Renault Kadjar I , when a Captur is too small and a Koleos is too expensive. But is Renault’s midsize SUV worth your money?

Yes and no. Mainly I say ” no “ because the Renault Kadjar I is built on the Nissan Qashqai II platform and Nissan owners in general stand in mile-long queues through the service shops. So the Renault Kadjar I also has the chance to send you to service faster than Donald Trump shaved Vince McMahon.


In terms of looks and reliability, it reminds me of the Mazda CX-7, another spectacular car but one that too few have bought. With a price starting at 18,500 euros, the Renault Kadjar I in base trim competes with the first-generation Dacia Duster in terms of equipment, and for the top versions you go over 25,000 euros, meaning you’re already in Tucson or Tiguan territory. Spending 25,000 euros on a slightly inflated Captur, I don’t know how many people would go for that, especially given the car’s suspicious reliability pedigree. Renault has actually been making reliable cars since 2010, but here’s the thing: cars with technology borrowed from Nissan are about as useful as a dropped beer. However, I come back once again to the fact that an 18,500 euro car comes with manually adjustable air conditioning, steel wheels, and a radio stolen straight from a Golf IV. Probably why people don’t even flock to buy it. It’s too expensive for fleets, it’s too basic for private buyers. It only makes sense for those deprived of conscience and money management.



Renault Kadjar I engines


  • 1.2 TCe of 131 horsepower  – You’d expect the 1.2 TCe engine to be a disaster similar to the one in the Nissan Qashqai, but apparently it wasn’t to be. However, there may be cases of the engine eating excessive oil, but too few cases have been reported in the Renault Kadjar I.
  • 1.3 TCe of 140 and 150 horsepower – Launched 5 minutes ago, the mysteriously 140 horsepower 1.3 TCe is the base engine for the Renault Kadjar I, a car where alloy wheels are optional, as are MP3 player, seats, windows, or steering wheel. Fortunately, there are no notable problems reported so far and this is one fine engine.
  • 1.6 TCe 163 hp  – This engine was only out for 5 minutes, being launched in 2017 and retired in 2018. Essentially the engine in the Megane IV GT, except its not 202 hp but 163 hp. Basically, you have the de-tuned version of a sports engine mounted into a non-sport car. It’s unbeatable logic within the Renault factory.


  • 1.5 dCi 110 and 115 horsepower – The same 1.5 dCi K9K which was launched in 1571 with the Battle of Lepanto, the engine comes with most of the problems solved. Just watch out for the particle filter and the timing belt which needs to be changed every 60,000 km or 4 years.
  • 1.6 dCi of 131 horsepower  – You’d expect a genuine Nissan engine to have issues, and you’d be wrong. There are no noticeable issues with the 1.6 dCi so you can buy this engine without getting too much heart tension.
  • 1.7 dCi of 150 horsepower – Launched in 2018, it’s too early for noticeable problems to appear in this engine. Although, if it was a classic Nissan engine, the internet would probably already be full of problems. This engine is meant to be the successor to the 1.6 dCi, on the “new look, new concept” premise.



Renault Kadjar I General Issues

  • The center console also comes with a baking tray option and is also standard on some models. You can fry small sausages on the center console which heats up so much that you understand why they gave you air conditioning for the poor, even if you spent a minimum of 18,500 euros on a Renault Kadjar I.
  • The alarm system sometimes starts off randomly, so you can also take into consideration this issue.
  • Special shot out to the EDC automatic gearbox which may be absolutely worthy of your money, but only if it’s a 2nd generation, post-2017 model. All you can do is follow the maintenance plan and change the oil every 60,000 km.
  • Renault Kadjar I has, like the Nissan Qashqai, an appetite for infotainment and navigation systems. But if you only had €18,500 for a Kadjar, you don’t have to worry about not getting infotainment and navigation. A Golf IV stereo is all you deserve.


Renault Kadjar I Verdict

Expensive, expensive, expensive, on the other side of the road it was cheaper. I don’t have a problem with the fact that an SUV starts at 18.500 euro, I have a problem instead when that 18.500 euro SUV comes with steel wheels, manual air conditioning, and a stereo from the flea market. It still remains a car of decent reliability and can take the role of the family car. Especially if you avoid the pre-2017 EDC and go for a manual gearbox, you already have a simple and reliable car that also looks good and is spacious. And yet, I can’t help but ask the question “Why wouldn’t you get a Duster?”. Almost the same manufacturer, almost the same engines, almost the same features, but a Duster is significantly cheaper. It also explains why the Renault Kadjar I isn’t doing so well in the market, and the Dacia Duster is selling better than the Tom Jones tapes through the 90s markets.


Which engine do you recommend? I’d recommend the fabulous 140 horsepower 1.3 TCe, but for the Renault Kadjar I it’s already an engine that will be more exploited than an employee on minimum wage, especially if you go on a trip with a loaded car. So that leaves the classic 1.5 dCi 110 hp for people who don’t believe in new technology and the 131 horsepower 1.6 dCi for the believers.