Stylish Kadjar’s atop-value crossover
I seem to be making more and more trips to the refuse disposal yard as I dump old fridges, carpets and the like.
And I guess that’s the same for many motorists who have wisely chosen SUVs.
I am sure there are those who do buy them to use purely as sport utility vehicles, with bicycles and other leisure equipment going easily into the cavernous spaces.
And it’s the flexibility of seating and loading area that has meant an ever-rising boom in this sector.
One car in every five sold around the world is a crossover.
Estates are now more attractive than the box-shape load-luggers of old but they lack the ability to carry some very large objects.
And SUV buyers are getting more and more stylish models to choose from with saloon-like handling and seating for every day driving needs but with the advantage of getting an almost van-type loading area.
A newcomer on the scene that fits the bill perfectly is Renault’s Kadjar.
I had my first drive in one of these recently and it came at a perfect time – yep, I needed a couple of trips to the dump.
Well I thought I needed two trips but the Kadjar’s massive loading area swallowed up all my junk in one go.
The load space extends to 1,478 litres and folding the 60/40 rear seats flat couldn’t have been easier thanks to the boot-mounted one-touch release switches.
There were also a couple of hidden boot compartments and below these a spare wheel – a £95 option.
Once the seats are back in position the Kadjar is capable of carrying four adult passengers with good head, leg and elbow space for three in the back.
This model is built on the same platform as Nissan’s Qashqai but what you see is purely Renault.
It has a bold, purposeful stance and is one of the most stylish SUVs at the moment.
The interior has a top-quality finish and I liked the high driving position.
There is a choice of four trim levels – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav – with three engines on offer – two diesel and one petrol – and either two or four-wheel drive options.
All models come with a more than generous standard spec.
In entry level this includes automatic electronic parking brake, front foglights, LED daytime running lamps, tinted windows, seven-inch TFT instrument panel with digital speedometer, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, two way adjustable steering column, Bluetooth, a USB socket and a DAB radio with fingertip controls and an AUX input.
Addition features on Dynamique Nav includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cornering lights, automatic lights and wipers, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic headlight beam adjustment, dual-zone climate control, a hands-free keycard, chrome exterior detailing, extra-tinted rear and tailgate windows, automatic door locking, a leather-rimmed steering wheel, driver’s seat lumbar adjustment and a multi-media system including satnav.
My test model was a Dynamique S Nav and it also featured 19-inch diamond-cut alloys, front and rear parking sensors, synthetic leather and cloth upholstery, driver’s seat height adjustment, the one-touch easy-folding rear bench, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors and the multi-position boot floor.
Signature Nav additions include full LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear skid plates, side and boot kick plates, ‘Signature’ cloth and leather upholstery with a Nappa leather steering wheel, and BOSE eight-speaker sound system with a boot-mounted sub-woofer and amplifier.
The two-wheel drive test car was powered by a 1.5 litre 110bhp diesel engine.
It was lively enough with plenty of mid-range power as I moved up and down the slick six-speed manual gearbox.
Road holding was impres-sive with good grip when cornerinig and it was a smooth and quiet performer cruising on the motorway.
The engine has a top speed of 113mph and zero to 62mpg time of 11.9 seconds – and has superb fuel consumption figures.
It is capable of returning 74.3mpg combined, 74.3mpg extra urban and 67.3mpg urban.
There was lots to like in this model with features such as the hands-free keycard allowing touch entry and the much-needed easy-to-use cruise control just a couple of these.
Kadjar prices range from £17,995 to £26,295 with the test car costing £22,395 – representing excellent value for this stylish all-rounder.