In-depth Reviews

Renault Kadjar SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Both the petrol and diesel engines work well in the Kadjar but it’s the diesel that’s the pick of the bunch

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4.1 out of 5

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Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The three engines that make up the Renault Kadjar's range are borrowed from the Nissan Qashqai, which uses a lot of the same mechanical parts. Unlike the Qashqai which has a more powerful 128bhp diesel that can be mated to four-wheel drive, this isn’t an option available to Kadjar drivers. However, with the Kadjar's recent facelift, Renault added a 148bhp diesel with 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. The diesel has plenty of power in the middle of the rev range, which is useful for overtaking and towing safely.

Renault Kadjar diesel engines

The diesel engine naturally makes more sense in a car of this size and the 1.5-litre is the biggest seller in the range. While it’s the most economical choice, it’s also the slowest from 0-62mph, taking 11.7 seconds to complete the sprint. The engine is smooth and pretty quiet when accelerating, though.

Petrol engine

The entry-level petrol Kadjar comes with a 1.3-litre engine called the TCe 140. 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 9.4 seconds looking quick on paper.

The Kadjar is also available with a higher-powered version of the 1.3-litre petrol engine, the TCe 160. With 20bhp more than the lower-powered model it has a slightly quicker 0-62mph time, is a little faster when on the move and offers slightly greater in-gear flexibility.

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