Car group tests

Nissan Qashqai vs Renault Kadjar

Has Renault improved on the Nissan Qashqai with its new sister car, the Kadjar? We put the crossovers head-to-head

Crossovers are big business at the moment, and every car manufacturer is trying to cash in on their popularity. However, one brand that has struggled to make an impact in the class is Renault.

It has achieved reasonable success in the small SUV sector with its Captur, but so far hasn’t impressed in the larger market. It fast-tracked the Koleos into the UK back in 2008, but this crossover – a rebadged model from Korean firm Samsung Motors – didn’t win over many British hearts and was taken off the market two years later.

But now, Renault is back with the all-new Kadjar. This car makes the most of the brand’s alliance with Nissan, as it’s largely based on the same running gear as the popular Nissan Qashqai. However, Renault has taken time to develop the Kadjar so it has its own character.

The question is, does the Kadjar mark a new dawn for Renault in the class? To find out, we’ve lined it up against the Qashqai for its first test. Both cars are front-wheel drive and are powered by the same 1.5 dCi diesel, so it should be a close contest and a tough trial for the newcomer.

Nissan Qashqai review

Renault Kadjar review

Click on the links above to read each in-depth review, then read on for our verdict...

Head to head


It's clear that Renault has taken the Qashqai formula and tuned it to make the Kadjar more versatile. As well as having a larger boot, the car gets a retractable load cover that’s easier to work with than the Nissan’s parcel shelf. It’s simple to store when you need to load above the window line, and it feels better built than the Nissan’s flimsy shelf.


Our test cars feature the same 1.5 dCi diesel engine, but our noise tests revealed that the Renault was louder at idle. It registered 71dB outside, compared to 66dB for the Nissan. However, climb into either car, and engine noise and vibrations are well isolated.


The Qashqai emits 103g/km, but higher price means it costs more to run than its rival as a company car. Renault and Nissan offer 17-inch rims as a no-cost option, cutting CO2 to 99g/km and giving respective savings of £91 and £95 for higher-rate taxpayers.



It's a winning debut for the Kadjar. The brand’s engineers have essentially tuned the Qashqai formula, and in many ways the newcomer is like a facelifted version of the Nissan. The larger boot and extra practical touches put it ahead, while the cabin has a more upmarket feel, thanks in part to the higher-quality dash displays. Plus, the Kadjar manages all this with a lower list price.


The Qashqai is still a fine crossover, it’s just that the Kadjar edges ahead in a few important areas. They’re closely matched in the way that they drive, and running costs are on a similar level, too, but the Renault has added practicality and longer warranty cover. The Nissan does have stronger residuals, yet that’s not enough to give it an advantage here.

Other options for similar money...

New: Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SE Navi Price: £22,105 Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 118bhp

Honda's HR-V isn’t quite as big as the Kadjar or Qashqai, but flip-up Magic Seats in the back and a split-level boot boost practicality. It’s reasonable to drive, too, while the 1.6 diesel is smooth, punchy and economical.

Used: Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE Price: £22,995 Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 148bhp

Buy used, and you can stretch to a 2013 Freelander HSE with around 10,000 miles. The 2.2 diesel isn’t the most efficient engine, but you get the bonus of go-anywhere 4WD ability, plus lots of kit for the money.


 Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi Dynamique S NavNissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi n-tec
On the road price/total as tested£22,395/£24,120£23,730/£25,005
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£9,675/43.2%£11,011/46.4%
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£804/£1,609£852/£1,705
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,261/£2,101£1,409/£2,348
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost14/£447/B/£2015/£521/A/£0
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£399 (3yrs/30k)£159/£249/£159
Engine4cyl in-line/1,461cc4cyl in-line/1,461cc
Peak power/revs108/4,000 bhp/rpm108/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs260/1,750 Nm/rpm260/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel55 litres/£9555 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (seats up/down)527/1,620 litres430/1,585 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,394/530/1,350kg1,365/545/1,350kg
Turning circle10.7 metres10.7 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery4yrs (100,000)/4yrs3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers18,000 miles (1yr)/15320,000 miles (1yr)/225
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos7th/12th28th/29th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars89/81/74/5 (2015)88/83/69/5 (2014)
0-60/30-70mph12.0/12.2 secs11.4/11.6 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.8/7.5 secs5.0/7.7 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th10.7/13.8 secs11.1/14.8 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph113mph/2,000rpm113mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph47.9/35.2/9.0m52.2/34.6/10.3m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph71/46/58/67dB66/47/57/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range47.6/10.5/576 miles42.6/9.4/515 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined70.6/72.4/72.4mpg65.7/72.4/70.6mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined15.5/15.9/15.9mpl14.5/15.9/15.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket159/103g/km/18%178/103g/km/18%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/noSix/yes/yes/surround
Automatic box/stability/cruise control£1,200/yes/yesNo/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/no/noYes/no/no
Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go£525/no/yes£550/no/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form
21 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review
Volkswagen Caddy California MPV - front
Volkswagen Caddy

New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review

It’s a family hauler and weekend camper all rolled into one, but is the Volkswagen Caddy California any good?
21 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
21 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'
Opinion - average car

'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'

Mike Rutherford says it's increasingly easy for them, and far harder for us, to earn enough for our new cars
20 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021