Renault Kadjar first official pics

THE Renault Kadjar has been confirmed as the French maker’s third SUV and is set to lock horns with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V and Ford Kuga. It will be revealed at the 2015 Geneva motor show in March before it goes in sale in Europe in late 2015.

Billed by Renault as ‘Captur’s big brother’, the Kadjar takes styling cues from the DeZir concept and will be built in Renault-Nissan’s Palencia, Spain, factory where the Megane is manufactured, using the same CMF platform as both the Renault hatch and the British-built Qashqai. Renault says that it’s not a replacement for the Koleos, one of the slowest-selling SUVs currently on sale in Australia, but sits between the new Clio-based Captur and the Koleos.

The Kadjar’s dimensions back this up: it’s 4.45 m long, 1.8m wide and 1.6m high which makes it nearly identical in proportions to the Qashqai, and marginally smaller than the Koleos. Oh, and the name Kadjar? If you thought Qashqai was a weird one, Renault says that ‘Kad’ was inspired by ‘quad’, and that ‘Jar’ is a nod to the French word for ‘agile’ which is ‘jaillir’. Right…

Kadjar won’t simply be a rebadged Qashqai, however, as the Koleos – which is based on the previous generation Nissan X-Trail – shows. Apart from distinctive styling, it should offer a completely different interior, including its own plastics, fit and finish, as well as equipment levels to avoid cannibalising the hugely successful Qashqai, Nissan’s best-selling passenger vehicle in Australia in 2014*.

Offering front or all-wheel drive options, the main drivetrain choices for Europe are four-cylinder engines in 1.5-litre turbo-diesel and 1.6-litre turbo petrol varieties.

“For us the Kadjar is unconfirmed, the business case is being worked on, but at this point of time there is no clear decision about any launch in this market,”Renault Australia managing director, Justin Hocevar, told Wheels at the launch of the Captur in Melbourne this week.

Given the popularity and increasing sales success of the SUV, it seems a mere formality that Kadjir will go on sale here, most likely arriving in 2016.  

*Qashqai was sold in Australia as Dualis until 2014; combined sales of Dualis and its Qashqai replacement total 10,613 making it the best-selling Nissan passenger vehicle for the year. Pulsar, with 10,515, was the top-selling Nissan individual nameplate.

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