Renault’s ‘Kool’ Koleos SUV

After the success with both the Captur and Kadjar SUV’s, Renault has now introduced its largest crossover yet, the second generation Koleos. Renault stopped production of the first-generation Koleos back in 2010, blaming poor sales for its rapid demise. However, since then, the SUV market has grown rapidly, partly at the expense of MPV’s. The new Koleos has a stylish exterior and a spacious cabin, but the lack of a seven-seat option may make it unattractive to some buyers who desire the practicality of an MPV in an SUV style.

The Koleos has a more dominating stance than the smaller SUV’s in the Renault range and due to its Nissan X-Trail underpinnings, this SUV is more than capable off-road.

The Koleos comes in two trim levels, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav with an option of 130bhp or 175bhp in 6-speed manual guise or 175bhp with Renault’s 7-speed CVT automatic gearbox and 4WD. Most drivers will be satisfied with the performance offered by the front-wheel-drive 1.6-litre diesel engine, which produces 130bhp, but the 2.0-litre diesel engine with 175bhp and 380Nm of torque will not disappoint. This high torque figure means that the 2.0-litre Koleos is a strong performer, picking up pace readily, but with refinement, too.

My test car was the Signature Nav dCi 175 CVT 4WD, which has an impressive amount of equipment, including sat-nav, 19in two-tone alloys, full LED ‘Pure Vision’ headlights, an 8.7in touchscreen and full black leather seats incorporating heated seats in the front and a powered automatic tailgate. Optional extras on this car included hands-free parking, a BOSE sound system, ventilated front seats, a heated windscreen, heated rear seats and metallic paint. Renault claim fuel consumption as low as 5.9l/100km on a combined driving cycle for my test car, while CO2 emissions of 156g/km leads to annual road tax of €570. However, annual road tax for the manual models will be either €270 or €390 depending on the model chosen.

The Dynamique S Nav may be more than enough for most as it come complete with rear parking camera, panoramic sunroof, 7in screen and plenty of safety systems along with heated and ventilated cup holders.

The new Koleos is a chunky vehicle, but Renault’s engineer’s have produced a car that steers well, with neat and direct responses to inputs from the wheel. I was impressed with the body control in corners, as there’s wasn’t too much of the roll which can be evident in this type of car. It’s comfortable on fast, smooth roads as a result, but the trade-off is a ride around town that’s can be a bit bumpy on uneven surfaces.

The Koleos is Renault’s leading car in terms of interior quality and technology. The infotainment system on the 8.7in touchscreen is well-designed and user-friendly with the layout being well thought-out, and there are plenty of practicalities such as four USB slots and ample storage space throughout the cabin. Renault’s high quality extends to the leather seats and dash and door coverings too.

The new Koleos is spacious thanks to a wheelbase of 2705mm, which is identical to the Nissan X-Trail, and allows for excellent rear leg room. The boot is 579 litres with the rear seats in place.

Prices for the new Koleos start at €34,490 for the entry-level model, while my test car weighs in at €49,615 including optional extras. Renault’s 5-year /200,000km warranty is standard on all models. The Koleos is a very likeable car and is definitely worth consideration for those looking for a large 5-seat SUV.