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Renault enters big Crossover sector

Created on 26/09/2015 @ 08:03
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Graham Breeze test drives the new Renault Kadjar

Renault has finally entered the big Crossover market with the launch of the new Kadjar - but have they left it too late?

Captur, the company's compact Crossover, has been a massive success for the French company and Kadjar is its big brother being launched into anC-Sector already flooded with a range of options from all the big players.

Renault's task will be to convince enough buyers that Kadjar is a better option with a strong range of 18 options to chose from.

One car in every five sold across the world today is a Crossover and the sector is projected to continue growing at pace so it's little wonder that Renault feel the need to extend the family. And bosses are convinced Kadjar will become another success story.

You would be right in saying it looks just like the Nissan Qashqai. After al it is based on the same Renault-Nissan Alliance common module family architecture which allows a wide variety of cars of different sizes to use common parts. Both companies seem happy that the two vehicles will go head-to-head.

The 18-model range comes in Expression, Dynamique and Signature Nav modes and the 1.6 Signature dCi on test is expected to be one of the best sellers at £24,795. Full range prices stretch from on the road at £17,995 to £26,295.

It seemed a lot of money for the car on test but you have to remember you are getting a lot for your money. Standard items included ABS and EBA braking support, stability control, anti-skid regulation, hill start and electric parking brake as standard.

There was also plenty of safety equipment on board with driver, passenger, lateral and curtain airbags, cruise control, dead locking, side impact protection bars and a very useful tyre pressure monitoring system to save you getting those hands dirty.

The test car also came with air conditioning , tinted windows, body side mouldings, front fogs, LEDA daytime running lights, DAB radio, Bluetooth and a seven inch digital dashboard display.

Extras such as automated dipping lights, my personal favourite cornering lights, electric door mirrors, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, full LED headlights, sunroof, 19inch alloys, height adjustable seats and Sat Nav with EU mapping wee also fitted. All great extras but pushing the price up to £27,470.

The launch car was not fitted with all-wheel drive which will come with a choice of auto, lock and front-wheel drive modes to allow drivers to adapt to differing road conditions.

Inside the cabin is a comfortable place to be with all the seat and steering wheel adjustments that you will need. Particularly impressive is the one-touch 60/40 split rear seat option which increases an already impressive not space from 472 litres to 1,478 litres.

Kadjar is easy to drive too. There's a tight turning circle and many will be attracted by the hands free parking and reversing camera options.

It looks the part too with an assertive grille and front and rear skid plates adding to the sporty appearance.

The test car had a top speed of 118mph and 0-62mph in just under 10 seconds, claimed fuel consumption figures of 62mpg and CO2 emissions of 117g/km from the 1.6dCi 130 engine.

In front-wheel-drive mode the Kadjar is as composed to drive as anything in the sectorwith very little body lean and nicely weighted steering.

Will it sell? It's stylish and good looking and ticks all the SUV boxes in the C-Sector so the answer is probably yes. But it may well pinch some Captur sales along the way.



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