The rear exterior of a blue Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar review

The Renault Kadjar is a crossover SUV that sits higher up than most cars, giving you an excellent view of the road. Ideal as a family car, it offers plenty of room for people and luggage.

Pros

  • Stylish design that stands out from rivals
  • Excellent interior space and style
  • Very efficient petrol and diesel engines

Cons

  • Low-quality interior materials on early models
  • Dual-clutch gearbox could be smoother
  • Infotainment system is slow to respond

Summary

“Sleek styling combines with plenty of space and highly efficient engines.”

The Kadjar boasts a sharp and stylish design that has lots of space for all the family, including the dog. It’s easy to use and practical, which makes it ideal for everyday driving.

There’s a great choice of petrol and diesel engines, all of which provide a good drive and excellent economy.  

It received an update in 2018 which saw a slightly more upmarket appearance and more equipment than pre-2018 versions. That said, earlier models still come with cruise control and air con, as well as many other useful features.

The front exterior of a blue Renault Kadjar

What's the interior like?

“The Kadjar has an excellent interior with great equipment.”

The interior is a great combination of design and functionality. Some of the plastics are a bit hard in the pre-2018 models, but this may be a plus if you have young children as it can be easier to clean. 

The layout ensures everything is within easy reach, while the centre console isn’t fussy and has just the right number of buttons. On models from the Dynamique up, you get Renault’s R-Link infotainment system. It provides access to additional apps such as eco-driving tools that help you drive more efficiently by scoring you on things like acceleration. The latest models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Some models also have a reverse camera to help with city parking. 

There’s loads of space for those in front and back, so carrying passengers around will be easy. The seats are also extremely comfortable.  

Boot space is good at 472 litres, which means it can hold a baby buggy and a couple of suitcases. The boot is also much bigger than the Nissan Qashqai.

The interior of a Renault Kadjar with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“It’s a great all-rounder that’s happy in town as well as on the motorway.”

The Kadjar provides a really good ride matched to a great range of engines. All models deal with bumpy back roads well and cruise effortlessly on the motorway.

Manual gearboxes are a good option because Renault’s EDC dual-clutch transmission can be slow when changing gears. The 1.5 dCi diesel provides economy and performance, but if you plan to regularly drive the Kadjar with a car full of people or luggage, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.7-litre diesel are also available.

The petrol engines are good but neither is a patch on the diesels which have excellent sound insulation. Some models have all-wheel drive but that’s more for slippery conditions than driving over dirt tracks.

The Kadjar doesn’t offer the most exciting drive, but it’s designed to make sure your family are all comfortable and safe. It does this extremely well, even with a full load of passengers and luggage.

Fascia shot of the Renault Kadjar

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It's well priced with very efficient engines and competitive running costs.”

All the Kadjar engines are very fuel-efficient with the 1.5 dCi being the best, delivering up to 74 mpg. None of the models are going to see you visiting the pumps too often though.

The 1.3 TCe is in insurance groups below 20 which means lower quotes, while servicing costs are similar to rivals and road tax is low.

It’s likely you’ll pay slightly less than for an equivalent specification Qashqai, but you’ll get just as much kit, if not more. You’ll also pay significantly less than for a Volkswagen Tiguan.

Control shot of the Renault Kadjar

How reliable and safe is it?

“It has great reliability and safety."

The Kadjar has a great reputation for reliability with very few issues. 

Safety is always a high priority for Renault. The Kadjar has a five-star Euro NCAP rating to go with its list of safety kit from airbags to active safety systems on higher models. The later models have the best driver assistance systems. Autonomous emergency braking only comes in the post-2018 Kadjar and just in the GT Line version.

Engine shot of the Renault Kadjar

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.5 dCi Iconic

Best for family - 1.3 TCe Dynamique S Nav

Best for fun - 1.3 TCe GT Line

Prior to the update in 2018, it’s probably worth giving the Expression spec a miss because of its sparse equipment. You could pick the Dynamique, preferably with the 1.5 dCi diesel engine and a manual gearbox.

Go for petrol and dual-clutch if you spend most of your time in urban traffic and really don’t want the hassle of changing gears.

Post-2018, the trim names all changed so it’s worth going for the Iconic or above. There’s also the option of the more sporty feeling GT-Line.

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