The new Renault Kadjar - born ready for any adventure

The crossover revolution shows no sign of slowing down. Renault haven’t lost any time getting in on the action and their latest offering is classic crossover. The Kadjar is a mid-sized crossover that slots right in between their Captur and Koleos models and will hold a lot of appeal for young families who enjoy getting out there and living the adventure. Whether you’re taking a trip to the seaside or heading off into the mountains – the Kadjar is designed to do it all.

Renault see the Kadjar as a blend of three types of vehicle – the SUV, the hatchback and the sportswagon. We’re not entirely sure what the last one is but that’s OK. The Kadjar certainly looks good and features Renault’s latest generation, high efficiency engines, not to mention it is loaded with high-tech features. Best of all, it is competitively priced.

Geared for the great outdoors

But let’s get the stats out of the way first – the Kadjar is 4.45m long, 1.84m wide, 1.60m tall. Renault have ensured that can do much more than just roam around the city by giving it a 190mm ground clearance and approach and departure angles of 18 and 25 degrees respectively. You can also get it in 4X4 mode if you’re a serious explorer as well as standard 4X2.

Solid and sporty by design, the bold front grille is complemented by a sleek yet muscular build which underscores the fact that the Kadjar is geared for adventure. The overall impression is athletic, dynamic and sturdy but it doesn’t have to rely solely on good looks; its length, width, wheelbase and ground clearance dimensions exceed those of comparable competitor models, making it a serious contender in SA’s SUV stakes.

Kadjar’s SUV-styling is further reinforced with an integrated roof spoiler, chrome roof rails and front and rear skid plates. The Dynamique trim adds roof rails you can upgrade to 19” alloy wheels if you choose. Distinctive lighting in the form of C-shaped zero maintenance LED daytime running lights enhances your visibility to other road users

OK, so now that we’ve whet your appetite, let’s get down to brass tacks. The Kadjar will be released in three models, all powered by forced induction turbo engines. At the top of the range is the turbo diesel powered Dynamique 1.6 dCi 4X4 with 96kW and 320Nm under the hood. This is followed by the turbo petrol Dynamique with 96kW and 205Nm on tap and finally the entry level Expression variant.

F1 engine technology for the street

Let’s take a closer look at those engines. Renault’s engineers have learned a trick or two during their 39 years spent designing power plants for F1 cars and they’re now utilising a lot of that technology in their street models. Essentially what this means is they know quite a lot about downsizing engines, without compromising on power and performance.

The Kadjar therefore features Renault’s new generation, low-inertia engines that have a host of cool new features:
•    Thermo-management for running at low temps
•    Diamond-like Carbon Coating of engine components to reduce friction and energy loss
•    Harnessing kinetic energy from braking and deceleration recycling
•    Intelligent management of the air-fuel mixture

•    Stop & Start system on the petrol models to improve fuel efficiency

All of which means the Kadjar also offers excellent fuel consumption and low CO2 emission figures. For example, the top of the range Dynamique 4X4 with a power output of 96kW @4,000rpms and peak torque of 320Nm with a consumption of a mere 5.4 litres per 100kms in combined usage, while CO2 emissions are only 143g/km.

The petrol in turn offers 96kW @5500rpm with peak torque of 205Nm achieved at 2000rpm, which compares favourably with much higher capacity normally aspirated engines. Both petrol powered models consume around 5.8 litres per 100kms with around 130g/km of CO2 emissions.

If you want to get the most out of your petrol, and who doesn’t, the Kadjar offers an Eco mode function across the range. Simply by pushing this it modifies the engine’s response to lower fuel consumption.

Slick interiors and high tech features

These days motorists demand luxury and lots of features and the Kadjar delivers in spades. First off you let yourself in with a hands-free key card. Settling into the seat, you view the ultra-modern instrument panel which features a 7 inch colour screen digital dashboard with adaptable display.

The dash provides standard info such as the rev counter and speed as well as information for the navigation, audio and advanced driving assistance systems while LED gauges give you your fuel levels and engine temperature. The Dynamique models add satellite navigation to the mix via the screen.

