Wednesday 28 September 2016

Renault KADJAR throws down the gauntlet to rival Nissan Qashqai

Eddie Cunningham in Spain

Published 18/06/2015 | 12:57

The Renault KADJAR, set to be on Irish roads come September
The Renault KADJAR, set to be on Irish roads come September

Renault are throwing down the gauntlet to the Nissan Qashqai with their new crossover the KADJAR.

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And I can reveal prices for the new family motor will start at €24,990 (for the Energy TCe petrol model) - around €255 below its rival, they claim.

The irony is that the KADJAR borrows massively from the Qashqai – the major differences being design and styling inside and out.

So it is a case of Renault battling for buyers within its own ‘family’.

The expected biggest seller is the 1.5dCi Dynamique Nav which will start at €28,290 and its road tax will be €180.

Whatever about sharing essentials, there is no doubt Renault have gone flat out to beat its cousin on looks with executives here in Spain at the international launch claiming that theirs is a far-better looking package all round. I liked the look of it, most especially in red. Not mad about the brown though.

While order books are open now, the car doesn’t really get here until well into August/early September so they are looking at racking up sales for January and brand new 161-reg plates.

Over long on/off-road drives through some spectacular backdrops in the Navarra region, the car handled particularly well I thought – there are both 2WD and 4WD versions (1.6-litre).

It puts the marque bang in the middle of a real tug-of-war with not only the Qashqai but several other compact crossover favourites such as the Skoda Yeti, Mazda CX-5 etc.

Standard equipment includes front fogs, 7ins TFT instrument panel, electric windows, air con, Bluetooth, USB socket, 4x20watt DAB radio etc.

But what does ‘Kadjar’ mean?

The ‘kad’ part comes from ‘quad’ – or four wheels. And ‘jar’ refers to the French word ‘jaillir’ – to emerge quickly.

One thing that emerged quite quickly here is that family buyers have just got another alternative and Renault will not be slow about telling them.

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