Dogs. There’s just too many of them. Apparently, us pooch-craved Brits can’t get enough of them. But I despair nonetheless at the apparent criteria for qualifying for dog ownership, which is apparently none. Against that unenthusiastic backdrop, the Kadjar and I have been on a night-time dog hunt. A neighbour mislays two of her incredibly large, lolloping mutts and they’re out there somewhere in the dark, possibly about to become roadkill. Confiscating my first glass of wine for the evening, my daughter (bless) insists we launch a rescue mission. She and her brother are already buckled in the back of the Kadjar and we’re off.
Since months down the line, I’ve not filed abundant copy on the after-dark wonders of the Kadjar. As an occupational hazard of having too many children and a must-try-harder attitude to socialising, I don’t get out much when there’s a need to use headlights. So there’s a bit of novelty in this moment as we explore the backroads of our town and venture out into the country roads. Despite it being winter, my son insists on having the windows down for better yelp detection; thankfully this 114bhp version of the Kadjar is far from acoustically obstructive when prowling for extraneous sounds and, of course, the stop-start intervention means you can keep shtum when really needed. Still, no sign of the pesky dogs yet.
Call me a snowflake, but a night-time winter drive with the windows down does prompt the observation that heated seats would be a lovely recompense. However, you need to step up to GT-Line specification for that comfort. S Edition does, I note, have automatic headlights which help ensure that, while we’re pootling around in the gloom, we also don’t inadvertently blind any oncoming drivers, or indeed transfix errant dogs. Automatic lights are probably the best example of the kind of equipment you question, but then use and wonder how you could henceforth go without.
Speaking of going without, Renault repossessed the Kadjar this month for an early routine service. For fear they might suspect I had set up a business importing sand (memo to self, visit pebble beaches next summer), I spent a tedious Sunday afternoon hoovering and tweezing the carpets back to their untouched glory (or close as). Once serviced, the car returned even spankier than ever; I even wondered if they’d crashed it and simply got another one out of the box. Two days later, my wife grabs a Christmas tree to go from B&Q… and you guessed it, a session of DIY TLC awaits again. When’s a car maker going to invent a carpet that isn’t purgatory to clean?
We never found the dogs, by the way; they wandered home of their own accord. But at least pine needles aren’t nearly as bad to vacuum up as dog hair!
Date arrived 10th June 2019
Fuel economy 55.4-60.1mpg (WLTP combined) 53.6mpg (on test)
Auto-dipping headlights. I want to enjoy night-time driving, not endlessly twiddle with stalks.
Non-heated seats on this specification level are cool – just not in a good way.