Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Renault Kadjar SUV review (2015-2022)

“The Renault Kadjar is a good family SUV, thanks to its attractive design, practical interior and affordable running costs”

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Plenty of space
  • Stylish design
  • Cheap to run

Cons

  • So-so reliability
  • Pricey at the top of the range
  • Entry-level model poorly equipped

Verdict - Is the Renault Kadjar a good car?

The Renault Kadjar shares a platform with the old Nissan Qashqai, so comparisons with the all-conquering medium-sized crossover are inevitable. In many ways, the Kadjar makes more sense than the previous Qashqai; it’s larger, more practical and cheaper. It’s also simple to drive, easy to live with and comes with a long list of safety kit. On the flipside, it fails to stand out in a crowded segment, the interior is bland, the infotainment system is showing its age, and there was just one engine available when production stopped in 2022, ahead of the Renault Austral arriving to replace it. As a used buy, the Kadjar makes a lot of sense, but it’s hard to recommend in the face of newer, more practical and more exciting rivals.

Renault Kadjar models, specs and alternatives

The Renault Kadjar is a family SUV that’s a little bigger than the Renault Captur and more practical than the coupe-styled Renault Arkana. It’s not a huge car, and instead it rivals a wide range of other medium-sized crossovers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

After the discontinuation of the larger Renault Koleos it was the French brand’s largest SUV until it was axed in 2022 to make way for the all-new Renault Austral. Like the Kadjar, the Austral shares many of its parts with the Nissan Qashqai, including a full-hybrid powertrain.

The best family SUVs 2023Top 10 best family SUVs 2024

Although the Kadjar is no longer being made, its styling means it still looks quite modern. The LED daytime running lights and distinctive headlights give it a stand-out look, and the curvy bodywork means it’s attractive rather than intimidating. The interior has all the tech you need, and its smart design means it’s still competitive with many of its rivals.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

One of the Kadjar’s strong points is practicality, as it’s roomy inside and the back seats can accommodate three people fairly well. There’s no seven-seat option, though. The boot capacity is 472 litres, or 1,478 litres if you fold the seats down, which means there’s room for all the gear that comes with family life.

The Kadjar’s engine line-up was massively stripped back, and by the end there was only one option: a 1.3-litre 138bhp petrol engine. It manages up to 44.1mpg and 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds, and is a great all-round choice. It’s smooth and quiet, punchy enough and reasonably economical, and available in manual and automatic forms.

Advertisement - Article continues below

While entry-level Renault trims can sometimes be rather spartan, the whole Kadjar range is relatively well equipped, with DAB radio, LED daytime running lights, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a stereo compatible with MP3 and USB storage. Our pick of the range is the Iconic, which became the entry-level trim after Play was discontinued. It offers sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, lane-departure warning, a rear parking camera and 19-inch alloy wheels. S Edition adds all-round LED lights, a fixed panoramic sunroof and USB sockets in the rear. The range-topping GT Line is fairly luxurious with its heated leather seats, and adds clever features such as blind-spot monitoring, autonomous parking and emergency braking – but it’s a little pricey.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

For 2022, Renault changed the trim levels to Equilibre and Techno. Equilibre is, in essence, a renamed Iconic, while Techno blends the S Edition and GT Line versions; you get the safety equipment from the GT Line and full LED headlights, but no sunroof.

Our biggest reservation is the Kadjar’s undistinguished reliability record. It didn’t appear in our most recent Driver Power polls, but was placed 55th overall out of 100 cars in our 2020 owner satisfaction survey. While many drivers were pleased with its fuel consumption and running costs, there were doubts over build quality, with 15.7% reporting at least one fault in the first year of ownership. Of less concern are the Kadjar’s safety credentials, which include a five-star rating from independent crash-test expert Euro NCAP.

Trim levels

Power options

  • Equilibre
  • Techno
  • TCe 140

Renault Kadjar alternatives

Rivals include the SEAT AtecaFord KugaPeugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq, plus the Hyundai TucsonVolkswagen TiguanMazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage. One more significant alternative is the Nissan Qashqai – the latest model is a big improvement, and since the Kadjar shares many parts with the previous-generation Qashqai, the Renault is now somewhat falling behind its stablemate. 

Family SUVs

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Volkswagen Tiguan review – family SUV with a trusted formula
Volkswagen Tiguan drive
In-depth reviews
13 Jun 2024

Volkswagen Tiguan review – family SUV with a trusted formula

Top 10 best used 7-seater cars 2024
Used 7-seater cars
Best cars
12 Jun 2024

Top 10 best used 7-seater cars 2024

Nissan Qashqai review - a comfortable and efficient family SUV
Nissan Qashqai facelift
In-depth reviews
12 Jun 2024

Nissan Qashqai review - a comfortable and efficient family SUV

Ford Kuga review - a sharp-handling and efficient SUV
Ford Kuga facelift
In-depth reviews
11 Jun 2024

Ford Kuga review - a sharp-handling and efficient SUV

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

More on Kadjar

Show me:
New Renault Austral SUV finally breaks cover
Austral hero
News
8 Mar 2022

New Renault Austral SUV finally breaks cover

Renault’s newest family SUV inherits styling from Megane E-Tech and a range of electrified powertrains
Renault Kadjar updated for 2022
2022 Renault Kadjar
News
8 Dec 2021

Renault Kadjar updated for 2022

Renault streamlines Kadjar range before it replaces the car with the new Austral
Top 3 used comfortable SUVs for £9,000
Tips and advice
27 Apr 2020

Top 3 used comfortable SUVs for £9,000

“Dear Carbuyer, I’m looking for a medium-sized SUV that’s comfortable and relaxing to drive, what can you recommend for £9,000?”
Renault Kadjar 2019: prices, specification and release date
2019 Renault Kadjar front
News
6 Dec 2018

Renault Kadjar 2019: prices, specification and release date

New 2019 Renault Kadjar SUV gets new engines and more equipment; on sale in January priced from £20,595
Renault Kadjar special edition adds value to SUV
News
19 Apr 2018

Renault Kadjar special edition adds value to SUV

Renault Kadjar Dynamique SE Nav starts from £23,620
Renault Kadjar gets more power with new 163bhp petrol engine
News
19 Sep 2017

Renault Kadjar gets more power with new 163bhp petrol engine

Renault’s popular Kadjar SUV gains new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, plus CVT automatic option for 128bhp diesel
Pricing announced for large Renault Koleos SUV
News
4 May 2017

Pricing announced for large Renault Koleos SUV

Range starts at £27,500, rising to £34,200 for top-spec model
Owner rails at Renault over new SUV’s paint
News
3 Feb 2017

Owner rails at Renault over new SUV’s paint

Carla fuming after maker claims ‘grit’ in Kadjar’s finish is fallout from nearby railway track

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024