Renault Kadjar

Iconic TCe 160

Renault Kadjar, 2019, side
Renault Kadjar, 2019, front
Renault Kadjar, 2019, rear
Renault Kadjar, 2019, interior
Renault Kadjar, 2019, boot
Renault Kadjar, 2019, rear seats
Renault Kadjar, 2019, sunroof
Renault Kadjar, 2019, badge

IT is appropriate - considering the history of the Renault Kadjar - that the revamped version launched this year features new petrol engines developed in cooperation with Daimler.

When the stylish crossover first hit the streets in 2015, it was a product of Renault's close relationship with Nissan so used the same platform as the Japanese company's Qashqai model.

All this collaboration though shouldn't take away from the fact that the popular Kadjar is its own man with Renault insisting that 95 per cent of what you see and feel is unique to the model. This equates to lots of French flair in a package combining practicality and low running costs with good looks and decent driving characteristics.

The 1.3-litre TCe 160 petrol power unit under the bonnet of the Kadjar I drove is a beauty providing surprisingly rapid acceleration with 62mph achieved from a standing start in a shade under 10 seconds.

It feels quicker than this though as it strains to be let of the leash aided and abetted by a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

The turbocharged unit is one of four engines available for the Kadjar which also include a TCe 140 four-cylinder petrol engine - also a result of the hook up with Daimler - and two versions of a new Blue dCi diesel engine.

The TCe 160 delivers decent results when it comes to fuel consumption as I found the Kadjar achieving around 40mpg during my week of mixed urban and motorway driving.

The handling is precise and while the front-wheel drive models are unlikely to spend much if any time off road Renault still provides grab handles for the car's occupants just in case. The ride is comfortable with the ruins passing for roads these days making little impact on those within the Kadjar's confines.

Renault have reduced the model range from five to four but there is a new style-conscious trim in the form of the S-Edition which sits between the Iconic and GT Line versions with Play continuing to open the batting.

The five-seat Iconic model boasts most of the mod cons any self-respecting motorist requires in this day and age with a colour touchscreen media system embedded in the centre of the dashboard giving access to the sat nav and audio systems as well providing a hook up for your smartphone.

A much-simplified set of controls make working the dual-zone air conditioning a cinch while rear passengers get their own air vents and USB charging points.

Most of what you need on a day-to-day basis can be operated from the leather-covered multifunction steering wheel including cruise, volume and voice controls.

There is a pleasant, spacious feel to the interior with four adults easily accommodated thanks to generous provision of leg and headroom with a fifth able to be seated in the back with a bit of a squeeze.

The interior is as easy on the eye as the stylish exterior, with satin chrome inserts around the air vents, door handles and centre console making their presence felt. There are new controls for the electric windows and mirrors which are backlit for easier use when it is dark.

The luggage-friendly boot, with a flexible floor, offers 472 litres of space extending to 1,478 litres with the rear seats folded over to create a flat surface - so it's easy to load awkward items such as your golf bag. Valuables and other items can be hidden away in the storage compartments created when the boot floor is raised.

A clever idea is the one-touch release which allows you to lower the 60/40 split rear bench from the boot.

FAST FACTS

Renault Kadjar Iconic TCe 160

Price:£22,900

Mechanical:160hp, 1,333cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:130mph

0-62mph:9.9 seconds

Combined MPG:42.8

Insurance Group:21

C02 emissions:136g/km

Bik rating:31%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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