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Driven: Renault expands SUV range with Kadjar

New Renault Kadjar kicks off product refresh for brand, brings SUV choice to three

15 Nov 2019

RENAULT Australia is hoping its all-new Kadjar small SUV can become one of the bestselling models in the French car-maker’s line-up while attracting new customers into showrooms to boost the brand overall.


Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the Kadjar this week, Renault Australia managing director Anouk Poelmann said the Kadjar is expected to bring new buyers to the brand, but can also help fill some vacant gaps in its product portfolio.


“It will be mostly new (buyers), because if you look that there’s no predecessor in our line-up, although we do think that Megane wagon and sedan customers, so within the brand, this is the customer group we are looking for,” she said.


In June, Renault removed the non-performance sedan, wagon and entry-level Zen hatch from the Megane small car range, with the similarly-sized Kadjar expected to pick up some of the slack.


The brand expects buyers to be made up predominantly of young families with one child or couples looking to start a family in the near future, with the extra interior dimensions providing a clear advantage over the smaller Captur SUV.


Empty nesters are also a target audience for the Kadjar, especially buyers who currently own a Koleos and are looking to downsize.


Renault Australia senior product manager Charly Clercin said the brand has not set precise sales targets for the Kadjar, however it is expected to challenge but likely fall short of the Koleos as the bestselling model for Renault.


“We don’t have precise targets or a precise market share that we want to achieve, we just want this car to be recognised for what it is,” he said.


“We didn’t put an exact number on (sales potential), but it’s priced competitively, it’s a good car, we have a good reassurance package, everything is lined up for it to be a success.


“I think that having an all-new Captur, new Kadjar and new Koleos next year, they should all help each other in having a clear SUV range and allow us to reach out to more customers and all together help each other to bring sales up.”


The Kadjar range kicks off from $29,990 plus on-road costs for the Life, up to $32,990 for the mid-sec Zen and $37,990 for the range-topping Intens.


This places it in the cross-hairs of other segment-straddling SUVs like the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross ($29,990-$39,190), Nissan Qashqai ($27,490-$37,990) and Skoda Karoq ($29,990-$32,290).


The Kadjar sits in the middle of its three-model SUV line-up, with its entry point $8000 north of the Captur small SUV, and $1000 shy of the Koleos medium SUV.


All three Kadjar variants employ the same 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine co-developed by Daimler, which is tuned to produce 117kW of power at 5500rpm and 260Nm of torque at 1750rpm, driving the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


While the Kadjar was originally revealed overseas in 2015, Renault Australia chose to only bring it here now due to the fitment of the new 1.3-litre engine which was deemed more appropriate for the Australian market compared to the 96kW/205Nm 1.2-litre unit in the pre-facelift version.


Combined fuel consumption is rated at 6.3 litres per 100km, while CO2 emissions stand at 143 grams per kilometre.


Checking in with a kerb weight of 1362kg, the Kadjar can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 210km/h.


Mechanically related to the Nissan Qashqai, the Kadjar measures 4449mm long, 1836mm wide and 1607-1613mm long with a 2646mm wheelbase, offering 408L of cargo volume that expands to 1478L with the 60/40 split-fold rear seats stowed.


All versions ride on MacPherson-strut front suspension with a torsion beam at the rear, while braked towing capacity is rated at 1500kg.


Range-wide standard specification starts with 17-inch alloy wheels, dusk-sensing halogen headlights, cornering lights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, front and rear skid plates, rain-sensing wipers and rear privacy glass.


Inside, the Life gains a 7.0-inch touchscreen R-Link 2 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a seven-speaker Arkamys sound system, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, two 12V power outlets, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, front and rear halogen lights, Dark Carbon cloth upholstery, a leather-accented steering wheel and gloss-black trim.


Safety equipment on all variants includes city-speed autonomous emergency braking, cruise control, a manual speed limiter, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring and hill-start assist, plus six airbags.


Stepping up to the mid-spec Zen adds two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels, Satin Grey roof rails, power-folding side mirrors with puddle lights, rear foglights, keyless entry/start, four USB ports, manual lumbar support for the driver’s seat, rear air vents, a rear central armrest with two integrated cupholders, a one-touch folding rear bench, a split-level boot floor, Dark Carbon cloth and leather-accented upholstery, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and side parking sensors.


Finally, the range-topping Intens bundles two-tone 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and front and rear foglights, Satin Grey and chrome exterior trim, a fixed panoramic sunroof with an auto-dimming rearview mirror (a $1000 option on the Zen), satellite navigation, a seven-speaker Bose sound system, heated front seats with cushion extensions, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, front and rear LED interior lights, black leather-accented upholstery, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, chrome ‘Kadjar’ front scuff plates, Satin Chrome interior trim, high-beam assist and park assist.


Buyers can choose from six different paintwork colours including Glacier White, Pearl White, Diamond Black, Highland Grey, Flame Red and Iron Blue, with metallic colours demanding a $750 premium.


The only other option on for the range is a fixed panoramic sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror available on the Zen, which asks $1000.


Renault’s 5:5:5 Easy Life Program applies to the Kadjar, which bundles a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, five years or 150,000km of capped price servicing (whichever comes first) and up to five years of roadside assistance.


Service intervals are 30,000km or 12 months, with each of the first five services costing an average of $477.


2019 Renault Kadjar pricing*

Life (a) $29,990
Zen (a) $32,990
Intens (a) $37,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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