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Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav long-term review: Second report

Renault Kadjar long term front
Renault Kadjar - not short on road presence

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25 September 2016

 OUR Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav long-term test car has been with us for three months now and with just shy of 3,000 miles on the clock of course is still very much like new.

As a regular day-to-day commuter (school run), motorway cruiser and all-up hauler (including inaugural trip to the recycling centre the other day), the Kadjar continues to run smoothly, faithfully. No dramas.

True, there’s been the occasional minor head-scratching moment along the way as I’ll explain but in the big picture the Kadjar’s been the model of comfort and dependability.

Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav
High-riding comfortable cabin

High-riding, roomy and with that dash of style, the Kadjar is very much the contemporary crossover SUV, ably fronting up to the likes of Qashqai, Sportage, Tucson and others on the same class.

Presented in this vibrant metallic Flame Red launch colour, the Kadjar’s not short on road presence, either. It really does stand out.

Day in, day out, however, it’s the Renault’s cabin and in particular its seats and driving position that really top the charts for me.

Our Kadjar has the optional dark carbon leather and cloth upholstery and the front seats, in particular, just look and feel superb.

Wonderful all-round support, too and a great driving position, giving you a perfect high-rise view out onto the road ahead. Range-Rover owners, eat your heart out. Well, almost…

Power comes from Renault’s well-proven 1.5-litre turbodiesel (110PS) and with typical driving/commuting, the engine’s fine. Smooth, torquey and efficient and returning some 48-52mpg according to the Kadjar’s on-board computer. Fill ’er up and the system give you a gigantic driving range of 645 miles.

We still feel the Renault’s 6-speed dual clutch auto box (EDC) is something of an acquired taste, however. The shift lever and gate have a budget look and feel to them and the box’s shift patterns (particularly kickdown) can be woolly, to say the least.

But in the rigours of M25-style stop/start traffic, of course, the auto box is great and the overall convenience factor day-to-day may well win over some business buyers.

Then we had an interesting adventure with the… headlights. On the Kadjar’s left column stalk, you can set the lights up four ways: daylight running lights; side lights; dipped main beam; automatic main beam. You can also operate front/rear fog lights via a small centre ring on the stalk.

Fine. Most times, we just leave everything on Automatic but it’s since been  discovered you can’t get full main beam on Automatic which hitherto has led to some confusion and audible dismay while driving home at night. No kidding. So you have to flip the stalk back to dipped main beams, then everything works OK. Phew…

Good to drive? Yes, and impressively relaxed and unfussed on the motorway. There again, for keen pilots, the Renault’s variable electric power steering needs to be sharper in terms of response and feedback. The latest Megane for instance does it much better.

That said, the core parts of the Kadjar package – looks, comfort, space, packaging, low running costs, kit levels and so on – will likely be of higher priority for most business buyers, no doubt. And in that sense, the Kadjar hits the mark and continues to provide an alluring alternative to the usual SUV suspects in the class.

Lowdown on: Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 110

Doors and body style 5 door Crossover
Engine/gearbox: 1.5 4 cyl turbo diesel/6 speed EDC dual clutch auto
CO2 Emissions: 103g/km
Economy: 72.4mpg
Power/torque: 110HP/250Nm
0-62mph/top speed: 11.7secs/112mph
Insurance group: 14E

…..and what it costs

P11D Value £24,140
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) n/a
Road tax (VED) Band B
Company Car Tax Bands 2016/17 to 2018/19 20%, 22%, 24%
Benefit in kind 2016/17 to 2018/19  £4828, £5311, £5794
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)  £888/£74
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%) £1,776/£148
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%) £966/£80.50
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%) £1,931/£161
Figures correct at time of posting September 2016
For latest figures Use our company car tax calculator

 

Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav
Renault Kadjar stands out

 

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