Renault Kadjar
Renault Kadjar 1.5 Dynamique S NAV - loving French roads
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Renault Kadjar 1.5 Dynamique S NAV

Six months with ‘our’ Renault Kadjar long-termer has given us plenty of insight into the inner workings of this likeable, French-speaking crossover.

Comfortable, refined, able to knock off long distances without effort, the Kadjar has plenty going for it and that’s before you factor in the all-import SME-style numbers, ie low emissions (103 g/km) and Band B road tax (£20) and 72.4 mpg combined economy.

With this particular 1.5 turbodiesel Kadjar, as previously reported, you can get those C02 and tax numbers down even lower ie to 99 g/km and £0 road tax, if you go for the ‘normale’ 16 or 17in wheel spec over the more racy 19ins that adorn our long termer.

So going into combat with the likes of Qashqai, Kuga, Sportage, CR-V and others, the Kadjar sports the right kind of numbers.

With our car, while it’s spent the bulk of its time to date on the motorway, doing the school run or ferrying precious goods back from the supermarket (all heady stuff…), there was an interesting diversion over the half-term break when the Kadjar made its first trip across La Manche.

I was going to say, was “going home” to France, except that the Renault Kadjar is actually built in Palencia, Spain, alongside the latest gen Megane. So a bit further to travel then if it really was returning to base.

Curious then that on the autoroutes and route nationales of France, the Kadjar seemed to come into its own.

On one particular journey, from the appealing coastal town of Le Tréport across to Amiens, on the fast D936, the Renault really seemed to ‘click.’ It was the Renault’s well finessed body control and supple ride comfort that really stood out.

That it was so poised and precise over this fast French A-road was, in truth, a revelation. The well damped suspension, the superb seats, the low noise levels, it all came together. Almost a pity when we had to stop and find a parking space in Amiens.

France too has its notable attractions of course, not least being able to fill up with derv at the equivalent of 97p a litre. The Kadjar’s capacious boot (472 litres) also coped manfully post mandatory stop at the Cite Europe mega market in Calais. C’est bon…

Then and now, the Renault’s 1,461 cc engine is a gem. It’s a small capacity diesel but it’s so smooth and quiet (from inside the car), you’d just never know and rarely seems to struggle.

Outright power (110bhp) is modest enough in a vehicle this size but it’s the 250Nm of torque peaking at just 1,750rpm that gives it such useful day-to-day flexibility.

Still, it’s not quite a home run. Typical urban economy is none too special. On short runs from cold, it struggles to better 35mpg. Conversely, on the M25, you can see an indicated 57-60mpg.

On average of late, it seems to be returning around 46mpg: respectable enough perhaps (and that’s running in energy-saving ECO mode) but a long way off that advertised 72.4mpg.

Now that winter’s here, the Kadjar also seems slow to warm up from cold and getting the heating to blow warm air is not always a straightforward task.

This Dynamique S NAV model grade bring plenty of desirable kit but even at £23,595 (or £24,220 as tested), there’s no rear-view camera on the menu. Pity.

However, there’s still lots to like and as previously mentioned, the Kadjar does look spectacular in its vivid Flame Red launch colour and some of its design details (headlights for instance) are a real stand out. Visually, this is a very imposing car.

Six months and 6,000 miles in, this Renault Kadjar continues to appeal as a well-sorted and capable new age crossover. Business buyers, it needs to be on your shortlist.

Renault Kadjar
Renault Kadjar – neat on the French seaside

 

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