I’ll start of by saying this is not a mainstream Kadjar review, if you want that I have put some links at the bottom of the article.
In this Kadjar review I’m going to share my thoughts and experiences of having a Kadjar as a rental for 3 days of almost non stop driving.
Kadjar Review – Interior
Nothing to write home about here, in my experience there are no bad interiors with modern cars and the Kadjar is no different. Nice materials everywhere, seems well put together and has all the toys and accouterments you would expect.
Ample storage compartments everywhere and no complaints for the seats even after 4 hour stints. Of particular note was the support the seats gave during hard cornering.
Kadjar Review – Sat Nav
Maybe I asked for too much but I found the nav in the Kadjar to be less than completely useless. It became my enemy.
Actually, let me rephrase. If you want a sat nav that gets you to your destination while playing it safe to the point of infuriation, then this the Kadjar sat nav will be fine. The Kadjar nav takes absolutely no risks and will keep you on the biggest roads possible while ignoring the obvious little roads that could slice minutes/hours off your journey.
The test I gave it was as follows. Stansted airport to Banbury by the most direct/shortest route. I typed in the details, it spat out a route, we both agreed and off we went. And from there it fell apart. Throughout the journey it seemed to be constantly asking me if I wanted to choose an alternate route which it thought better, I said no, “we have agreed on a route” and I thought that was that. It wasn’t. Despite me refusing the alternatives it took me on it’s alternative routes anyway and without my knowledge, which included going through the centre of Bedford at peak rush hour. A nightmare experience all round. But perhaps I was asking too much…
I tried in vain to get the nav to actually speak but found no option for this which left me dependent on looking at the screen for the directions.
Kadjar Review – The Dashboard
More specifically, the gauge cluster (unbeknownst to me, this was adjustable), this left me cursing at the lack of rev counter when in fact it did contain a screen which included a rev counter. This would have made me happy, alas it was only as I was handing the car back did I realise it could be changed.
Fuel gauge. Why oh why do they use faded segments for the fuel gauge. An unnecessary “touch”. Just give me solid segments. It may seem like a small niggle but if you are going to be spending hundreds of hours in the car, it’s little things like this which could really annoy.
Kadjar Review – Transmission/Engine Clunks
In the car I had, there was a clunk coming from the engine bay during the first to second gear change. It made me ponder the service life of the gearbox.
Kadjar Review – The Boot
How exactly does it open?
Kadjar Review – The Touchscreen
I found it to be a bit laggy and also it continuing with the swipe even after your fingers had left the vicinity of the screen. In general, a horrible thing to use, Renault could learn a thing or two from most budget smartphone manufacturers.
Kadjar Review – A Potential Deal Breaker
One thing that could pour cold water on the whole deal if I was considering purchasing a Kadjar was a faint whistle noise coming from the engine bay when the engine was at load. I could very easily see how this could drive someone completely round the bend after a week or two. Thankfully I only had to put up with it for three days.
Now the good stuff
No complaints at all in this area. As fast as you could wish for along bumpy B-roads, nothing fazes the chassis, neutral balance, confidence inspiring turn in and good grip. Realistically I don’t know what you would to do it to make it better.
I’m talking the big ones. No problem, they just seem to be soaked up with no drama at all.
I mentioned it earlier but they are worth another mentioning again. No comfort issues at all and excellent support in cornering.
When you walk more than about two meters from the car, it locks. Which is fine.
What is not fine is when you return to the car with both hands occupied with heavy carrier bags from the supermarket, it does not open automatically, you have to go into your pocket for the fob. Why?(!)
Why do I have to wait a few seconds for the engine to start after pressing the button?
Ridiculous placement. Far too far back in the centre console, you have to angle your elbow up with your lower arm vertically pointing down to get your drink. Inconvenient at best, potential for an accident at worst. Just put the cup holders in front of the gearstick like a normal car.
Annoyances aside a great car. The things I couldn’t figure out like the boot and the dashboard will be figured out when you get to know the car. I can only talk from the point of view of someone that gets in it briefly. Having said that, why can’t these two things be more obvious? Arguably opening the boot should not be a round on the Krypton Factor.
The cup holder situation is unsolvable but you will probably perfect a technique.
The GPS is easily solved by suckering your smart phone to the car’s touchscreen.
The clunking from the engine/gearbox is a worry but not if the car is under warranty.
But I would be scared that the low and persistent whistle from the engine would be classified as a “trait” with the dealer telling me, “they all do that sir“.
But the real highlight for me is the way this car can cover ground, really impressive, really competent and more or less dissolves all the negative aspects.
Does this Kadjar review leave me thinking I would buy this car with my own money? If I were in the market for a car of this type and in this price bracket it would definitely be in the running. If I had to run it as a company car, I wouldn’t be complaining too much.