To make your life easier as you sit in traffic or cruise the highways, the on-board computer, console, hands-free telephone as well as cruise control/speed limiter can all be controlled from the steering wheel. You can select the right temperature in the car with automatic dual-zone airconditioning. If it starts to rain, no sweat, the wipers will come on automatically, as will the lights when it gets dark outside.

Then you have a second 7” screen (housed in the centre console) which is a multi-touch customisable system to which widgets can be added. It offers Birdview type navigation as well as other advanced driving assistance features. Voice recognition can be used to navigate, control some audio functions and to make calls. The system has excellent audio quality and music playback interface and you can also view photos and videos from it.

Bluetooth connectivity is included and SMSes can be received audibly, enabling you to keep your eyes on the road at all times. There is a ‘push to talk’ button on the leather-covered steering wheel for voice-prompted dialling. Controlling the radio and CD, including source selection (USB and AUX) is easily achieved via fingertip controls located alongside the steering column.

The touchscreen can give you info on a variety of issues, including the quality of air in the cabin, whether your tyres are the correct pressure and whether you are driving with maximum efficiency.

Cruise control and a speed limiter is standard across the Kadjar range, for a safer and more comfortable drive on highways and open roads.

Space to stretch out

The cabin is generous and given that you will likely be spending a lot of time in it on long road trips, it has 30 litres of practical storage space scattered around. High density foam seats and reinforced side cushions offer strong support. Steering can be adjusted for height and depth so you can easily achieve your sweet spot for total comfort. The rear bench has a 60/40 split which allows you to configure the space to your satisfaction. Getting the seats down and back up is a doddle thanks to Renault’s Easy Break System (available on the Dynamique models). Chances are you won’t need it though, as you’ve got plenty of cargo carrying capacity with 472 litres of boot space on hand.

Safe as houses

The Kadjar has an impressive 5 star safety rating from NCAP and it’s not hard to see why as its loaded with safety features, including a blizzard of ‘alphabet’ computer-controlled safety measures.

You get your ABS and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) which kicks in and automatically applies maximum brake pressure when an emergency braking situation is detected. It can reduce stopping distance by up to 20%.

There is also Electronic Stability Control which ensures that the vehicle stays stable, preventing loss of control due to excessive speed or slippery conditions. This works with EBD and Traction Control to avoid wheel spin and loss of traction when accelerating.

If you live in an area with lots of steep inclines, you will appreciate Hill Start Assist, which activates automatically as soon as you stop on an incline of more than 3%. All you have to do is step firmly on the brake and it kicks in, preventing you from rolling backwards until you can pull up the handbrake.

One feature we think is really a great idea is the Blind Spot Detector, which uses ultrasound detectors to detect moving objects in your blind spot. If they pick up something, an LED alert is triggered in the side mirror on the appropriate side, preventing potential collisions.

Finally, there are six airbags, seatbelts front and rear, anti-whiplash headrests and a reinforced sub-frame structure.

Spoiled for choice

South Africa motorists really are spoiled for choice, and it is quite amazing how many options you have to choose from if you’re in need of a capable, spacious and safe vehicle for your family. Given its excellent array of features, fuel economy and competitive pricing, the Renault Kadjar should definitely be considered. Of the three models, our pick would be the petrol Dynamique. If you can live without the 4X4 option it’s considerably cheaper than the flagship but still has plenty of great features, offering true versatility and a new generation engine with impressive fuel efficiency figures, along with an excellent service plan and warranty.

Renault Kadjar petrol Expression 96kW Turbo - R359 900
Renault Kadjar petrol Dynamique 96kW Turbo - R384 900
Renault Kadjar diesel Dynamique 96kW dCi 4x4 - R449 900

The Kadjar comes standard with a  5 year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6 year anti-corrosion warranty. In addition the entire Kadjar range comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km service plan.

To test drive the Kadjar, contact a Bidvest McCarthy Renault dealer today:


Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Send to Friend