Archive for October, 2017|Monthly archive page

French Flair in N.I.

In Renault on October 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm

JumboMeet Dumbo the French SUV with big ears and smiley face.

After the patchy years of the Mk3 Laguna, hideous Mk1 Koleos, and bloated Scenic the Renault brand seems to be enjoying some sort of renaissance.

Hooking up with Nissan has given them access to a broader corporate parts bin, and they’ve made good use of the components to rustle up their very own version of the Qashqai.

On my recent trip to Northern Ireland I enjoyed three days behind the wheel of this Renault Kadjar 1.5 Dci Dynamique Nav with optional 19″ wheels.

“Mine” was a lovely deep shade of metallic blue, so it looked great on the outside.  The inside was less impressive.

For someone brought up on a diet of Renault, 16s, 20s, 30s, and the like I always miss the high quality cloth and velour of yesteryear.  It was way better than leather, and felt classy.

Up front the dashboard and controls were made of a reasonable grade of plastic, and I can’t say I missed the BMW wood veneers that I’m used to.

What did impress was slick gearbox, comfortable roomy cabin, and plethora of tech aids which are absent on my daily driver.

Somehow the illuminated leaves that configure a tree induced me to be more light-footed than the blue readouts that flicker on my 2 series.


When speed signs were clearly visible the dash displayed the speed limit to the right of a clear digital mph readout.

Very impressive.

Sadly the 1.5 diesel only pumps out 110 bhp, so in the words of Courtney Barnet this car was “Pedestrian at Best”.

If like me you’re a persistent “Drink Driver” you’ll also be disappointed with the provision of shallow “bottle holders” and door pockets that fail to cradle the obligatory sparkling water.

On the plus side the boot is far more accommodating, with a useful false floor.


Not so clever is the lack of an electronic opener. On wet days access via the low slung catch results in dirty fingers every time.

Once shut the back end looks smart.

BumThis shot shows the cumbersome the door mirrors, which block forward visibility at roundabouts and junctions.

In summary I was pleasantly surprised by this French take on the British built Nissan.

Would I buy one?

Quite possibly.

I’d prefer something with more power, but the autos are unavailable on anything with any poke.

Pick of the range?

1.2 Petrol Auto?

Quite possibly.