With the burgeoning mid-sized SUV market accounting for nearly half of all passenger car sales, Renault is confident its new, second-generation Koleos can compete for a growing share.
A product of the Renault-Nissan alliance, the Koleos shares its platform and engine with Nissan’s X-Trail. Built in South Korea, the range comprises three models: $29,990 entry-level Life (2WD); mid-spec Zen ($33,990 2WD or $36,490 4WD); and the range-topping $43,490 Intens (4WD).
Common to all is a 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine and CVT with manual shift mode and adaptive shift program. ADR combined cycle fuel consumption for the 2WD Zen is 8.1 litres/100km.
If you think the Koleos looks bigger, you are right. At 4.67m, it’s longer than the outgoing model. Importantly, the increase has also equated to more interior space for both occupants and cargo. Taller folk will appreciate the improved leg room front and rear and easier access thanks to wider door openings. Cargo space amounts to 458 litres with the split fold 60:40 rear seats in place, and 1690 litres folded.
The interior is a fusion of smart style and clean function. The front seats are comfortable and support well while the outer rears are thoughtfully sculptured to enhance comfort.
User-friendly features include one-touch controls to tumble the rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a console with warm/cool function for drinks, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, tyre pressure monitoring, rear parking sensors and rear view camera. Tick the boxes also for an eight-speaker stereo, powered driver’s seat, push button start, 18-inch alloys, and navigation and multimedia system with voice control.
A five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and regular servicing capped at $299 for the first three scheduled services enhance the ownership proposition.
On the road, the new Koleos’ ride and handling, while not class leading, are competent and free of major vices.
The Nissan-sourced 126kW, 226Nm engine harks back to the turn of the century and, while similar in power and torque to rivals Holden Captiva and Mitsubishi Outlander, can’t match the power of the Honda CR-V or driveability of Mazda CX-5s. Zero to 100km/h comes up in a respectable 9.8 seconds. Expect to see a turbo-diesel engine option come on line in mid-2017.