Explore the Great British Outdoors in the Renault KADJAR (sponsored)
Sporty, stylish and capable crossover is the perfect car for adventurous families
Families are buying a different kind of car these days. Where a few years ago space was everything, with estates and MPVs dominating the sales charts, now tastes have changed.
People want a car that can not only transport their family in comfort, but also fit in with their active lifestyles. And at the same time, that car has to be fun, dynamic and sporty to drive, plus stylish to look at.
An SUV ticks all these boxes, and stands out with its high driving position, sense of security on the road and impressive ability off it. But SUVs have always been for buyers with bigger budgets. That’s why the crossover has become such big news; models in this class dilute a lot of the appeal of an SUV into a more accessible, compact, road-based package.
The market for Crossovers has been booming for years and now Renault builds some of the best. In fact, it’s fast becoming recognised as the crossover brand with its hugely capable Captur and brilliant new KADJAR.
The recently launched KADJAR has made a big impression on the market with its striking design. An aggressive grille and athletic shoulder line help it stand out, while neat details like the C-shaped the C-shaped lighting signature add to the appeal. Elements such as the muscular wheelarches and the optional chunky 17 or 19-inch alloys hint at the KADJAR’s rugged potential, too; this is a car designed for the great outdoors.
Families will be discovering exactly that as the holiday season approaches. The car scores with its big boot space; even when the rear seats are in place, the KADJAR has a practically shaped load bay with a 472-litre capacity.
So mums and dads wanting to go on a spontaneous family day out or even a short-notice short break can easily load up with camping gear, or body boards and wet suits. This crossover will swallow the lot, with room to spare.
Plus, there’s a load of neat features to boost its versatility. If you’re only using the front seats, the one-touch folding operation on the 60:40-split back seats allows you to free up a massive 1,478-litre maximum load volume in a flash. There’s also a retractable tow bar that can be slotted into place to take a bicycle rack or hook up a small boat trailer; the car has a towing capacity of up to 1,800kg.
The KADJAR will bring out the family’s sense of adventure, especially when additionally equipped with four-wheel drive. The optional system offers a choice of 2WD, Auto and Lock modes – it’s designed for light off-roading, and owners are likely to leave the car in 2WD mode most of the time, so they won’t encounter the kind of steep fuel bills associated with SUVs.
Even so, when you switch to Auto, the quietest, grassiest corner of the campsite will hold no fear, as the system automatically sends up to 50 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels if it senses a loss of traction. Plus, adventurous dads can turn the dial to Lock and drive on to beautiful beaches like Black Rock Sands in Porthmadog, Gwynedd. With torque split by 50:50 between front and rear wheels at up to 25mph, they know the 4WD-equipped KADJAR will get through the loose sand like a hot knife through butter.
Not that you need to hit the beach to have fun in this Renault. The key attraction of crossovers like the KADJAR is their car-like driving experience, and as it’s considerably lighter than an SUV, it feels sporty from behind the wheel. The controls are well weighted, with precise steering, lots of grip and little in the way of body roll in corners.
There’s plenty of technology in the KADJAR to help families every day. The optional Active Emergency Braking system, which provides an alert if it detects an imminent collision with the vehicle ahead. If the driver doesn’t respond and the collision becomes unavoidable, the car automatically applies the brakes to prevent the collision or limit its impact. An optional park assist system called Hands-Free Parking also takes the hassle out of tricky parallel parking manoeuvres; it operates the steering, leaving the driver to simply control the throttle and brakes.
Other driving aids include optional blind spot warning, which flashes an alert in your wing mirror when another vehicle moves into your blind spot; as well as an optional lane departure warning system that operates above 45mph to tell you if you’ve strayed over the white lines on a motorway, for example. Plus, there’s a traffic sign and speed recognition alert set-up that provides a useful visual reminder next to the speedo if you’re exceeding the limit.
But while all that technology is working away under the skin, owners will get hands-on with the R-LINK 2 infotainment system (Available on Dynamique trims and above) in the KADJAR every day. This intuitive, fully connected and customisable seven-inch touchscreen provides access to a range of features, from vehicle settings to navigation and multimedia. When they’re parked up, owners can even use the screen to play back videos of their family adventures, captured on their mobile phones. Plus, they can download a range of apps from the R-LINK store – everything from music streaming to eco coaching – to enhance their experience behind the wheel.
The optional R-LINK screen adds to the upmarket feel throughout the KADJAR’s interior. From the soft-touch dashboard and the chrome air vent surrounds to the top-stitched leather and the stunning panoramic glass sunroof, the Signature Nav model in particular has the air of a classy, high-quality product. The chunky interior design provides a sense of solidity, too; the KADJAR feels built to stand up to the rigours of family life, whether it’s going on holiday adventures in the great British outdoors or crawling through traffic on the school run.
And on every journey, drivers can enjoy an SUV-style sense of security. The high seating position gives a great view of the road for everyone on board, the raised suspension provides a comfortable ride, and access to the interior is easy. The practical, sporty and stylish Renault KADJAR is the perfect demonstration of why crossovers are so popular and will continue to be so.