From £18,4458
Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

The success of the Captur is readily apparent in the Kadjar’s appearance. The brawny front end, with the Renault diamond on black, is now a recognisable family trait and contributes nicely to the profile of what is an appropriately modern – if entirely conventional – crossover.

Its cosmetic differences are doubtless the reason for its very slightly larger proportions compared with the Qashqai, but the architecture beneath is based on the same Common Module Family (CMF-C/D) platform that Renault spent four years co-developing with Nissan.

Renault has polished up its long-running keycard with a shiny redesign. But must it really pose as an iPod?

Like rival solutions, this platform has the benefit of providing the manufacturer with different hidden subsections (such as the cockpit, engine bay and front underbody), which can then be combined as necessary. In the Kadjar’s case, what pops out at the business end of the production line is a front-engined steel monocoque capable of driving either the front two or all four wheels.

The suspension arrangement consists of MacPherson struts to the front and a torsion beam at the back – a set-up shared with the Qashqai, although here it’s tuned to Renault’s own settings. To incorporate an on-demand four-wheel drive system (based on an electronically controlled clutch), AWD versions feature multi-link rear suspension in place of the twist beam.

Each of the transversely mounted four-cylinder engines is familiar. The 128bhp 1.6 dCi is marginally nippier to 62mph than its 1.2 TCe counterpart, thanks to its generous 236lb ft, while the 108bhp 1.5 dCi examined here ought to be good for 74.3mpg combined when fitted with downsized 17in wheels.

Back to top

It’s an engine that has proved to be a long-running success story for Renault – it’s reportedly fitted to a third of all the cars sold globally by the brand – and as such it is frequently updated. Here it receives, for the first time, friction-reducing steel pistons for ever-greater efficiency.

The smaller oil-burner and the 1.2 TCe are the only motor that can be had with a dual-clutch automatic EDC gearbox; otherwise a six-speed manual, sampled here, is standard. Similarly, buyers interested in a four-wheel-drive Kadjar must buy it with the 1.6 dCi under the bonnet.