2. Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar - front
18 Mar, 2016 12:00pm

The new Renault Kadjar is a crossover-style SUV based on the highly popular Nissan Qashqai’s platform. It shares engines and running gear, but has its own body style and a slightly extended rear overhang, which makes it a bit more practical with extra boot space.

In fact, only 60 per cent of the two alliance partner sister models’ parts are shared, and almost all of the bits you can see or touch have been replaced. As a result, the Kadjar is able to offer a better cabin environment as well as a bit more visual panache than the Nissan. There’s only a five-seater body available currently, but there’s a seven-seater on the way.

While the front-wheel-drive Kadjar is likely to be most popular, the four-wheel-drive option will appeal to drivers who face slippery roads in rural conditions. It’s not a hard-core off-roader, as it lacks a low ratio gearbox and there’s not that much ground clearance.

As a stylish and practical family car though, with the reassurance of all-wheel-drive grip, the Kadjar impresses. We’d pick the basic 108bhp diesel for its mix of economy and power, although there are 128bhp petrol and diesel options if you want greater performance.