Fighting with the chip ëní pin card reader at the fuel station to get my much treasured and sought after Shell Rewards points, I always swipe either the wrong way or at the incorrect time. The seemingly patient lad behind the counter chipped in ‘nice car, what is it’? I looked out the window to make sure he was looking at the right car, given the size of the Renault badge up front, which I’m pretty sure is visible from space, as it dominates the front end of the Kadjar. But maybe he was mocking me for my aforementioned swiping technique, or lack of. So, maybe with a hint of sarcasm in my voice, I responded with a simple ëitís a Renaultí. He seemed happy enough with just knowing the make of the car, and of course he was right, it is nice.
It was dusk, and the Kadjar had just had a wash earlier in the day, and so the Flame red paintwork looked its best, especially under the forecourtís bright LED lighting. It was sitting next to a crisp white fuel pump, and so it looked pretty good. But that incident wasnít an isolated occasion, as Iíve had three conversations about the car this month. There was the guy in the petrol station, the secretary at my nephewís school ñ the colour was doing its thing, as that was what she wanted to talk about ñ and a middle-aged couple in a car park who actually stopped me when I was walking away from the car to have a chat about it. Adorning my metaphorical Renault salesmanís jacket, I showed them around it, even letting them climb inside for a poke around. Suitably impressed with the comfort and support of the seats, their enthusiasm dipped when asked about the rest of the interior. They were disappointed with the amount of flair shown inside, which they didnít think matched the smart exterior. And Iím inclined to agree with them, as the strikingly good exterior isnít followed up with a bold cabin, which instead is a little on the conservative side, which doesnít make sense to me. French cars have been known for their unique and original designs, but that is absent in this Renault-badged SUV. Itís by no means a bad interior, with most of the upper plastics pleasant to the eye, and of course touch. The latter is more important to me, and thatís why I think the grab handle, underneath the climate control panel, feels out of place, as the plastics are hard and scratchy, and the steering wheel material doesnít feel like leather, instead having a plasticky effect. That said, bonus points are awarded for the flat-bottomed rim, which has an air of RenaultSport about it.
Interestingly, the inside of the Kadjar didnít seem to be a barrier for the couple looking at my Kadjar, as they said they would visit their local dealer for a closer look and a test drive. In fact, they seemed pretty set that this SUV was for them. Note to Renault ñ donít forget where to send the sales commission cheque!
Date arrived: 15th July 2016
Mileage to date: 10,202
Fuel consumption: 74.3mpg (combined) 50.1mpg (on test)
Two USB points up front means both you and a passenger can charge your phones.
There’s no back-lighting for the window, mirror adjustment or locking buttons.