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Our Fleet Test Drive: Renault Kadjar - first report

Date: 22 March 2016   |   Author: David Motton

Equipment: 6 airbags, satnav, DAB radio, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, hands-free key card, 19in alloys, front and rear parking sensors, part-leather upholstery
Options: Techno Pack Premium, which adds hands-free parking, rear parking camera, blind-spot warning and autonomous emergency braking (£800), Explore Pack, which adds a retractable tow ball and bike rack (£795), Flame Red metallic paint (£625),

Crossovers are now the fastest-growing sector of the UK market. No wonder manufacturers are queuing up to launch new models, especially mid-sized cars to take on Nissan's ubiquitous Qashqai.

Although the smaller Captur has been around since 2013, Renault only reached the front of the Qashqai rival queue last autumn.

Thanks to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, its Kadjar shares some 60% of its components with the Qashqai, but Renault doesn't want anyone to get the impression that the Kadjar is simply a rebadged Nissan - 95% of the parts you see or touch are claimed to be different.

The Kadjar has strong fleet credentials, especially the dCi 110, which is the newest addition to our long-term fleet. It emits as little as 99g/km when riding on 16- or 17-inch wheels, although the 19-inch alloys on our Signature Nav model push that figure up to 103g/km.

It's early days yet, but our first thoughts of the Kadjar have mostly been very positive. The first drive was just a couple of miles to give the delivery driver a lift to the station, but straight away the car felt solidly screwed together with a plush standard of finish that would have been alien to Renault drivers five or 10 years ago.
A long motorway run later in the week [1] gave the chance to get to know the car better.

Although the 1.5-litre engine is quiet, there's noticeable road noise at speed, especially over coarse surfaces. Otherwise, the Kadjar feels right at home on a long journey. At high speeds the suspension delivers reasonable comfort, the seats are supportive and the driving position is sound.

However, at lower speeds and on less than perfect Tarmac (and let's face it, that means just about all of Britain's road network), the ride is rather lumpy. The Kadjar handles neatly enough, although it doesn't show the agility of, say, a Mazda CX-5.

The vehicle finished its first week on our test fleet with a Mother's Day trip to Brighton [2]. There was plenty of space for the four of us, and the 472-litre boot had room for my son's unusually big buggy [3]. My kids also appreciated the extra light the panoramic sunroof allows into the cabin.

On the way back I refilled the tank, and calculated we'd achieved 57.9mpg - not bad for a car with just over 1000 miles on the clock, although a long way off the official combined economy of 72.4mpg. Hopefully, as the engine loosens up we'll get closer to that figure.

Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi 110 Signiture Nav

Mileage 1060
Official consumption 72.4mpg
Our average consumption 57.9mpg
Forecast/actual CPM 48.3p/48.8p
P11D price £23,540
Model price range £17,940-£26,340
Residual value 37.4%
Depreciation cost £15,115
Fuel £3811
Service, maintenance and repair £2164
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £2550
CO2 (BIK band) 103g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month £71/£141

Verdict


  • Fuel economy
  • Practicality
  • Comfortable driving position
  • Thick front windscreen pillars
  • Lumpy ride, road noise

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