Still, overall the Kadjar is an easy and not unpleasant thing to drive, while its cabin is one of the best in class. There are a few questionable materials dotted around - we’re not convinced by the matt dash fascia – but it generally feels well put together, and substantially better than any other current Renault.
The standard colour screen and sat-nav system is mostly easy to use, and – in this top-spec model - is fully specced with all the radio and connectivity functions you’d want. There's a Bose sound system with subwoofer, synthetic leather upholstery, panoramic glass roof and LED headlights.
On top of that, you get the full suite of safety kit, including lane-departure assist, front and rear parking sensors and traffic sign recognition. You’re not going to need to add anything, that’s for sure.
The Kadjar is equally impressive for space and practicality, with loads of room for those in the front and back, and a boot that betters the Qashqai for outright capacity and gets the same clever boot floor that can be raised, lowered, or used as a divider to keep your stuff from rolling around.
Should I buy one?
Well, it could be worth waiting until we’ve driven a proper UK model (rather than this left-hand drive car) before handing over your deposit, just to be sure that the driving position hasn’t been horribly mangled in the conversion to right-hand drive.
There’s also the question of whether the cheaper 1.5 diesel model might be worth considering - watch this space for a road test later this year - and new competition in the shape of the Hyundai Tucson to consider. However, it’s very likely that the Kadjar will be just as comfortable to sit in as the Qashqai, and at that point there’s very little not to like.
We’d suggest you save some money and go for the less lavish-feeling but still well-equipped Dynamique or Dynamique S models, but even this jazzed-up trim is good value given the equipment involved. It's really decent to drive and will be easy to live with in every other respect.
PCP finance deals also look seriously keen, so you’ll likely be saving hundreds, if not thousands, over a Qashqai however you’re buying. On evidence of this early UK drive, at least, we'd save the money and take the Renault.
Renault Kadjar 1.6 dCi 130 Signature Nav
Location: Surrey; On sale: Now; Price £24,795; Engine 4 cyls, 1598cc, turbodiesel; Power 129bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 236lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1415kg; Top speed 118mph; 0 62mph 9.9sec; Economy 65.7mpg; CO2 rating & BIK tax band 113g/km / 20%