Currently reading: Renault Kadjar long-term test review: how it handles
A surprising conclusion about wheel sizes is explained by one of our tame experts

The Renault Kadjar handles pretty well for a crossover.

I know this because (a) it seems to handle pretty well and (b) I read it in the Autocar road test.

Without wanting to sound like an expert (I’m not), I agree with our road testers’ summary of its dynamic abilities. The shift in driving style from a Ford Focus (my previous car) to the Renault has been small. The Kadjar has a gentle, soft-roader-ish lollop to its primary ride but turns in nicely with good body control. There’s a momentary high-sided lurch as you tip into a bend, but it’s kept neatly in check. Grip is impressive, too.

But there’s a but. The secondary ride isn’t brilliant, with noisy thumps over catseyes, potholes and sharper bumps. It’s not desperately bad, but it’s crashy enough for me to be glad our car is on 17in wheels and not the 19s that are available as an option or are standard on Signature Nav trim.

Then I had a drive in a Signature Nav-spec Kadjar, on 19s, and was surprised and confused to discover that its ride was no worse. So I spoke to colleague Matt Prior, who very much is an expert on these things, and he reckoned that in chasing hatchback-like handling, Renault has chosen to compromise the secondary ride with relatively stiff anti-roll bars and dampers – certainly stiffer than Nissan uses on its Qashqai, which has slightly looser body control but a more comfortable secondary ride. In summary, if you want big wheels on your Kadjar, fill your boots.

In other news, the engine has done that thing that diesels do after several thousand miles and become a lot smoother and a bit more economical. I hadn’t really noticed that from new there had been a slight tingle through the accelerator pedal at a motorway cruise. It’s only now that it’s gone that I realise it existed in the first place. Anyway, I don’t miss it.


Price £23,595 Price as tested £24,220 Economy 59.3mpg Faults Alarm going off (fixed) Expenses None Last seen 26.10.16

Read our previous reports here: 

First report

Trading up from a Ford Focus

Alarm problems

Worthy Nissan Qashqai rival?

Eco driving issues


Read our review

Car review

Renault's Qashqai-based crossover aims to do the same job as its sibling but for less money. So we find out if the Kadjar represents good value

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