Renault mean business with the new Kadjar
Written 3 years ago by Rebecca Donnelly
“What does Kadjar mean”, I asked? “Nothing really” came the disappointing answer. It’s a couple of words put together from different references and roots. ‘Kad’ is inspired by the word ‘quad,’ the casual term for a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. ‘Jar’ is a throwback to the French words ‘agile’ and ‘jaillir’, which mean to emerge quickly.
So the “quad emerges quickly” or Kadjar has quickly become the smart choice for buyers who don’t normally go for a big crossover. None of the cars sold in Ireland will be four-wheel drive – there’s no demand – but it’s also worth noting that its genetic twin is the Nissan Qashqai, the car that started the crossover revolution. It’s a reliable Nissan, dressed in suave Renault clothes.
The Renault and Nissan alliance is paying off in the sharing of technology, particularly engine development. The development cost of the Kadjar has been shared with Nissan, giving Renault a price advantage over rivals.
The big front logo and wrap-around headlights are in line with the Renault brand. Whether you buy entry level or top spec, the exterior doesn’t change much so you won’t feel cheated by missing a spoiler or some other trinket. Visually, you can only tailor by colour and wheels, which really do make a difference to the overall look so choose wisely.
The Kadjar’s interior is its best feature with high quality materials throughout. The seating position is just right and the real star is the steering wheel, just the right size and thickness for the cruising that you’ll do in the Kadjar.
The let-down is the entertainment system. There are so many menus so that playing a Bluetooth song takes three taps on the touchscreen. Want to get to the radio from podcast? Four prods of your fingers please. Don’t think for one second that the system doesn’t work because once you’ve gotten to the part you’re looking for, it’s fine. It’s just annoying that every time you listen to a podcast and stop the car, it’ll reset to radio when you get back.
Technical flaws aside, the Renault Kadjar gets top billing among large soft-roaders and with prices starting at €25,190 for the Expression+, it should be well within the reach of most pockets.