Renault Kadjar (2015) Review

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Renault Kadjar (2015) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Finding a USP for the Kadjar is tough, but the five-year warranty, efficient engines and large boot are three of its highlights. Avoid the entry-level version and it comes with a long list of equipment.

+Spacious and practical family SUV, low running costs, mid-range models are well-equipped.

-Dull to drive, interior feels a bit downmarket, lacks the very latest safety assist features.

New prices start from £19,790
Insurance Groups are between 14–19
On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure

The Renault Kadjar is one of the many family SUVs you can buy. Launched in 2015, then updated in 2018, it shares a platform with the Nissan Qashqai, but offers more space than its British-built sibling. Other cars of this ilk include the Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq. 

Looking for a Renault Kadjar (2015 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. When is a Nissan Qashqai not a Nissan Qashqai? When it’s a Renault Kadjar. Here all day, etc, etc.

As jokes go, that’s pretty lame, but it highlights the fact that the Kadjar is closely related to the all-conquering Qashqai. But while the Nissan remains the UK’s most popular crossover, the Kadjar has the last laugh by offering more interior space. You could say it’s a bit of a cracker.

Launched in 2015, the Kadjar sits between the Captur and the Koleos in Renault’s range of family SUVs, built to take on the likes of the Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Skoda Karoq, Seat Ateca and, well, the list goes on.

So why should you choose the Renault Kadjar over any of its rivals? That’s a tough one, because these vehicles all feel fundamentally very similar. It all comes down to price, your proximity to a local dealer and your fondness for a particular brand. 

Maybe Renault’s new five-year warranty will help. At the end of 2019, Renault introduced a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, so if you buy a Kadjar registered on or after 18 December 2019, it will be covered for, well, five years. It’s not quite at Korean car levels of warranty cover, but it nudges the Kadjar ahead of the Qashqai, Karoq and 3008.

It looks reasonably upmarket, especially following the facelift in 2018. This also improved the quality of the interior, which wasn’t the Kadjar’s strongest point when it was launched in 2015. On the plus side, the Kadjar is well-equipped if you avoid the entry-level cars, with higher trim levels feeling positively lavish.

There’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines, with the post-facelift units the most impressive. The TCe petrol engine is perfect for urban driving, while the Blue dCi diesel is ideal for longer trips and carrying heavy loads. A four-wheel-drive variant sits at the top of the range, which is ideal if you live in a part of the country where the weather can be a bit ‘seasonal’.

The driving experience is, at best, relaxing, but could also be described as forgettable. It’s not a car that likes to be pushed, so you’ll soon learn to take it easy. Ride quality is generally good, but suffers a little on cars with 17-inch alloy wheels.

Practicality is excellent, with the Kadjar boasting a larger boot than the platform-sharing Nissan Qashqai. The cabin is light and airy, with enough space for five. It’s not class-leading, but it’s fine for most families. Post-facelift versions are more stylish, more efficient and more desirable.

Overall, this is a thoroughly competent and respectable take on the tried and tested family SUV formula. Still want that Qashqai? 

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a comfortable, safe car?
"I bought a Volvo V40 in December after selling my Jeep Cherokee. I have just driven to Italy in it and discovered it's giving me serious amounts of back pain (something I never had in my Jeep). Can you recommend a safe, equally zippy, used car in the budget of £15,000, please? Thank you."
We'd recommend a Kia Sportage. It's a very comfortable choice, with supportive seats and a high driving position which might help your back. Most models (all but the entry-level '1' trim) come with adjustable lumbar support, which should help too. You might find the standard 1.6 GDi engine to be a bit lethargic but the T-GDi is much zippier. Also consider a diesel - the 1.7-litre's a very efficient engine and might suit your needs if you're regularly covering long journeys. Also consider a Renault Kadjar. It's similar to a Nissan Qashqai, but majors on comfort. The 1.3 TCe petrol engine is pretty punchy but, again, opt for the 1.5-litre diesel if you cover a lot of miles.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Why does my DAB radio keep losing signal?
"I have a one year old Renault Kadjar with dab radio and Bose speakers. The radio constantly loses the signal. The dealer says it is a problem with radio Newcastle but it happens on all stations. It also switches itself on when taking sharp right hand turns above about 10 mph. Is this a known fault and should the dealer be able to fix it? Thank you."
Try resetting the infotainment system to its factory settings (the owner's manual will tell you how to do this). If this doesn't fix the problem then it may be an internal wiring problem, which would explain the radio switching itself on. This will require further investigation by the dealer.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you suggest a family car for London and occasional longer drives?
"We have a maximum budget of £14,000 for a reliable, used SUV or estate with good economy and lots of space. We were originally drawn to the Renault Kadjar having hired them a few times, liking the panoramic roof, the great sound system, driving comfort and huge boot. But living in London we really want to avoid diesel cars. The real MPG/economy of the petrol Kadjar engines raised concerns. Ok for driving around London but worried the much longer runs to we regularly do would cost more than other more economical cars. We're finding it difficult to find something that fits our needs. Thanks."
It's a tricky one, but don't write off a diesel Kadjar. It might make sense, as long as you take it for a good run every 300 miles or so for the diesel particulate filter (DPF) to regenerate. It'll be ULEZ compliant and more efficient than a petrol on your trips further afield. If you do want a petrol, you'll probably have to swallow worse fuel economy. An estate like the Skoda Octavia might be a good compromise. You could also look at a Volkswagen Golf estate if you'd prefer a slightly plusher interior. Also look at the Renault Megane.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the most reliable petrol auto crossover?
"I currently own a 2017 Peugeot 2008 petrol 1.2 and have been very pleased with the car and auto box. In 2016, I was one of those unfortunate owners of a Nissan Qashqai auto that was replaced by Nissan. I will be looking to buy a new car in mid-2020 , re their Auto boxes. It needs to be a petrol auto and slightly bigger than my 2008. Any suggestions on which of these is the best option: Kia Sportage, Renault Kadjar, Suzuki Vitara, Peugeot 3008?"
The CVT automatic gearbox used in the Qashqai was very problematic. The good news is that all the cars you've mentioned should be more reliable than that. The Peugeot 3008 would probably be our choice. The 3008 uses a reliable eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox. The Kia Sportage is another good choice with a dual-clutch transmission and the advantage of a seven-year warranty. The Vitara uses a torque-converter automatic gearbox but it won't be any bigger than your 2008.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Renault Kadjar (2015) cost?