SUV that makes a

real show of itself

Renault Kadjar, front action
Renault Kadjar, front static
Renault Kadjar, rear action
Renault Kadjar, dashboard
Renault Kadjar, sunroof
Renault Kadjar, boot (2)

THE Paris Motor Show is the closest we in the UK are these days to car expo and while I still prefer a number five all over off Keith in the village, it's well worth a visit to the salon if you are interested in the latest trends de l'auto.

Motor shows can be a bit of an anti-climax with so many hints, tips and downright shameless extra bites at the cherry before someone's mum spots her bed sheets are hiding the latest Cortizone Injection in shed four.

Even so, a couple of visual stunners were mixed in with the supercars and family fortunes.

One was the new Discovery, now with a shape so close to the Sport, both sports, that it seems to mark the end of Land Rover's agri-cruisers. Where once was all the beef of a gaucho's picnic we now have something which looks almost vegetarian.

The other was the new Nissan Micra, at last looking like a grown up car and not one cup of a starter bra.

By far the best fun to be had at any of the world's major motor shows is among the concepts. Tokyo, for instance, throws up, I use the phrase guardedly, street cars named perspire, examples of what Japanese youth fashion finds hot and about as appealing in the west as raw eels.

Star of the Paris of show was a Renault. The stunning Trezor electric GT concept which you will get in and out of by removing the whole body on a hydraulic jack.

When I started in this game to describe Renault as the star of anything was to invite a drugs test.

Back then only two models took the eye, the R16 because it was obviously designed by Martians and any of the brutal R5 turbo derivatives which probably inspired the concept of the ASBO.

So far from known frontiers was the Renault 16 that were it to be launched today Elon Musk would want to land a SpaceX mission on it.

How times have changed. Megane is a class leader and look at this, a quality 4x4 SUV called Kadjar. Which, by the way, is the subject of today's inter-stellar probe.

This is Renault's answer to the Qashqai and in 1.6 dCi mode even borrows an engine from its sibling but can it win over Nissan wannabes?

Well if it is to do so the price of the 4x4 Signature Nav with have a lot to do with it. All-wheel-drive with an on demand set up, good performance and economy will set you back £26,795 if you strap on hands free parking, cameras, blind spot warning, white paint and leather pack.

On the road the diesel will hit 62mph in less than 10 seconds while promising 62mpg. Tax is just £30 a year.

No hottie by any means but smooth and predictable family motoring, loads of space in here with weekend 4x4 ability.

There is a lot of passive help under the skin but the cabin is particularly worth a look with touch screen navigator, tidy lay out and a real sense of solididity and quality.

The list off essentials like climate control, automated functions, entertainment and connections goes on and on.

As for off road ability, with the right rubber it should be useful for tracks and towing but this being the lazy, hazy summer I could not dish out any punishment by mud. You can lock the transfer or stay in auto mode with the central selector.

The Kadjar is priced to undercut the main opposition from VW and Kia. It even pulls the rug on the Renault-Nissan alliance, being built on the same platform but considerably cheaper than Qashqai.

Of course you will want to know about that name.

Well just like the Paris show it is a conglomeration which makes the whole. Essentially some chopped up French words joined together meaning ‘to emerge quickly.'

The Academie must have seen its bottom.

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