Take the family SUV market. Maligned for years as gas-guzzlers imported from the US, things look very different today. We’ve got SUVs that have fuel efficiency on par with superminis. And even French automakers, like Renault, are getting in on the act.
Speaking of which, Renault recently, released its new SUV, the Kadjar. And it’s proving to be one of the most exciting new Renault cars of the year. But why? Renault recently released another small SUV, the Captur. That was a smaller car. And it was really all about taking the city family market. But the Kadjar is a little different. It’s more spacious for one thing. And it comes with an upgraded interior, making it a more luxurious car to drive.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the Kadjar is the ride quality. Renault has clearly put a lot of effort into making the ride feel as smooth as possible. And on the road, it does feel a lot smoother than either the Skoda Yeti or the Kia Sportage. What’s more, it manages to compete well here with the Qashqai, long held up as the benchmark in the SUV market. If you avoid the racier 19-inch alloy wheels, you’ll find that the handling is just as good.
But what about the main appeal of SUVs – the driving position? Does the Kadjar do well here too? The answer is again in the affirmative. Driving this car, you get a great view of the road ahead. And the seating itself is appropriate for the modern market. It’s both spacious and comfortable. You never get the feeling that you’re in a confined space. The Kadjar also comes with adjustable steering wheel position, another bonus for those long journeys.
Regarding quality, the car is also a good performer. Renault isn’t a carmaker known for the quality of its vehicles. But recently the manufacturer has been trying to change its image. And by and large, it’s succeeded with the new Kadjar. Thought has gone into every feature of the car’s interior. Buttons are nicely dampened on the dashboard. And the whole cabin feels robust and well-finished. Again, it is on a par with the Qashqai, which isn’t something that can be said of most cars in the SUV space.
Speaking of space, the car has it in droves. The boot of the Kadjar is bigger than that of the Qashqai. And Renault maintains its lead in the versatility department. All the rear seats can be folded flat, giving the perfect area to transport bulky loads.
Of course, when it comes to going fast, the Kadjar leaves a lot to be desired. Is it as fast as the Nissan? Just about. But it would have been good to see something a little beyond the range-topping 1.6 diesel engine. With that said, the car has good handling and is a smart buy for growing families.