Renault has added a third model to its SUV range, the mid-sized Kadjar which neatly sits between the French marque’s compact Captur and large Koleos. According to Renault the name is a mix of ‘Kad’ meaning quad and ‘Jar’ meaning agility.
Kadjar is offered in Life, Zen and Intens variants. Life and Zen have halogen headlights, Intens gets LEDs. Life and Zen roll on 17-inch alloys wheels, two-tone on the latter. Intens has 19-inch alloys.
Renault Kadjar shares the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai as the French and Japanese companies have worked together for over a decade now.
Styling is neat and attractive, but somehow we had expected a bit more French flair to make it stand out from its many competitors.
At the front it’s clearly identifiable as a Renault with a standout version of the company diamond in the centre of the grille. The turn indicators are integrated into the LED daytime running lights.
There are front and rear skid plates, lower door protective mouldings, black wheel arch extensions and anodised satin grey roof bars.
The luggage area is similar in size to others in the class, but it has a number of clever permutations including the ability to split it into two separate compartments.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
All Australian Kadjars get a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine with 117 kW of power at 5500 rpm and 260 Nm of torque at 1750 revs. It’s mated top seven-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic.
Interestingly, in Australia Nissan Qashqai comes with a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine and continuously variable transmission.
Standard safety features across the Kadjar range include six airbags; Electric Stability Control; ABS brakes with brake assist; front and rear parking sensors; reversing cameras; active cruise control; distance warning and automatic emergency braking.
Additional safety on Zen and Intens add side parking sensors, lane departure warning and blind spot warning while Intens also gets easy park assist.
Infotainment features are displayed on an attractive 7-inch colour touchscreen that’s embedded within the dashboard. The touch-sensitive buttons on the left side are far too small and awkward to use.
Renault’s respected R-LINK 2 system with the option of voice control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. An Arkamys entertainment system is installed in the lower spec models and BOSE in the Intens. Both systems drive seven speakers.
Interior space is well managed with good front headroom even in the top-spec Intens with its panoramic sunroof and enough rear legroom for most occupants.
There’s fast response from the high-tech 1.3-litre after a minimal amount of turbo-lag. Kadjar its simple to drive in the city and suburbs as the automatic responds promptly to the engine’s needs.
It cruises smoothly during country running and gives an easy relaxed feel that makes the miles slip under the wheels with a minimum of fuss.
There’s a nice feel of body control around bends and the occasional bumps were soaked up without any jarring. Very French in this way as the folks in that country do like their comfort.
Fuel consumption is listed at 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of 143 grams per kilometre. On test we used five to seven litres per hundred during easy country running; six to eight in hilly areas and eight to ten litres per hundred in the suburbs. Pretty good figures for a vehicle of this size, albeit one that really is more of a tall hatchback than a true SUV.
All Renault vehicles have a five year / unlimited kilometre warranty, five year / 150,000 km capped price servicing and up to five years roadside assist – provided that servicing is carried out at Renault dealerships.
Kadjar looks good, is pleasant to drive and seems sure of attracting buyers looking for something that’s not sourced from Asia or Japan.
AT A GLANCE
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Renault dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Renault Kadjar Zen 1.3-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.332 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 117 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 260 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 143 g/km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4449 mm
Wheelbase: 2646 mm
Width: 1836 mm
Height: 1613 mm
Turning Circle: 10.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 1362 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres