Renault Kadjar Review & Prices
The Renault Kadjar is a spacious SUV that’s perfect for the family – it just isn’t that exciting inside and it’s pretty dull to drive
What's not so good
Find out more about the Renault Kadjar
The Renault Kadjar is the French firm’s contender in the big-selling family SUV category. These cars sell in huge numbers these days because they’re more spacious than a conventional hatchback with a higher driving position, although they cost a bit more to run.
Think of the Renault Kadjar as a Nissan Qashqai with a little more je ne sais quoi and you won’t go far wrong, because underneath it shares much of its running gear with the Japanese car.
The Renault Kadjar looks a lot more imposing on the outside than a hatchback such as the VW Golf or Renault Megane. It comes with large alloy wheels, a smattering of chrome trim and plenty of contrasting black trim on the bumpers and wheel arches so it’ll have no trouble standing out on the school run.
Sadly, the Renault Kadjar’s interior isn’t quite as eye-catching as that in some other SUVs. Sure, it has plenty of soft plastics and a few brushed metal trims, but the Kia Sportage looks more exciting while the VW Tiguan feels more solidly put together.
It comes with a good deal of equipment though, you get a digital driver’s display as standard, alongside a touchscreen infotainment system. It all looks pretty flash, but using the built-in sat nav is a bit trickier than in alternatives – a bit like paying for something with cash rather than using your contactless bank card.
You could be forgiven for thinking the Kadjar looks a bit like a Qashqai – they’re essentially the same car, although the Nissan is more comfortable and the Renault’s a bit roomier
At least you’ll be sitting comfortably while you fiddle with the Renault Kadjar’s touchscreen. You get plenty of seat and steering-wheel adjustment as standard and there’s enough space for you to stretch out if you’re tall.
It’s a similar story in the back where there’s room for three adults, but you don’t get any clever sliding seats like in the Skoda Karoq. The boot’s roomy enough for everyone’s luggage, though, and the flat boot floor makes it easy to slide in heavy luggage.
There’s a 138hp petrol engine which provides a good mix of performance and efficiency, and you can option it with an automatic transmission rather than the manual to help take the stress out of town driving.
Whichever transmission you pick, you’ll find the Renault Kadjar is pretty comfortable to drive. It doesn’t quite iron out bumps as well as the Nissan Qashqai, but it’s more relaxing than the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson and doesn’t lean a great deal in tight corners.
Unfortunately, the Kadjar is a little noisy to drive at motorway speeds. This isn’t because of its engine, rather you’ll hear quite a lot of wind and tyre noise. To help make things a bit more relaxing, you can get it with a range of driver assistance systems from automatic emergency braking and cruise control to lane-departure warning.
All this makes the Renault Kadjar pretty easy to live with every day. It’s certainly an SUV that’s well worth considering if you’re looking for something that’s easy to drive, practical and pretty well equipped.
The Renault Kadjar has a RRP range of £19,835 to £30,830. The price of a used Renault Kadjar on carwow starts at £8,245.
The Renault Kadjar is priced competitively compared to its logical alternatives. It is within a couple of pounds of the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai with which it shares its underpinnings, as well as the spacious SEAT Ateca.
The Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008 are a few thousand pounds more in base trim but do offer snazzier looks and more impressive tech as standard. Seeing as the Kadjar is more about comfort and value than having the latest cutting-edge tech, we would stick with the base Equilibre trim.
The Renault Kadjar offers a comfortable ride and great driving position. Just don’t expect much excitement when it comes to the driving experience
The Kadjar is great around town, is comfortable and the elevated driving position aids visibility. The view out the sides and rear is good too, and both trims come standard with surround parking sensors as well as a rearview camera. Emergency brake assist is also fitted to all trims.
The manual gearbox works well, although the seven-speed automatic may be better suited to stop-start driving. Like many dual-clutch transmissions, it can feel a little hesitant when parking, though.
On the motorway
The Kadjar is spacious and comfortable on the motorway, and the 138hp engine offers reasonable performance, although there is a bit more wind noise than you get in the Nissan Qashqai or Kia Sportage. If you opt for the range-topping Techno trim, its larger 19-inch wheels can also transmit quite a lot of road noise into the cabin.
Standard equipment that helps make motorway trips a bit more comfortable and safer include cruise control and lane departure warning, while the Techno trim also gets blind spot warning and LED front fog lights with a cornering function.
On a twisty road
The Renault Kadjar is a family SUV with no sporting pretensions, it feels solid and composed along a twisty road but there is not much fun to be had while driving it. There isn’t much body lean in corners, which will keep your passengers happy. For most owners, the Kadjar’s laid-back driving feel should be just right.
The Kadjar has plenty of room for passengers and their effects, the boot is decently sized, too. But it’s not quite as practical as some alternatives
The front seats in the Kadjar will fit most shapes and sizes, the driver’s seat comes standard with height adjustment and lumbar support, although the passenger seat only gets height adjustment on the higher Techno trim. The seats are comfortable, though, and there’s plenty of head and leg room even for the tallest occupants. The steering wheel offers both rake and reach adjustment.
A sliding front centre armrest can take some bulkier items, although the door bins and glovebox aren’t quite as generously proportioned as in some alternatives.
The central cup holders are also a bit too small for the largest big-gulp coffee cups, and you may inadvertently bump your drinks while changing gear.
Space in the back seats
The rear seats are also spacious enough for tall adults, the centre seat is fine for smaller passengers but there is a small hump in the footwell which impacts on passenger legroom. ISOFIX mounting points are provided in the outer two seats, and there are front seatback pockets and a set of door bins for storage. The centre seat folds down to reveal a set of cupholders as well. Rear air vents are standard on both trims.
The 472 litres of boot space behind the rear seats trails alternatives like the SEAT Ateca (510 litres), Skoda Karoq (521 litres) and Volkswagen Tiguan (520 litres), but the Kadjar makes the most of what’s available thanks to an adjustable boot floor and no frustrating boot lip to contend with.
The rear seats fold down flat using handy levers, extending the loading space to 1,472 litres, once again not class-leading but it’s practical enough with tether points and various hooks to secure your bags with.
The Renault Kadjar has a simple and logically laid out interior, with decent quality materials, but it is starting to look a bit dated now compared to more modern alternatives
The Kadjar is offered in Equilibre and Techno trims, with the main difference being that the higher trim gets a synthetic leather and cloth seat covering instead of the fabric used on the base trim.
Regardless of the trim level, the Kadjar’s interior looks well-made and most surfaces are covered in decent quality fabrics and plastics. A few bits of trim in the footwell and the centre console don’t match up to posher alternatives like the VW Tiguan, but it’s definitely not a low-rent interior.
The styling is very conservative compared to alternatives like the Kia Sportage and Peugeot 3008. You get a digital driver display and infotainment touchscreen as standard, but it just doesn’t look quite as modern and slick as in some other family SUVs.
There is some benefit to be had for not going with the herd though, the physical knobs for the climate control system are a welcome change from the frustrating touch sensitive controls that are becoming more commonplace. The large icons on the 7.0-inch touchscreen are also easy to use while on the move, and you get Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio and sat nav as standard. If you prefer to use your phone's own apps, then you can also connect via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Responsiveness can be a bit slow, and most alternatives now offer much larger displays as standard.
The digital driver display is clear and simple to read, although it doesn’t offer much integration with the infotainment system and has limited configurability. A small storage shelf in the base of the dashboard comes with some USB ports, and you get another pair in the rear to charge your devices.
The Kadjar engine range used to include a number of options but has now been whittled down to just one choice. It is the TCe 140, a 138hp turbocharged petrol engine which offers an official fuel economy figure of 44.8mpg.
The manual transmission model will do the 0-62mph sprint in 9.8 seconds, with the automatic a few tenths quicker. It copes well around town but does need a bit of prodding when fully laden on the motorway.
Those figures are comparable to the mechanically similar entry-level engine found in the Nissan Qashqai and match up well to the Peugeot 3008 and Kia Sportage. What the Kadjar doesn’t offer are more powerful alternatives or hybrid power like you get in the Sportage and 3008. The company car Benefit in Kind tax rate is 33% at time of writing, while the CO2 emissions are 140-141g/km.
The Renault Kadjar received a Euro NCAP rating of five stars in 2015, although this rating has since expired. There’s no telling how it would fare under today’s harsher testing methods, but it does come equipped with a decent amount of passive and active driver aids.
Keyless entry, emergency brake assist, lane departure warning, cruise control, surround parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on both trims. The top Techno trim also gains an active emergency braking system, blind spot warning and full LED headlights.
The Renault Kadjar has undergone six recalls since it was released, these have included potential airbag issues and problems with child locks and engine and braking efficiency. Some owners have reported issues in their first years of ownership, indicating that the Kadjar’s reliability is potentially not up there with the best offerings in this class.
Any issues should be covered under the impressive five-year/100,000-mile warranty, though. And aside from some niggling issues, the Kadjar’s low running costs were commended. Servicing plans are available, with three-year/30,000-mile or four-year/40,000-mile options. Servicing intervals vary, depending on your driving style, with the first one due on or before 18,000 miles at either 12 or 24 months.