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The Kadjar from Renault is the company’s latest crossover and a terrific choice for any motorist looking for a worthy car lease vehicle.
Like several other models in the current Renault range, the Kadjar boasts innovative styling that give it it’s eye-catching looks, together with offering a great driving experience.
A desirable, practical, quality vehicle that benefits from low running costs, spacious interior and an array of tech as standard; the Renault Kadjar is, without question, a serious contender.
Rivalling the likes of the Ford Kuga and Mazda CX-5, together with vehicles such as the Peugeot 3008, the MINI Countryman and the Skoda Yeti, the Kadjar has so much to give - with its bold exterior and high build quality bringing a well rounded, reliable and economical crossover into the mix.
Renault’s Kadjar is a family-sized Crossover model that’s smart, sensible and, in its way, quite aspirational. Developed from much of the same technology that brought us the segment-leading Nissan Qashqai, it’s certainly a more interesting family choice than that Focus-class hatch you might have been considering and there’s the option of 4WD if you want some substance with the style.
Like all the best family Crossover models, this Kadjar requires very little acclimatisation once you set off behind the wheel. Unless you really start to throw the thing around, you’ll find that it handles just like any ordinary family hatchback and rides probably better than most of them. Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of three main engines, with the 130bhp TCe 1. 2-litre turbo petrol unit the most affordable choice. It lacks a little pulling power though, which is one of the reasons why most buyers will want to choose the 1. 5-litre dCi 110bhp diesel option. Well that and the fact that with this unit, you’re supposed to be able to achieve up to 74. 3mpg on the combined cycle and a tax-beating 99g/km of CO2.
If you want a little more power on tap – or the option of 4WD – then you’ll need to stretch to the top 1. 6-litre dCi 130 diesel unit. This puts out a useful 320Nm of torque and makes 62mph from rest in 9. 9s en route to 118mph. Those are figures that slightly deteriorate if you opt for this variant with 4WD, but the extra tractional benefits of an all-wheel-driven version will be well worth having in the winter months. This is one of those on-demand set-ups that can transfer up to 50% of power rearwards should a loss of traction demand it.
The Kadjar certainly shares much with its Japanese design stablemate, primarily its ‘CMF’ ‘Common Module Family’ platform and most of its engine technology. Many though, will think this to be a more sleekly-styled car and it’s certainly a more practical one, with a rear overhang lengthened to deal with the Qashqai’s biggest problem, a lack of bootspace. The result is an appealing package that at first glance, seems to deliver everything that a modern Crossover of this kind should offer.
Time to take a seat behind the wheel. Not all Crossovers fully emphasise the slightly higher seating position that’s supposed to help define his class of car but this one does, positioning you quite commandingly in front of a smartly-bespoke soft-touch dashboard.
Time to try the rear. As usual in a car of this kind, it’s comfortable for two adults but a little bit of a squash for three. Headroom though, is fine, unless you’ve a top model fitted with the panoramic roof, in which case really tall folk might be a touch restricted. The vast glass panel gives the cabin a lovely airy feel though. Where this car’s extra body length does pay dividends is out back. Instead of the slightly restricted 430-litre boot you get in that Nissan model, there’s a 472-litre trunk on offer here – once you get your stuff over the rather high boot lip. And you can make the most of it if you go for the adjustable-height bootfloor and the neat ‘One-Touch easy-folding’ rear seat system.
In summary? Well you could say that it would have been difficult for Renault to fail with this Crossover, given the proven underpinnings it’s based upon. The French brand though, has had the right ingredients for a car of this kind for some time but simply hasn’t managed to blend them into the kind of finished product that buyers in this segment really want. The Scenic RX4 of 2000 and the Koleos model of 2008 were both false starts in this regard but with this Kadjar, the pieces really seem to fit. It may not be the ‘ultimate urban adventurer’ but it’s the kind of car that really could add a more appealing dimension to family travel.