Renault Kadjar

Dynamique S Nav dCi

110

Renault Kadjar, front
Renault Kadjar, front
Renault Kadjar, front
Renault Kadjar, side
Renault Kadjar, rear
Renault Kadjar, interior
Renault Kadjar, interior
Renault Kadjar, boot
Renault Kadjar, rear, static

RENAULT'Sfirst venture into the SUV zone was not a great success and the Koleos was pulled out of the UK market before it had much of a chance to gain a real following.

The French firm has since bounced back and is now enjoying considerable success with its replacement - the Kadjar and its smaller crossover sibling the Captur.

The Kadjar is a Quashqai rival and is built on the same platform thanks to the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Many of the mechanical parts and technologies you don't see are shared with the Sunderland-built Nissan but the bits you do see and touch are all unique to the French SUV.

Available with a choice of engines, transmissions and two or four-wheel-drive, the 18-strong range is priced from £17,995 to £26,395.

The five-door Kadjar is very stylish and all models offer good equipment levels. Even the entry-level Expression+ comes with air conditioning, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a seven-inch infotainment system, LED daytime running lights, a two-way adjustable steering column, tinted windows, front fog lights.

If you opt for theDynamique Nav model you will also get dual zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, extra chrome detailing and sat nav.

The Dynamique S Nav I tried adds 19-inch alloys, improved upholstery, a one-touch easy-folding rear bench and a number of other features.

Meanwhile the flagship Signature Nav adds full LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, an eight-speaker BOSE sound system, painted front and rear skid plates, side and boot kick plates and other goodies to the package. Buyers can also personalise their vehicles by selecting from a number of Renault packages for climate, parking, safety and tech.

In my opinion the slightly larger Kadjar is a much better looking car than its Nissan rival. Its muscular lines are handsome from any angle and its bold grille and large Renault emblem are backed-up by neat light clusters.

The spacious cabin is a very pleasant place to spend time and can easily accommodate five adults with good leg, head and shoulder room even in the back.

On the practical side the boot is also generously-sized with a 527-litres available and that can quickly boosted to 1,478 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. The interior also features numerous cubbies and storage areas to increase its family friendly appeal.

Soft-touch materials give the Kadjar an up-market feel and the instruments are clear and easy to read and the tech easy to explore and use.

The high driving position allows for a good view of the road and the seats are very comfortable, helping to take the pain out of long journeys.

The Kadjar is at home in town or on country roads and it munches motorway miles with ease.

Most will opt for the two-wheel-drive versions and diesel will be the fuel of choice for about 85 per cent of all customers.

This car was powered by the 1.5 dCi 110bhp engined linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. It delivered its power smoothly and without fuss and responded well when you needed extra grunt for overtaking.

With a top speed of 113mph, it took 11.9 seconds to tackle the sprint to 62mph and offered excellent fuel economy. The claimed combined figure is 72.4mpg but although I could not match that, I still got close to 60mpg.

At £22,395 this Kadjar offers a lot for the money and it is a sound alternative not just to its Nissan counterpart but also to the likes of the Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and VW Tiguan.

It has already been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings and features a whole range of systems, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, stability control, cruise control, understeer control, hill start and numerous airbags.

FAST FACTS

Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 110

Price:£22,395

Mechanical:110bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:113mph

0-62mph:11.9 seconds

Combined MPG:72.4

Insurance Group:14

C02 emissions:103g/km

Bik rating:18%

Warranty:4yrs/100,000 miles

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