Renault Kadjar 2020 Interior

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The Renault Kadjar 2020 continues to offer top safety scores, remarkable space inside, and all-round versatility; it’s still one of the best small SUVs, and a good value for money.


Renault’s mid-sized crossover, lurking in the Goldilocks bullseye between the smaller, Clio-based Captur and the big seven-seat Koleos flagship. Plenty of alphabet soup being eaten by the naming team and Renault, then.

Renault Kadjar 2020 Ratings

The Kadjar is a crucial car for Renault because it has to do battle in the mid-sized crossover arena. A battleground first trodden by the Nissan Qashqai, and now populated by… just about everyone, really. Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008, Honda HR-V, Skoda Karoq… there are oodles of them.

The Renault doesn’t really stand out, mind. Oh, it’s got a giant Renault diamond on the front, and some buxom panels, but underneath, this is in fact the current Nissan Qashqai. Renault has a tech alliance with Nissan, so it borrowed one of the top crossovers’ undercrackers to fast-track itself into production.

Engines are shared between the Renault and Nissan stables too. And Mercedes. See, Renault and Nissan’s alliance also extends to sharing engines with Daimler, the parent of Merc. So, the headline introduction under the Kadjar’s bonnet is a new 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, with either 138bhp or 158bhp. It’s shared with, you guessed it, the latest Qashqai, and the current Mercedes A-Class. READ ~ 2019 Kia Sorento Towing Capacity Interior

Renault Kadjar 2020 Ratings

Renault understands that lots of buyers want the torque and range of diesel still, so the offering is a 1.5-litre four-pot derv with 113bhp or 148bhp. The diesels are more powerful and efficient than before. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is optional across most of the range, and there’s four-wheel drive on the ‘big’ diesel. Not that you’ll need it – this is no mud-plugger, and neither are its key rivals. Want to feel sure-footed in all weathers? Winter tyres are a far better investment – because unlike AWD, they help when you’re slowing down as well as speeding up…

Specs are the usual dizzying mix of Renault wordjumble. There’s a new entry-level model called Play. Lots of kit there, like a 7-inch touchscreen, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors and 17-inch wheels. It starts at £20,595. From there you climb through Iconic (really?!) and S-Edition trim to top-grade GT-line. The latter two get new LED headlights that Renault says drink six times less leccy than the old halogen headlights.

Beyond that, there’s not much complication to muddy the Kadjar buying process. Unlike the Cupra Ateca or Skoda Kodiaq vRS, there is no hot ‘RS’ version. We’re not upset. There’s also no hybrid version, either as a plug-in variant or a 48-volt generator, Hyundai Tucson-style, to aid with engine decoupling when coasting and quick stop-start. But, that keeps price and complication down, which is good news for depreciation and ownership costs away from the pumps.

On the inside

Chief among the Kadjar’s interior updates for 2019 is the seven-inch touchscreen, and its tile-based menu system that’s familiar from the current Megane. It’s less playschool-looking than the interface it replaces, but still not a patch on a VW Group system. Peugeot-Citroen’s touchscreens are easier to navigate too. But at least here, unlike in those cars, you still get physical climate control dials instead of infuriating sub menus buried in the bowels of the screen.

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What’s more, said climate controls are no longer cheap’n’nasty parts bin items from a Nissan Qashqai. They’re bespoke chromed pieces that remind of a Jag F-Type’s HVAC system. They work well.

Does it sound like we’re clutching at straws? Well, even the most ardent Renault fan would have to admit this isn’t a cabin long on excitement. The digital dials are cheery but nowhere near as configurable as those from the VW Group. We like the inclusion of an ‘oh Jay-sus’ handle on the passenger side – it looks rufty-tufty and adds some SUV-spec intent to the Kadjar’s ambience. The seats are comfortable and the driving position offers adequate adjustment. And there’s more of a sense you’re in a tall SUV than in a Qashqai, somehow. Buyers will like that – it fits the lifestyle image.

The 1990s spec volume and media control lurking on a plastic brick behind the steering wheel remains. So does the curious placement of cruise control buttons on the centre tunnel, which is rended in hard plastic. Material choice elsewhere is plush enough, but not exceptional. That said, this doesn’t feel like an actively flimsy French car – it’s just more on the dour Nissan/Seat spectrum than it is up there with, say, a plush and futuristic Peugeot 3008. Far superior to a Kia Sportage or Ford Kuga for perceived quality, mind. New air vent surrounds and centre console chrome inserts help there.

Big rear doors open up to reveal big rear space. Why you’d need a Koleos unless you were regularly carrying felled trees is anyone’s guess. The Kadjar uses its extra on-road bulk over the Qashqai to good effect here.

The rear seats fold to reveal a flat-silled 1,478-litre boot – almost 1,000 litres bigger than that offered in five-seater mode. That’s par for this class. Meanwhile, revamped door cards mean this time, your 1.5-litre bottle will fit in the cupholder. Take that, Evian!

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The best value in Renault Kadjar 2020 is a base model with manual gearbox, but it’s still decently priced after adding fancy audio, leather, and a moonroof.

10 Photos of the Renault Kadjar 2020 Interior

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