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Used Renault Kadjar review

The Renault Kadjar made quite the splash in the medium-sized SUV market on its debut. And the team at Renault has been working hard to keep it in line with the rapidly evolving competition. The Kadjar exists alongside two other models in Renault’s SUV range – the subcompact Captur and the larger Koleos. Thanks to Renault and Nissan’s manufacturing partnership, this car also shares much of its underpinnings with the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai.

Looks?

The Renault Kadjar employs a rather softer look than its edgier Qashqai cousin, with sleek, flowing lines and well-proportioned haunches that give a nod towards Renault's current design language.  

LED daytime running lights are incorporated into the Kadjar’s stylish swept back headlamps, while subtle flashes of chrome trim are used to highlight its swoopy design flourishes. Sturdy alloy wheels add further to the Kadjar’s ‘go-anywhere’ urban credentials. 

Whether you’re leaning towards this SUV in Glacier White, or prefer the boldness of the Kadjar in Flame Red, there’s a shade for every personality.   

Sturdy alloy wheels add further to the Kadjar’s ‘go-anywhere’ urban credentials. 

What’s it like to drive?

Considering this is a fairly lofty SUV, the Kadjar handles surprisingly well. Thanks to its precise steering, plentiful grip and ability to take corners with minimum body roll, the Kadjar is enjoyable to take down a twisty B-road.  

Renault’s engineers have done a good job with the Kadjar’s suspension too, lending it a comfortable, compliant ride on all but the roughest, pothole-scarred surfaces. 

The Kadjar’s engines – a 1.3-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel – offer impressive performance for their size and are equally at home nipping around town as they are covering long-distance motorway miles. The diesel engine slightly edges out the petrol on narrow country roads, with its added punch useful for fast overtaking manoeuvres. 

The Kadjar is enjoyable to take down a twisty B-ro

Inside?

The Renault Kadjar’s elevated driving position and tall windows provide a good view out, with a height adjustable driver’s seat and adjustable steering wheel standard across the range. As well as being impressively comfortable for a car in this class, the Kadjar’s cabin is quiet with tyre and wind noise largely absent when you’re on the move. 

Entry level Play-spec cars come with an array of standard equipment, including a 7-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and smartphone mirroring. The higher spec Iconic adds a reversing camera and Renault’s intuitive R-LINK 2 infotainment system with on-board sat nav.  

If you splash out on the the range Kadjar GT Line, you’ll enjoy heated leather seats, autonomous parking and blind-spot monitoring. Nice.  

Since its release, the Kadjar’s air con dials have had an update. Drivers no longer have to play around with fiddly controls but can quickly adjust settings using the rotating dials.  

The Kadjar’s cabin feels sturdy and well put together, with the quality of plastics a definite step-up from Renault interiors of old. The soft-touch dashboard is made from a pleasingly textured, tactile material, while all interior switches and buttons feel solid and don’t give the impression that they’ll snap off any time soon. Material seats keep costs down, while still looking sleek and modern in both the front and rear of the vehicle.  

Practicality

The Kadjar boasts an amazing 30 litres of storage capacity just within the passenger area, thanks to numerous cubbyholes where you can store everyday stuff like phones, chargers, wallets and water bottles.  

Boot space is equally impressive, with the Kadjar offering more room in the back than its Qashqai cousin – quite a feat considering that both cars are around the same size. With the split-folding rear seats dropped completely flat, the Kadjar’s boot offers more than enough space for a family on the move. High spec models feature a moveable boot floor, which makes sliding in large or cumbersome loads a lot easier. 

Running costs and reliability

Low running costs are one of the Kadjar’s main selling points. The introduction of exhaust particulate filters to the engine line-up in 2018 added to the Kadjar’s already impressive fuel economy figures. The 1.5-litre diesel auto is able to return 57.7mpg, while the 1.3-litre petrol model with manual transmission delivers 42.8mpg. The more powerful variant of this engine does even better, returning 44.1mpg. C02 emissions figures are largely in line with the competition. 

While the Kadjar has been generally reliable, there have been reports of problems with transmissions and electrics. While most of these issues will have been sorted out during the car’s initial warranty period, we’d suggest that you consider cinchCare for the added piece of mind. 

What cinch loves

We love the Kadjar’s contemporary good looks and its roomy interior. Its running costs are a major plus as well – the 1.5-litre diesel dCi model’s 52-litre fuel tank gives the car a range of almost 700 miles. You just can’t argue with that.And the Kadjar offers a host of standard safety features too, including six airbags, two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points and hill-start assistance.

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Verdict

Good

With its spacious and comfortable interior, combined with generous levels of standard equipment and low running costs, the Renault Kadjar thoroughly deserves its reputation as a serious player in the family SUV sector.

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