Our Fleet Test Drive: Renault Kadjar - 19th report
15 February 2017
Author: David Motton
Once upon a time, people could rate vehicles without fear of reprisals, but models like our long-term Renault are striking back, starting with their use of technology to assess whether we're driving economically
I don't like being told what to do, and certainly don't take kindly to being bossed around by a tonne and a half of metal and plastic. So I've had an uneasy relationship with the Renault's 'eco2' section within the R-Link 2 infotainment system.
These days, it's par for the course for cars to have a nagging gearchange indicator urging you to change up the moment any engine gets into its stride. The Kadjar goes much further, with several screens devoted to an ecological critique of your driving style.
The verdict is delivered as a score out of 100, which evolves as you drive, with a bar chart in the background showing when you've been naughty or nice. Behave as if there's something expensive and fragile under your right foot, and the score improves. Stamp on the throttle and the score drops.
There is a bit more to it than that, though. There are screens that give specific feedback on different aspects of your driving, such as changing gear (I change up too late, apparently) or anticipation. According to the electronic driving instructor I am "taking full advantage of the car's inertia". (Shouldn't that be momentum?)
Perhaps the nagging is having an effect, however. For the Renault's first few months on the fleet I was regularly seeing scores in the 50s and 60s out of 100. It's now up to 75. I'd swear I haven't made a conscious change to my driving style, so I think a few long motorway runs with long periods in sixth gear must have made a difference.
But the change in score hasn't made an appreciable difference to the Renault's fuel economy. In fact, the average over our time with the car has dropped slightly to 50.9mpg. That's nowhere near the official combined figure of 72.4mpg. Few would expect to get near that in real-world driving, but I wouldn't have expected a 20mpg-plus difference.
Renault Kadjar dCi 110 Signature Nav
P11D price £24,790
As tested £27,010
Official consumption 72.4mpg
Our average consumption 50.9mpg
- Infotainment system a generation behind the new Megane's