Renault Kadjar SUV - Engines, drive & performance
The Renault Kadjar’s petrol engine is punchy and the car is better to drive than some other SUVs
The engines that have made up the Renault Kadjar‘s range are borrowed from the Nissan Qashqai, which uses a lot of the same mechanical parts. A 148bhp diesel with four-wheel drive was available from 2018 onwards, but now the Kadjar can’t be bought new with either a diesel engine or four-wheel drive.
The Renault is, however, very good to drive on the road. The steering is precise and the Kadjar turns into corners well. There’s a lot of grip on offer and, for a tall-riding SUV, the Kadjar does a good job of keeping body lean at bay.
All engines are smooth, and the 1.3-litre petrol is quite punchy given its small size, but it's powerful enough to make quick progress around town and on motorways. The petrol unit is also fairly quiet at lower speeds, but can become more vocal if you work it hard to get up to speed. When it was available, the diesel offered plenty of power in the the middle of the rev range, which is useful for overtaking and towing safely.
While two petrols and a diesel used to be available, you can now have only the TCe 140 1.3-litre model. Its 138bhp is enough for driving around town, where the Kadjar feels pretty sprightly. It can feel a little strained at times when overtaking, despite its 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds looking quick on paper.