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Renault Kadjar engines, driving and performance

How does the Renault Kadjar drive?

The Renault Kadjar isn’t going to set the asphalt alight, but did you expect it to? This is a family-friendly SUV that gets you where you want to go without any fuss. There isn’t much flair, but the controls and driving experience are light and easy. Nothing to worry about.

Presuming you’re not going to be wringing it down a country lane at high speed, the Kadjar is very competent. Good visibility – and nearly every car coming with a reversing camera – makes low-speed manoeuvring painless, and the Kadjar is happy enough on a long motorway journey as well.

Is the Renault Kadjar comfortable?

By being comfortable rather than fun, the Kadjar definitely has its priorities right. It filters out big impacts like potholes really well, and feels tied down on stretches of broken road surfaces. There’s a noticeable patter sensation from sustained vibrations at lower speeds, but we don’t think it’s any worse than in the Kadjar’s numerous rivals.

What’s the best engine to get?

Have you ever opened a restaurant’s wine list and the choice is simply red or white? It’s a similar story with the Kadjar. Almost all cars come with either a 1.3-litre ‘TCe’ petrol or a 1.5-litre ‘Blue dCi’ diesel engine, so your choice should be fairly easy.

The petrol engine comes with either 140hp or 160hp, but the differences between the engines are marginal – fuel and insurance costs should be the same, and the more powerful engine is barely any quicker in real-world driving. If you’re a petrol Kadjar buyer, we wouldn’t worry about choosing one over the other.

There’s a little more to think about with the diesel engine – it’ll need occasional AdBlue topups and will need longer journeys on a semi-regular basis to avoid issues with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) system. If your lifestyle and driving habits make the diesel a better choice, you’re rewarded with the promise of 54mpg, compared to 42mpg for the petrols.

Four-wheel drive came on the range-topping diesel engine, but finding one is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack – very few Kadjars were sold with this combination.

Renault Kadjar performance

Performance is sufficient without being exciting. The most powerful petrol engine dips under 10 seconds to get from 0-62mph, while the 140hp version of the same engine only takes half a second longer. You’re not going to notice much of a difference, if at all. Diesel Kadjars prioritise economy over performance, with a leisurely 0-62mph time of nearly 12 seconds.

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