The Kadjar has to be one of the better-looking crossovers in its segment, sure, it’s a really competitive segment, but you can’t deny that the Kadjar, with its lovely 19”inch wheels isn’t a beautiful sight.
The beauty does not just stay on the outside; they’ve gone quite a distance to make sure the brand’s interiors match up to those of the Germans and have they done a pretty good job. Sure the 1.5DCI EDC is just placed behind the top of the range 1.6DCI, so having all the luxury and the nifty buttons was sort of to be expected. Strangely, though, most of the tech is available across the range, except in the Expression.
This was my 2nd time driving the 1.5DCI, which is shared amongst other vehicles, not just in the brand, but globally. The 81kw engine mated to the EDC 6 speed performs adequately for what it is. There is no pretention here that it’s a powerhouse, it’s all about being practical, economical and comfortable, something I got to experience fist hand, over 5000km.
The new multimedia system is really something that impressed me. They’ve come a long way and the new system is really easy to use, adjust and configure. The navigation system is also a breeze to setup.
The 1.5 DCI engine in here is a treat. The only time where I found that it was slightly underpowered was at higher speeds when needed to overtake. Though when you look at the consumption figures, our best-calculated figures were 6.13l/100km and worst came in at 8.08l/100km. The total cost per kilometer also came in at a really impressive 0.83cents. When you compare power vs economy, in most cases economy will take preference and I really could not complain about overall fuel economy that the Kadjar delivered.
The spacious interior, which had a stroller in the boot and a baby seat in the back from day one, never really had an issue with space. There were always nooks and crannies to put parcels in. Whenever I needed to load something a little larger, the back seat was just a flip away; conveniently they place handles in the load area now too, so you don’t have to stretch or come around to the rear seats to flip them flat.
Being 1.95m tall and not petite by any means, I’ve spent some time in the back with my boy sitting in his car seat. A large important factor for me is how the air conditioner circulates air, especially on those 38c days in the Cape and though it does not have rear AC vents, the airflow is surprisingly good. With the Kadjar being fitted with the optional glass roof, heat is an issue, but if you leave the glass roof cover open. I had it mostly closed, except at night when the moon was out. Like they say, lekker romantic hey!
The driving dynamics on the Kadjar is fairly sporty. The suspension which is a McPherson setup is a little stiffer than you would conventionally find on most crossovers. This in conjunction with the optional 19” wheels really inspires confidence when the roads start to turn. It feels like a lifted hot hatch to be totally honest.
Driving the Kadjar made me realise that the end of days of the family sedan is here. The crossovers are more practical, have more space and offer a much better view of the road. Best of all, they cost about the same.
The 1.5 DCI is not exactly cheap. But you get some serious kit for your money. The leather interior, premium sound and a host of nifty gadgets that makes it easy for you to configure your car, for you. On the outside, you have beautiful metallic paint, LED headlights and gorgeous 19inch wheels, although they are optional, I personally think that they make the vehicle appear much more expensive than it is. The Kadjar would definitely be on my shortlist for a crossover type vehicle.
For more info, check out Renault.co.za