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Renault Kadjar Estate review

By Roger St Pierre with Hazel Kempster

Published 01/03/2016

Renault Kadjar: The car rides well, though the petrol version calls for quite a bit of gearlever wiggling
Renault Kadjar: The car rides well, though the petrol version calls for quite a bit of gearlever wiggling

Been looking in the showroom at Renault’s supposedly “all new”” Kadjar and sense something very familiar?

Well, turn your gaze to the Japanese dealership down the road and compare the French newcomer with What Car’s big selling Car of the Year award winner, the Nissan Qashqai… How’s that for an exercise in badge engineering?

Truth is, these vehicles are near clones beneath the skin too, sharing the same floorpan –  and much more besides.

The fabled ‘evolution not revolution’ principle seems to have taken hold on the global motoring industry, with facelifts and not genuinely new models today’’s norm.

In terms of economies of scale, the sharing of designs and components – and, in some cases, even part of the production – line with partnership manufacturers makes sound business sense, so for Mazda cross-pollination look towards Ford,  for Toyota look at BMW influences, for Renault look at Nissan – and so on.

In the case of the Kadjar there could not have been a better role model than the Qashqai when it comes to award winning and supremely healthy sales success.

Prices for the Renault range from £17,985 to £26,295. So, what do you get for your money? – a very comprehensive list of standard goodies for a start, making those prices even more attractive.

Six air-bags, tyre pressure monitoring and a mass of traction and stability aids put safety first and you also get lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition on all but the most basic model.

The car rides well, though the petrol version calls for quite a bit of gearlever wiggling, but that’s being picky because the overall experience is fine, whether out on the open road, in the hurly-burly maelstrom of rush hour traffic or during the foot to the floor race back home after work.

Convenience is important too, with lots of stowage capacity in the well kitted out cabin, while the hatchback opens into a spacious luggage compartment though this could do with a lower lip. We noted no passenger complaints of any great matter.

When it comes to powerplants, there’s an option between a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol lump and either a 1.5-litre or 1.6-litre oil burner – with the latter being our first choice, though they are all good, economical workhorses.

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