Coming to the UK this autumn, the all-new Renault Kadjar is the French manufacturer’s first foray into the super-competitive C-segment crossover market.
How competitive? Think the Mazda CX-5 and the Kia Sportage. And the VW Tiguan which recently impressed our team when we had one as a long-termer. Oh, and the Nissan Qashqai, the winner of our 2014 Tow Car Awards.
Luckily for the Kadjar, thanks to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it shares some components with the popular Qashqai. The 18-model range will comprise three engine options, two gearboxes, four trim levels and either two- or four-wheel drive. And after its little brother, the Renault Captur, recently scored a respectable 3.5 stars in our towing test, we’re keen to see what tow car ability the bigger Kadjar has.
The sole petrol-fuelled powerplant is a 128bhp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 151lb ft torque. There are also two four-cylinder diesels on offer, a 1461cc engine with 108bhp and a 128bhp 1598cc unit. The former has 192lb ft torque when mated to the manual transmission, 184lb ft when with the dual-clutch automatic, while the larger capacity engine generates 236lb ft torque and is available with four-wheel drive.
Other numbers of interest to caravanners are kerbweights, which for the Kadjar are 1306kg to 1536kg. This compares with a range of 1318kg to 1518kg for the highly rated Qashqai. And what about towing limits? Figures released by Renault for the Kadjar state maximum braked trailer weights of between 1350kg and 1800kg across the range. Again, equivalent figures for the Nissan Qashqai are 1200kg to 1800kg. So, on paper and especially when fitted with a four-wheel drive powertrain, the Kadjar has the potential to be a handy tow car.
What about space for your holiday luggage? With the rear seats upright you’ve got 472 litres to fill and, as an option, the boot can be divided into two or three areas to prevent items from moving when in transit; the maximum boot capacity is 1478 litres.
When it comes to spec, the Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav trim lines will be familiar to anyone au fait with other Renault model ranges. All come with ABS, Hill Start Assist, stability control and a host of other safety features, while a 12V socket in the front cabin and a two-way adjustable steering column are useful standard comfort features.
An automatic electronic parking brake, Bluetooth and a digital radio are included in the Expression+ spec, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, and automatic lights and wipers among the extras you get with Dynamique Nav, the Dynamique S Nav trim adding kit including front and rear parking sensors, a multi-position boot floor and a one-touch folding rear bench. And if you splash out on the range-topping Signature Nav trim, you’ll be rewarded with kit including full LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof.
On sale in the UK from July, deliveries of the new Renault Kadjar start in September, which is when Practical Caravan’s Tow Car Editor David Motton will get behind the wheel and deliver his verdict – after which we hope we’ll be able to hitch it up to a van to see what tow car ability it has.
So, has the new Renault got what it takes to compete in this class? Only time will tell but, with prices starting from £17,995, it undercuts the Qashqai (which starts at £18,545 OTR), and that alone will mean it’s sure to turn heads.