New Renault Koleos is significantly larger than the model it superseded in August 2016. Increases to cabin space make it well suited to families with children well into their teenage years. Luggage room has also benefited.
The topline Renault Koleos Intens diesel 4WD we road tested had genuine leather trim, heated and ventilated front seats (Yippee! seat ventilation always saves the day in Queensland); ambient cabin lighting; an electric panoramic sunroof and a hands-free power tailgate. The Intens also has added safety features (more about this in the Safety segment of this review).
Very definitely a Renault, with the prominent diamond sitting in front of a tall bonnet it has chrome trimmed foglight surrounds and door sill plates.
French flair is very evident, with chromed strips running from the headlights all the way back to the dummy cooling slots in the front guards. Wide horizontal taillights sit between another Renault diamond at the back.
In the Intens the ambient LED lighting can be customised, colour choices are green, blue, sepia, red and violet. Ambience light levels can also be increased or decreased according to your mood.
Renault’s latest R-Link 2 multimedia system can be operated by voice control as well as in conventional ways. There’s an Arkamys audio with eight speakers.
Koleos Intens uses a larger, 8.7-inch, touchscreen with portrait configuration; a Bose audio system with 12 speakers, subwoofer and digital amplifier.
The vertical screen in our review Koleos Intens as the satellite navigation shows a long way ahead. Horizontal screens may look stylish, but they show a shortish distance in front of the car. A 7.0-inch horizontal screen is fitted to the Koleos Life and Zen models.
Bluetooth pairing is logical and quick, however neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto are available in Koleos.
We feel that too many of the controls operate through the touchscreen including air conditioning temperature and fan speed which takes too much of a driver’s attention from the road.
When introduced in 2016 Koleos was powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine. A turbo-diesel became optional in August 2017, the reason for our re-test of the vehicle.
The 2.0 diesel is only sold in the topline Intens model. It provides up to 130 kW of power and 380 Nm of torque. Transmission (petrol and diesel) is by a continuously variable unit.
All Koleos models have six airbags; ABS brakes with emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution; electronic stability control; IsoFix child seat anchors; reversing camera; rear parking sensors; and tyre pressure monitoring.
As the topline model, the Intens has advanced emergency braking; forward collision and lane departure warning; side parking sensors; and parking assistance system; front parking sensors; blind spot monitoring; LED headlights; side parking sensors.
Added ground clearance of the Koleos compared to many vehicles in this class may prove a bit of a hassle for some people when getting in and out. On a positive side, once you’re in there the view out is excellent.
Koleos’ front seats are spacious, soft and comfortable in the French manner. Rear kneeroom and legroom mean that passengers with the same dimensions as myself – I’m a six-footer in the old money – had no trouble getting comfortable. Three adults can travel in the back without being overly squeezed together, two or three kids makes more sense.
When only two back seats are in use the central armrest folds down and has two inbuilt drink containers.
The 458-litre luggage area has a floor that sits level with the 60/40 rear seatbacks. These are easy to use by way of handles located inside the boot. Maximum cargo capacity is 1690 litres.
Comfort is a feature of all French cars and the Renault SUV certainly shows others in this Asian dominated class a thing or two on how it can be done. We did a couple of longish country trips over our week of testing and always felt relaxed when we got out of our Koleos.
Renault Koleos’ ground clearance is significantly higher than average for this class. Indeed, the Renault’s 210 mm is generally regarded by 4WD people as the minimum for real off-road work.
A serious off-roader? No, because the approach and departure angles are quite shallow, but the Koleos certainly has no trouble traversing corrugated dirt backroads.
On-road handling is fine, but the leaning towards comfort in the endless comfort/handling equation may not please those wanting a sporting SUV. Sensible folks will love the ease of travel, especially on long distance trips.
Diesel consumption was in the five to six litres per hundred range on motorways and seven to nine litres around town.
Renault Koleos SUV has typical French comfort and has very good interior space. Well worth adding to your list of test drives in this hotly contested market
AT A GLANCE
Koleos Life petrol 4×2: $29,990 driveaway
Koleos Zen petrol 4×2: $33,990 driveaway
Koleos Zen petrol 4×4: $36,990 driveaway
Koleos Intens petrol 4×4: $48,490 driveaway
Koleos Intens turbo-diesel 4×4: $46,990 rrp (contact your local Renault dealer for drive-away price.)
SPECIFICATIONS (Renault Koleos Intens 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.995 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 130 kW @ 3750 rpm
Maximum Torque: 380 Nm @ 2000 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 159 g/km
Continuously variable transmission
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4672 mm
Wheelbase: 2705 mm
Width: 1834 mm
Height: 1678 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1743 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Front: Ventilated Disc
Rear: Ventilated Disc
Five years / unlimited km