- Spanish pace and space – but sorry, no lace
- Three models for new Renault Kadjar
- Yes, we tell you what the name means
Renault has expanded its sales offering in the South African sport-utility “crossover” market with the introduction today (April 13 2016) of the Kadjar, a follow-up to the B-segment Captur which arrived in May 2015.
The Renault Kadjar reaches South Africa only (only? – Ed) a year after its international reveal at the 2015 Geneva auto show. It’s assembled in Spain, with future production also said to be likely in China and comes with a 1.2 diesel or petrol engine.
The units will be available with either a petrol or diesel engine “affording fuel-consumption and CO² emissions among the best in class” with high-tech extras that include driver-assistance systems that include optional self-parking and blind-spot detection and a 360° proximity camera.
Reanult says the Kadjar, priced from R360 000, “is a bold and beautiful consummate SUV crossover” and “the embodiment of the brand’s DNA that is set to make its mark on one of South Africa’s most hotly-contested vehicle categories”.
Often, when I see these otherwise utterly alien model names, I refer to my best friend Joseph Hallelujah Aloysius McGoogle for the answer, and here’s what the dependable oracle came up with, from a Renault advert:
‘What does Kadjar mean? Well, nothing really, (there’s a good start) it’s an amalgamation of references and roots. ‘Kad’ is inspired by the word ‘quad’, a casual term for a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. ‘Jar’ is a throwback to the French words ‘agile’ and ‘jaillir,’ which means ‘to emerge quickly’.
Might as well add Renault’s definition of ‘crossover’: ‘SUV + hatch + sportswagon’.
Well, Renault does concede that the car is the result of an international creative collaboration. “To ensure that a global approach was taken with the newcomer’s overall design Renault’s design chief Laurens van den Acker and his team sought input from its network of design centres worldwide.”
So, they came up with these concepts: “The Kadjar’s grille is complemented by a sleek, yet muscular, build which underscores that this is a vehicle geared for action and adventure. Athletic, dynamic and sturdy by design, its length, width, wheelbase and ground clearance exceed those of competitors, making the Kadjar a serious contender in SA’s SUV stakes.”
There are three models, each with a turbocharged engine. Most expensive is the diesel Dynamique 96kW/320Nm 1.6 dCi 4×4 at R449 900 followed by the petrol Dynamique 96kW/205Nm) at R384 900 and then entry-level Expression at R359 900 – another 96kW unit.
Each has a six-speed gearbox.
The grille also contains “a new lighting signature”: C-shaped light-emitting diodes as daytime running. The full diode headlights on the Dynamique units are, Renault claims, 20% more powerful than conventional halogen globes.
TOUCH OF LUXURY ON THE SEATS
Then there’s the interior. Here’s how Renault describes it: “The Kadjar’s generous and well-appointed cabin makes driving on- or off-road a comfortable and luxurious experience. From the elegant double top-stitching and body-contoured seats to the soft-touch dashboard – with chromed gauges borders – the environment is stylish and refined.”
Power-operated and heatable seats with leather upholstery are an option on the Dynamique – which also has a touchscreen infotainment system, auto aircon and a digital instrument cluster.
“Versatile in the extreme,” Reanult carols, “the Kadjar combines the best of three worlds – SUV, hatch and sportswagon – and was designed to deliver the best overall driving package, inside and out.”
THREE OFF-ROAD MODES IN PACKAGE
Renault says its engineers adapted their extensive experience gained through 39 years of designing F1 engines to production cars. “As a result Renault is now at the global forefront of engine downsizing on road cars, with no compromise on power and performance.
“These lively and responsive low-inertia turbo engines have contributed significantly to the Kadjar’s first-rate fuel-consumption and low CO² emissions.”
The range also markets All Mode 4×4-i – as drive system that has three modes…:
- 2WD: Power only to the front wheels to cut fuel consumption.
- Auto: Power is sent to the front or rear wheels as needed for optimal traction.
- Lock: Equal power sent to all four wheels which continue turning over soil, sand, mud or snow up to 40km/h.
Renault’s 96kW 1.2 turbopetrol engine is standard in the Kadjar Dynamique and Expression with maximum power of 96kW at 5500rpm and its torque peak of 205Nm gained from 2000rpm, a figure, Renault says, that compares favourably with much larger non-turbo engines.
Fuel consumption is listed as low as 5.7 litres/100km (combined NEDC cycle) with CO² emissions around 130g/km.
FOLDING REAR BENCH SEAT, CHOICE OF ALLOY RIMS
The Kadjar’s belly clears the ground by 200mm, Renault says and adds approach (18°) and departure angles of (28° / 25°) which “confirm its SUV credibility”. The cars also come with a roof spoiler and front and rear belly protection plates. The Dynamique adds roof rails and and optional upgrade to 19″ alloy wheel rims.
The 60/40 rear bench seat can be folded.
The steering-wheel has controls for the cars’ trip data computer, information displayed on the console, a cellphone and cruise control/speed limiter.
The second screen (in the centre console) is a multi-touch customisable Multimedia system with a configurable homepage to which widgets can be added. It has satnav and a new display for advanced driving assistance and eco-driving with voice-recognition to navigate through the options and make phone calls.
Tyre pressures are monitored.
The Kadjar, Renault says, has a European five-star crash protection rating; helping its awarding were anti-lock brakes, emergency braking pressure, electronic stability control, electronic brake pressure distribution, wheelspin braking, hill-start assistance, six crash bags, anti-whiplash head restraints and two sets of IsoFix child-seat anchors for the rear seats.
Here’s what the options list contains, varying according to model:
- Cornering fog-lights – R2000
- 17″ alloy rims R6000
- Fixed sunroof, electric sunblind R8000
- 19″ alloy rims R8000
- Self-parking with rear camera, blind-spot warning R10 000
- Leather seat upholstery with power adjustment and heating R12 000
- Metallic paint R2500