New Renault Kadjar is a well rounded package

Hugh Maguire: road tests the new Renault Kadjar

New Renault Kadjar is a well rounded package

The compact SUV segment is a very competitive one with a huge variety of excellent cars for buyers to choose from.

The Renault Kadjar has proved very popular and now there are over 5,700 Kadjar’s sold here.

For 2020 Renault have given the Kadjar a bit of cosmetic surgery and a few new engines to better fuel economy and emissions. There are four models to choose from, Play, Iconic, S-Edition, and the GT-Line as tested here.

So has It Any Street Cred?

In my opinion it is the undoubted winner in the beauty contest in this SUV class.

Its a similar shape and size to the Qashqai but Renault have injected real French flair into the car and one glance at the Kadjar is enough to win you over.

The 2020 model gets a nose job, with revised lights and trim.

What’s it like inside?

The newly designed seats are very supportive, the driving position is excellent and reach and rake adjustable steering comes as standard.

The driving position does give a commanding view of the road and the digital instrument layout is clearly and logically laid out.

The Kadjar offers drivers a comprehensive suite of advanced technology features enhancing every aspect of driving.

All versions get, Cruise control with speed limiter, LED Daytime Running Lights, Fog lights, Hill Start Assist , Automatic lights and windscreen wipers, Display - digital speedometer, (changeable in style) Electric front & rear windows. In addition the GT Line model tested boasted 19 inch alloys, Renault hands free keycard, Apple Car aPlay, Automatic dual zone climate control, Visio system (lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high/low beam), Leather steering wheel, 7” touch screen R-Link multimedia system including satellite navigation with Western European mapping and Bluetooth technology, Front and rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors, heated drivers seat.

There is plenty of head and legroom both front and rear, but like most cars in this class the Kadjar sits four much more comfortably than five.

The boot which is accessed via the large rear tailgate is ample and of course the rear seats fold down to create even more space.

What’s under the bonnet?

The latest engines all now use a turbocharger to reduce emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining excellent performance with class-leading CO2 emissions.

The dCi 115 diesel powering my test car was mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and with bags of mid-range torque performance is good.

Over my weeks test it returned an impressive 5.6 litres per 100km giving it a range of over 800km between refuels.

Acceleration while not earth shattering is acceptable and it cruises happily all day at motorway speeds.

Will I enjoy driving it?

The suspension set-up is primarily for comfort and in that it certainly delivers. Road imperfections and bumps are all well dampened out and absorbed without a hint of drama.

The handling is also good.

Levels of refinement are high with wind, road and tyre noise all very well suppressed.

So What’s the Verdict?

Prices start at €26,995 for the petrol “Play” model. The Kadjar delivers a very well rounded package. There is a comprehensive specification list, it drives well, has a reasonable degree of versatility and is well priced.

Build quality is top notch and the upgrades for 2020 make it feel it more classy inside. Because of all of that it will appeal to many families. The GT-Line version tested costs €35,995.