Renault has been missing a flagship SUV ever since the import costs became too great for the Kadjar. Enter the new Renault Koleos! Renault believe this to be one of its best SUVs yet, but does it have what it takes to rival the likes of the Toyota Rav4 or even its very close sibling, the Nissan X-Trail? (This is a product of the Renault-Nissan alliance and so the Koleos shares many of the traits found on the X-Trail).
The Koleos is a very good-looking car amongst a segment sea of blandness. As Laurens van den Acker – Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, says, “[The} new Koleos completes the styling renaissance of the Renault range that began with Clio in 2012. As a designer, the challenge was to imagine an SUV that was not only elegant, but also dynamic and modern. To achieve this, instead of diluting the traits traditionally associated with SUVs, we accentuated the segment’s familiar cues thanks to taut, powerful, horizontal lines, along with muscular haunches and high ground clearance. New Koleos subsequently exudes an inner strength. It is every inch an SUV and every inch a Renault.”
Step inside and it is every bit as modern and refined as you want an SUV to be. The flush fittings, tight gaps and use of high quality materials give the Koleos a far more premium feel than one might expect. As an example, it features a satin-finish chrome for the steering wheel inserts, gear lever and air vent surrounds.
Standard spec is generous too with the base model, Expression, featuring navigation, voice command, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, rear park assist, as well as six airbags and a host of other tech and safety features. The Dynamique adds electric folding mirrors, leather seats that can electrically adjusted, an 8.7-inch tablet-style touchscreen, park sensors and a rear camera.
Space is generous too and Renault claims to have class-leading legroom for rear passengers. The boot is also a plentiful 446-litres and if you fold the rear seats down you’re looking at 1 700-litres of space.
A 2.5-litre engine powers all three derivatives producing 126 kW and 233 Nm. This naturally aspirated engine lacks oomph and the CVT transmission means that you will have to get used to a high-pitched screech when pushing this car to its limits. Especially if it is loaded with passengers and luggage.
Other than the engine, the Koleos is an excellent product that comes in under its direct competitors in terms of price. The value-for-money proposition is high, but don’t bother with the 4X4 option, you will be more than thrilled with the mid-range Dynamique 4X2.
RENAULT KOLEOS PRICING
As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the New Renault Koleos comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty; plus a 5-year/ 90 000km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15 000km.
Koleos Expression 2.5 CVT 4×2 R 399 900
Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4×2 R 439 900
Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4×4 R 479 900