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Words by: Ivan Aistrop
"The Renault Kadjar does everything that you’d expect of a compact SUV, with a very practical cabin, a smooth ride and a decent standard of equipment. It’s a fine all-rounder and good value for money."
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Running costs for a Renault Kadjar
The Kadjar costs much the same to buy and run as key rivals such as the Kia Sportage and Skoda Karoq, and also the closely related Nissan Qashqai (the two cars share most mechanical parts). Residual values aren’t likely to be as strong as some, but if you’re buying with your own money you should be able to get a good deal on the list price. All of the engines available for the Kadjar have a comparatively small capacity, which helps towards very competitive official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures. Unlike rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, there’s no hybrid version of the Kadjar available.
Reliability of a Renault Kadjar
As a brand, Renault has a respectable mid-table score in Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index. It doesn’t rank so highly in JD Power’s UK Vehicle Dependability Survey, however, where it scores below the industry average for the reliability of its cars. Auto Trader owner reviews of the Kadjar are largely very positive, though, while warranty cover is among the best in the class. As with every new Renault, the Kadjar is covered for five years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes soonest), rather than the class norm of three years and 60,000 miles.
Safety for a Renault Kadjar
The Kadjar was awarded a five-star rating by Euro NCAP in 2015. While it’s a safe family car, the amount of safety kit you get depends on how much you’re willing to spend. While the cheapest Kadjar models come with six airbags and the basic electronic aids you’d expect, you need to move up a trim level to gain a lane departure warning system. The biggest issue is that you have to opt for the top-spec model to get an automatic emergency braking, a blind spot warning system and traffic sign recognition as standard. These features aren’t even options for lesser models.
How comfortable is the Renault Kadjar
The Kadjar has a cabin that is very family-friendly. All five seats have generous headroom and legroom, while the boot is an impressive size. Mid-spec models and above come with a movable boot floor that lets you reconfigure the load space to suit different needs, as well as rear seats that can be folded down using a handy lever next to the boot entrance. A supportive seat, raised driving position and good visibility help you feel comfortable at the wheel, but the touch-screen infotainment system isn’t as responsive or easy to use as the class best. The cabin is solid and durable throughout, and there are some smart materials in places, but it's not as plush as some rivals'. Light steering makes the Kadjar easy to park, while the ride is generally very comfortable. It’s a particularly relaxing car to drive, and feels capable and composed at speed.
Features of the Renault Kadjar
The Kadjar has a decent standard of equipment across the range, and entry-level models come with alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and smartphone integration as standard. Mid-spec versions make more sense, however, because a comparatively small increase in price gets you a lot more equipment, with additional features such as front parking sensors, a rear-view camera, keyless entry, electrically folding and heated door mirrors, more storage features and USB inputs, sat-nav and a range of cosmetic upgrades including larger alloy wheels. Higher-spec versions have even more luxury kit, full LED headlights and a panoramic roof, while the top-spec models get more advanced safety features.
Power for a Renault Kadjar
The Kadjar doesn’t offer the high-performance options that you get with rivals such as the Seat Ateca, but all of its engines provide performance befitting a family SUV. You can choose from two petrol engines – each one a turbocharged 1.3-litre. The lower-powered (140 horsepower) version is strong enough that there seems little need to go for the 160 horsepower version, especially when it’s available only with a manual gearbox and the lower-powered version is offered in both manual and automatic form. Of the two diesel options the 1.7 is usefully stronger than the 1.5, as you’d expect. The smaller engine – which is available with a manual or automatic gearbox – is flexible enough, however, and the four-wheel drive version of the 1.7 (the only four-wheel drive model offered) is notably slower than the front-wheel drive version.
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