortable, with a large 472-litre boot that outstrips both the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga. The interior is better too, with more soft-touch surfaces and some nice styling. As a result everything looks neat and tidy, with good attention to detail and no gaps in the trim.
Entry-models get some useful equipment - Bluetooth, DAB radio, air conditioning, electric windows - but lack important features, like a height adjustable driver's seat and alloy wheels. Given the choice we'd spend more for the mid-range Dynamique Nav trim, adding navigation, dual-zone climate control and alloys. But all models get a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Renault's R-Link system has been completely revamped, making it easier to use with faster menu changes and better touchscreen responses. The navigation is also better, with more intelligent directions and improved screen display.
The dashboard is similar to the Qashqai in its layout - making it clear and simple to read - but the pedestrian layout and dull grey plastics do feel a little out of sync with the stylish and futuristic exterior. That said, everything is where you expect to find it and all of the switches and dials have a high quality feel.
The interior has lots of space and comfort, with supportive seats and an abundance of head and leg room - although the optional panoramic roof does restrict headroom a little for tall passengers in the rear. That said, all models will easily carry four adults, but the narrow nature of the body - and raised floor in the middle - make it a tight fit for a fifth central passenger. The seats are also fiddly to flatten on entry-level models and you have to opt for Dynamique S spec to get the one-pull rear seat release system.
Standard equipment from launch:
Expression + models get 16-inch steel wheels with 215/65 tyres, front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, tinted windows, body coloured door mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, height and reach adjustable steering column, cruise control, electronic parking brake, Isofix for two rear passenger seats, seven-inch centrally-mounted infotainment system, Bluetooth hands-free calling, DAB radio with AUX input.
Dynamique Nav adds 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/60 tyres, dual-zone climate control, automatic windscreen wipers, hands-free entry, land departure warning, traffic sign recognition, leather trimmed steering wheel, driver’s seat lumber adjust, premium ‘3D’ sound system and navigation.
Dynamique S Nav includes 19-inch alloys, front and rear acoustic parking sensors, half-leather seats, height adjustable driver’s seat, on-touch easy-fold rear bench, electric mirrors, multi-position boot floor.
Signature Nav gets in addition to Dynamique S Nav different 19-inch alloys, full LED headlamps, panoramic sunroof, front, rear skid plates and kick plates, signature half-leather interior, soft-leather steering wheel, height adjustable passenger seat and premium eight-speaker sound system.
Child seats that fit a Renault Kadjar (2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Renault Kadjar (2015) like to drive?
The Renault Kadjar is offered with three engines - one petrol and two diesels - but most buyers will opt for the impressive 110PS 1.5-litre dCi diesel. On paper it is the most efficient engine in the range, with the font-wheel drive set-up returning an official 74.3mpg with 99g/km.
With 110PS and 260Nm of torque, the 1.5 diesel is punchy enough through the lower gears, but feels rather strained above 45mph. Officially the 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds but in reality it feels a lot slower. The 130PS 1.6-litre diesel doesn't feel much quicker to be fair - 0-62mph takes 9.9 seconds - but does boast more mid-range poke with 320Nm of torque. However, fuel economy drops to 65.7mpg and the option of four-wheel drive lowers this to 57.6mpg.
The Kadjar only gets one petrol engine - a 130PS 1.2-litre - and this is the least efficient with a claimed 50.4mpg and 126g/km of CO2. Unless you really need it, we'd avoid the petrol due to its economy and lacklustre nature. The 0-62mph sprint takes 10.5 seconds, but it needs to be worked hard out of town.
Few Kadjar buyers will care about straight-line performance though and the smooth 1.5 dCi will have little trouble winning admirers, due to its low running costs and quiet nature. Only those living in rural areas will want to sacrifice economy for four-wheel drive, which is limited to the 130PS 1.6-litre only.
On the road the Kadjar feels responsive and comfortable, with soft and rewarding steering plus little body learn in the corners. The suspension is also nicely weighted, although larger wheels and rough roads will unsettle the ride. Exterior wind and engine noise is well supressed though, making the Kadjar a pleasant place to be on long motorway trips.
Couple all that to a very agreeable driving position, good all-round visibility and logical controls – which is not always the case with cars of this ilk - and you get one of the best riding and fuss-free crossovers around.
|1.2 TCe||49–50 mpg||10.1 s||126–130 g/km|
|1.2 TCe Automatic||50–51 mpg||-||126–130 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 140||47–48 mpg||9.4 s||134–136 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 140 EDC||-||-||131 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 160||47–48 mpg||9.4 s||134–136 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110||72–74 mpg||11.9 s||99–103 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110 Automatic||72–74 mpg||11.7 s||99–103 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 115||63–66 mpg||11.7 s||113–117 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 115 EDC||-||-||111 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130||63–66 mpg||9.9 s||113–117 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130 4WD||58–59 mpg||10.5 s||126–129 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130 Automatic||57–59 mpg||-||123–130 g/km|
|1.6 TCe||46–47 mpg||-||134–139 g/km|
|1.7 dCi 150 4WD||-||-||138 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Renault Kadjar (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Renault Kadjar (2015)?
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What Cars Are Similar To The Renault Kadjar (2015)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Diesel engine, Economical, Family friendly, Good for towing, Large boot, Petrol engine, Raised driving position, Room for a buggy, Cheap Tax, Crossover and SUV.
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What do owners think?
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