Long-term introduction: Renault Kadjar 81 kW 1,5 dCi EDC Dynamique
Renault South Africa’s decision to launch its complete Kadjar range finished exclusively in striking Flame Red paint jobs (all with matching specifications levels too) temporarily flooded local media platforms with a plethora of identical-looking derivatives. However, now the vehicle’s launch cycle is over and the red tide has receded from the press fleets, my new long-termer remains as a standout in the Cape’s burgeoning SUV crowds.
Not that this top-of-the-range Dynamique spec needs it, with adds such niceties as chrome roof rails and LED headlamps to an already svelte looking package, the inclusion of optional 19-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof adds further presence to “my” 1,5 dCi-powered unit.
As noted after the local launch drive of the second wave of Kadjar derivatives (a dCi engine option, as well as Renault’s EDC dual-clutch transmission was recently added), these larger alloy wheels, fitted with suitably low-profile rubber, seem to have less of an impact on overall ride quality when fitted to heavier diesel-powered models than when compared with the petrol units in the range.
Also noted at launch, and to date confirmed over the first month of ownership, is an initial hesitancy in the low-speed workings of Renault’s EDC dual-clutch transmission. In adapting my driving style to best work around these quirks, I’ve found it helps to be more purposeful with throttle inputs both off-of-the-line and at crawling speeds, before settling back into a more relaxed style once up to speed.
While the Kadjar feels well put together and solid, the same cannot be said for the card-shaped fob linked with both the keyless entry and ignition systems. No doubt designed to slide into your pocket or purse, my item has already developed some creaks from within.
To date, the Qashqai-based Kadjar has proved more than capable of transporting my recently expanded family (including two Isofix-mounted child seats), as well as any day trip luggage. While the plush leather finish on the rear seat bench has thankfully proved easy to clean, the heated sections of the matching front seats have been equally as appreciated.
On the panoramic sunroof, I‘ve taken to keeping the electronically operated cover closed on particularly sunny days, thereby shielding the faces of rear seat passenger in particular. By contrast, having this blind open at night or, indeed, while driving through rain offers a feast for ever-curious young eyes.
Incorporated within a comprehensive infotainment system, it’s been fun trying to achieve the best possible driving style score using Renault’s eco-coaching module. While the majority of my mileage so far has been accrued over the weekly commute (realising an average consumption of 7,24 L/km), I have nevertheless managed a best-score-to-date of 71/100. However, with the accumulation of mileage over longer distances, I’m looking forward to improving my overall consumption to closer to Renault’s claimed 4,7 L/100 km.
After 1 month
Mileage now: 836 km
Fuel consumption: 7,24 L/100 km
We like: fresh styling; comprehensive standard specification
We don’t like: EDC transmission quirks