Renault’s strong-selling Kadjar is due to enter its second generation sometime in the next year, and our first sighting of a prototype suggests the flagship SUV will undergo a substantial styling overhaul.
Headline changes for the new model will be the roll-out of quality and technology boosts found on Renault’s latest cars as well as a greater-than-ever choice of powertrains. Accompanying this will be a design shift that looks to be inspired by recent Renault concepts including the Morphoz and Mégane e-Vision; despite the heavy camouflage, we can see slim LED headlights - which could meet in the middle as a production version of the e-Vision's wraparound light bar - a concave grille design and completely reshaped and relocated air intakes.
Having been on sale since 2015 and receiving the mildest of facelifts in 2019, the Kadjar remains one of Europe’s best-selling family SUVs. Renault will seek to maintain its appeal by revamping the cabin in line with an ongoing “interior revolution” under design boss Laurens van den Acker.
Set to be dominated by a touchscreen (large and portrait-oriented in top-end models) no longer sitting flush with the centre stack, the new Kadjar’s interior will strive for class-leading material quality and clean design – traits that were key in pushing the Clio to near the top of the supermini tree. Expect classy features such as ambient lighting and posher trim options to help create an upmarket air.
The Kadjar will again bear the fruits of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It will make use of the updated version of the modular CMF-C platform which underpins the new Nissan Qashqai and is compatible with all forms of hybrid powertrain. This means there will be mild-hybrid options for the regular engine range alongside plug-in hybrid powertrains,
The Qashqai's unique new e-Power hybrid offering is likely to be restricted to Nissan models, however, with the Kadjar instead using a variant of the Captur's more conventional E-Tech system, which mates a 1.6-litre petrol engine to an electric motor and 9.8kWh battery for around 160bhp and a claimed 188mpg. Renault could also use the Clio E-Tech’s parallel hybrid powertrain, plus it has choices in a toolbox of Alliance set-ups.
It remains to be seen whether Renault will follow Nissan in ditching diesel for its C-segment SUV. However, given there are three diesel options in the new Captur, this is unlikely.
We expect the new Kadjar to be revealed in the latter half of 2021 and sales to begin before the year is out.