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Renault Kadjar Review

7 / 10
17 January 2024

The Renault Kadjar isn’t particularly remarkable in any department – it drives okay, it looks okay and has an okay level of technology.

But a used Kadjar is a shrewd purchase for budget-conscious family buyers, as it’s incredibly good value for money and has a spacious interior perfect for toddlers or teenagers. It’s bigger and plusher than the equivalent Qashqai.

What we like:
  • Great value for money
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Mostly comfortable
What we don't like:
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Interior starting to feel dated
  • Cheap dash materials

Should I buy a Renault Kadjar?

Is the Renault Kadjar the best-value family SUV? As we write this, quite possibly. It’s better specced than an equivalently priced Hyundai Tucson, and used examples often have lower mileages than similarly priced Nissan Qashqais – and it's arguably more stylish.


You might also consider the Vauxhall Grandland X, Citroen C5 Aircross and MG HS, at which point the case for the Kadjar is less clear-cut. It’s still worth considering, with plenty of redeeming features that make family life easier.


The Kadjar is spacious, easy to drive, has a decent-sized boot and comes with the latest phone connectivity so, in isolation, it’s a fine all-rounder. Especially considering how much less you’re paying than for some objectively more interesting SUVs. 

Interior and technology

Some might call it ‘boring’, we’ll say ‘intuitive’. True, not much design flair has been applied to the Kadjar’s interior, but it is really easy to use. It looks much cleaner and more modern than the equivalent Qashqai’s interior, even if it’s starting to look a little dated against newer rivals.


Chiefly, the infotainment system is a little slow to respond and its graphics aren’t the crispest. It’s easy enough to navigate around, however, thanks to shortcut icons, and you can connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.


We like the climate control dials, the chrome-effect trim that lifts the ambiance, and the semi-digital instrument cluster. The materials could be better, with some cheap plastics here and there, but remember how little you’re paying and it’s a non-issue.

Practicality

Rear-seat space is really good, boot space is okay. Two six-foot-plus adults sat one behind the other have plenty of space, with generous legroom, room under the front seats for your feet and decent headroom as well. It feels anything but cramped in the Kadjar’s back seats and, coupled with soft upholstery and nicely angled backrests, makes the Renault a great car to be a passenger in.


The 472-litre boot is down on many of its rivals, including the Grandland X, Tucson and C5 Aircross. Mind you, you’ll have no issue fitting a large pram or a few suitcases in there, so it’s still big enough for most families’ needs. There are also a couple of clever features in the boot to keep your stuff from flying around.

Engines and performance

With the Kadjar sharing so many parts with the last-shape Nissan Qashqai, it’s not surprising that the two cars offer the same engines. There’s a 1.3-litre petrol with 140hp or 160hp, or a 1.5-litre diesel with 115hp. Occasionally you might also come across a more powerful diesel engine with four-wheel drive, but the vast majority of Kadjars are two-wheel drive – just like most of its rivals.


Every engine provides adequate performance, but we’d only recommend the diesel engines to buyers who regularly undertake long journeys. The more common petrol engines suit short trips and are refined on the motorway, too. You should be able to get 42mpg out of the petrol engines and 54mpg out of the diesel engine if you drive carefully.

Driving and comfort

As a car that’ll probably be used as mum or dad’s taxi, the Kadjar doesn’t need to drive with the cat-like reflexes of a sports car. It’s comfortable over big bumps and at motorway speeds and, while there’s a little patter in the ride at lower speeds, it’s generally pretty good at ironing out imperfections.

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