Renault Kadjar crossover: first official pics

New 2015 Renault Kadjar crossover SUV to take on the Nissan Qashqai: priced from around £18k

Renault has taken the wraps off its upcoming family-sized crossover, the Kadjar. Set for an official debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Kadjar will be wading into a seriously tough market, dominated by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti.

The good news for Renault, though, is that the success of the Qashqai will work in its favour, as the Renault-Nissan alliance has allowed the French manufacturer to capitalise on Nissan’s crossover expertise. In fact, the Kadjar will be based on the same CMF platform as the Qashqai, and as a result shares similar dimensions, measuring in at 4,450mm in length and 1,840mm wide.

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It’ll be positioned above the Captur in the line-up, and marketed as “the brand’s first ever C-segment crossover” although this neatly airbrushes the Koleos SUV (see below) from the history books.

Renault Kadjar: design

Renault has looked to concepts such as the DeZir for design inspiration and applied a similar formula to that seen on the smaller Captur. In comparison to the Qashqai, the Kadjar features far more fluid and softer lines, with the front end housing an exaggerated version of Renault’s familiar full-length headlamp and grille arrangement.

A sharp kink in the waistline ahead of the C-pillar and chrome roofrails are both features which have been borrowed from the Qashqai. Front and rear skid plates have been added as underbody protection, while the stainless steel boot sill guard and 19-inch alloy wheels will also be offered to buyers.

Speaking to Auto Express at a preview event for the Kadjar, André Abboud, Director of Renault’s C-segment programme, told us that the Kia Sportage had been benchmarked in terms of exterior design.

“The design [of the Kadjar] is fluid, soft and athletic, but we have also applied knowledge from our partners at Nissan to the body,” continued Abboud.

“We have been absent from the C-segment crossover market for some time, which means we may have lost customers who were looking to upgrade from a Megane. We now have a solution to that problem and in the process, we can boost brand visibility.”

Renault is hoping to see customers upgrade from the likes of a Megane and Captur, with the Kadjar set to become one of the brand’s top-sellers. Sales begin in Europe at the end of the year, followed closely by Africa and China. Last year, one in every five models sold around the world was a crossover.

Renault Kadjar: engines and tech details

Mechanical details are being kept under wraps until an official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, but sharing a platform with the Qashqai would make it safe to assume various petrol and diesel engines from its Japanese cousin will be available in the Kadjar.

That means a 113bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol as well as 108bhp 1.5-litre and 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel engines should be on offer. Stop/start will be fitted as standard to all models, with front and all-wheel-drive models available. The cabin is an interpretation of the Captur’s, with extensive use of soft-touch materials and use of double row decorative stitching on the seats, door handles and instrument panel.

Renault Kadjar: equipment and specs

A 1.4-square meter fixed glass sunroof will be on the options list, as too is Renault’s R-Link 2 Multimedia system which comes with voice recognition, navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone based apps. Safety features such as lane departure warning, road sign recognition and reversing camera are also accessible from the R-Link system.

A false floor in the boot can maximise space to 472 litres, with a 60/40 split rear bench fitted as standard. Official pricing has yet to be announced but a starting price around £18,000 is expected, with sales in the UK scheduled to star in autumn.

Second time lucky for Kadjar after Renault Koleos flop?

While Renault claims this is the first time it has competed in this segment, it seems to have forgotten the slow-selling Koleos.

Launched in 2008, it was only sold in the UK for two years before being axed from the line-up after a woeful reception from buyers.

Only 2,875 examples found homes in this country, with bosses blaming the economic crash in 2008 for the slow uptake. However the Koleos was a success in other European markets, including Spain.

What do you think of the Renault Kadjar? Good name? Good move for Renault? Let us know in the comments section below... 

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