Renault is bolstering its high-riding model line-up with a mid-sized SUV dubbed the Kadjar that fills the size gap between its Capture and Koleos offerings.
Arriving in three varieties, the new model kicks off from $29,990 for the entry-level Life, with the mid-range Zen setting you back $32,990, while the flagship Intens is priced from $37,990.
The Kadjar enters a competitive but popular market that’s dominated by Toyota’s RAV4. It will be a welcome volume-booster for the French brand but, with pricing just $1000 cheaper than the larger Koleos, it’s unlikely to knock the company’s current top seller from its throne.
All Kadjar versions use the same 117kW/260Nm 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that drives the front wheels only. For now, Renault will not offer any diesel, manual or all-wheel drive versions, which are offered in other markets.
Fuel consumption is rated at a frugal 6.3L/100km, but acceleration is less than impressive taking 9.6 seconds to do the benchmark zero to 100km/h dash. Renault, however, says the newest addition to its line-up is more about ‘style, escapism and comfort’ than outright dynamics.
According to its maker, styling is at the top of the list of reasons customers have bought 450,000 Kadjars around the world. Big features including 17- or 19-inch wheels depending on the variant, optional LED headlights, 200mm of ground clearance and an unapologetically large Renault badge framed by an equally expansive grille are but a few.
Six colours are on offer to decorate your Kadjar although metallics will cost you $750 extra. A $1000 panoramic sunroof is the only other option, which bundles in an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Inside, the cabin has “more homogenous design” trims for a cleaner look, including the flush-mounted 7.0-inch touchscreen. It offers access to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Renault’s own proprietary R-Link 2 information and entertainment systems, and is connected to a top-shelf Bose sound system.
There are also generous storage options including a 408-litre boot that expands into the passenger area with easy-folding seats for a maximum of 1478 litres, front door pockets that can accommodate 1.5-litre bottle and a pair of cup-holders in the centre console.
Up front, there is a pair of USB charging sockets and a 12-volt power point, which is duplicated for the rear passengers too. Accommodation is for up to five passengers.
Safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, ISOFIX seat anchors, tyre pressure monitoring, rain-sensing wipers and a rear-view camera as standard for all variants, with blind-spot warning and lane departure for the more premium Zen and Intens.
Dimensionally, the Kadjar is more closely related to the Koleos, measuring just 7mm narrower (1836mm width) and 183mm shorter (4489mm length), but is closer to the Captur’s height with a 47mm difference (1613mm height).
A five-year unlimited kilometre warranty is provided with each Kadjar and the first examples will arrive in November. Order books are open now.
2020 Renault Kadjar retail pricing
- Kadjar Life - $29,990
- Kadjar Zen - $32,990
- Kadjar Intens - $37,990