Overnight the covers were whipped off the new Renault Kadjar SUV, which is based on the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai.
The Kadjar is based on the CMF (Common Module Family) which was developed by the Renault–Nissan alliance to underpin most of its passenger car range. Under the Kadjar’s skin is a variant of the platform kit, dubbed CMF-C/D, that also forms the basis of the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail, as well as the Renault Espace.
Measuring 4.45 metres long, 1.84m wide and 1.6m tall, the Kadjar is larger in every dimension than the closely related Nissan Qashqai. The Qashqai is 80mm less lengthy from head to tail, 40mm narrower and 5mm less tall.
Externally, the Kadjar takes the styling themes established in the Captur and scales them up a size class. Inside, the new SUV features a more mature looking dash, which Renault claims is fitted with plenty of soft-touch materials.
The Kadjar is available with the same 7-inch capacitive touchscreen R-Link 2 entertainment and navigation system as the new Espace. Other tech features include LED low- and high-beam headlights, LED driving lights, LED tail-lights, an electronic parking brake, automatic engine stop/start, keyless start and dual-zone climate control.
The company is keeping many details about the Kadjar back, at least, until the car’s public debut at the Geneva motor show in March, with Renault yet to confirm which powertrains will be available in the new SUV.
As expected the Kadjar will be available in both front- and all-wheel drive forms. All-wheel drive Kadjars can be locked into all- or front-wheel drive modes, or left to its own devices.
Renault is claiming a degree of off-road capability, thanks to the Kadjar’s 190mm ground clearance, 18 and 25 degree approach and departure angles, front and rear skid plates, and stainless steel boot sill guard. The Kadjar can be had with alloy wheels up to 19 inches in diameter.
According to Renault, the Kadjar will initially be aimed at Europe, other Mediterranean markets and Africa. From 2016 the Kadjar will also be the first Renault-branded vehicle to be produced in China and, therefore, free from the country’s import tax.
The Kadjar has also been confirmed for right-hand-drive markets South Africa and the UK, but at this stage Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar says it the local division will focus on its existing Koleos SUV and new Captur baby crossover, which launches in Australia this week.
“We’ve been looking at it for some time now, over the past couple of years we’ve been progressively doing the business case and it’s fair to say that over time our view wavers depending on how the various factors influence the business case,” Hocevar said.
“At this point in time it remains unconfirmed for Australia. We’ll continue to look at it, but it’s fair to say that at the moment our focus, which is relevant to our size in the market and the position of the network, let’s just focus on the core products that we have in market or are launching now, we see those as being important.”
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Renault Kadjar.