A product of the alliance between the French automotive giant and its Japanese partner Nissan, Koleos sits on the same platform and shares its 2.5-litre engine and transmission with the Nissan X-Trail.
Adding to its multinational character Koleos is built at Renault’s Samsung factory in South Korea.
Koleos first went on sale here in 2008, was upgraded in 2011 and 2013 with the current, second-generation, model arriving in 2016. For 2020 Koleos II was given some styling enhancements and comfort improvements including extendable front seat cushions, extra soft-touch materials and reclining rear seat.
As before Koleos is offered in three spec levels, Life, Zen and Intens but now only with petrol power, the previous diesel option being dropped. Life and Zen are both front-wheel drive with the Intens also available with drive to all four wheels.
While the overall shape of the Koleos matches that of the X-Trail the Renault has a much bolder grille highlighted by a large version of the brand’s distinctive diamond badge in the centre.
The MY2020 Koleos gets some extra chrome trim, new alloy wheels and skid plates along with LED fog lamps. Our test vehicle came with an eye-catching new “Millesim Red” body colour, a nice alternative to the more conservative hues in the rest of the palette.
Twin chrome exhaust pipes add a semi-sporty touch.
Koleos only comes with five seats unlike the X-Trail which has a third-row.
There’s enough rear space in all directions for three adults to travel in comfort. With two rear passengers the central armrest can be folded to reveal twin drink holders.
There’s good volume of storage space with 458 litres when the rear seatbacks are in place, extending to 1690 litres when they are folded. There’s a full-size spare below the boot floor.
All models get a one-touch folding mechanism for the rear seatbacks. Intens has an automatic bootlid opening via the key fob and can be closed either the same way or with a button on the bottom of the lid. The opening height can be reduced if needed.
Safety is a big selling point for Koleos with a high level of standard equipment across the range including six airbags; ABS brakes with emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution; forward collision warning; autonomous emergency braking; electronic stability control; hill-start assist; lane departure warning; IsoFix child seat anchors; reversing camera; rear parking sensors; tyre pressure monitoring; height adjustable headlights; and front and rear foglights.
Zen adds front and side parking sensors; automatic ‘walk-away’ door locking and blind spot monitoring while the Intens tops off the safety package with Easy Park Assist and optional all-wheel drive.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Only one powertrain is offered, a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder unit with peaks of 126 kW at 6000 rpm and 226 Nm at 4400 revs mated to continuously variable transmission.
The AWD Intens has three drive options: 2WD, Auto and Lock controlled by a switch on the centre console.
Koleos gets Renault’s latest R-Link 2 system for its infotainment technology. The premium Intens model displays onto an 8.7-inch tablet-style portrait touchscreen with the Life and Zen getting a 7.0-inch portrait screen.
We found the touchscreen required too much distraction with small tabs that regularly needed at least two touches to move between features that would have been much more convenient, and so safer, had they been on the dashboard.
One thing that is more convenient is the new location of the front USB socket at the bottom of the dashboard. There are also two rear-seat USB ports in the rear.
Sound in the Life and Zen comes from an eight-speaker Arkamys 3D system. Intens steps up to an 11-speaker Bose system with subwoofer and digital amplifier.
Getting in and out is comfortable without too much bending or head scraping. The driver’s seat is wide, supportive and comfortable. The steering wheel is both tilt and reach adjustable.
One of the first things that we noticed when we stepped into the Koleos was its electronic parking brake, a welcome change after having spent a week behind the wheel of an X-Trail with its annoying foot-operated parking brake. Please take note, Mr Nissan.
Koleos is a capable enough vehicle with good, but unexciting, performance. We found it needed a bit of urging to climb steepish hills without losing momentum although there is a pre-set manual mode to assist the CVT.
Suspension is a little harsh and relatively firm without making the ride uncomfortable. Steering is light and direct.
On the motorway segment of our test route the Koleos cruised comfortably despite its fairly modest outputs. There was enough pulling power from about 2000 revs to cope with the contours on the M1 north of Sydney.
Even when pushed the cabin remained well insulated from outside noise.
We did take our 4×2 Koleos Zen onto some corrugated dirt backroads where the 210 mm ground clearance provided reassurance. Countering that the approach and departure angles are fairly shallow although that is the norm with most modern SUVs.
Fuel consumption is listed at 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres for the Zen. We averaged 9.2 L/100 km during our week in the Zen, acceptable enough for a fairly large SUV.
Renault Koleos is attractively-styled medium-large SUV that performs and drives well, with commendable economy, plenty of interior space and an excellent range of safety levels.
The MY2020 Koleos is the first model to get the Renault 5:5:5 Easy Life Ownership Program which provides a 5 Year unlimited kilometre warranty; 5 Year Capped Price Servicing (up to 150,000 km); and up to 5 Years Service Activated Roadside Assistance.
AT A GLANCE
Life 2.5-litre petrol 2WD: $32,490 (CVT automatic)
Zen 2.5-litre petrol 2WD: $35,990 (CVT automatic)
Intens 2.5-litre petrol AWD: $42,990 (CVT automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Renault dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Renault Koleos Zen 2.5-litre petrol 2WD five-door wagon)
Capacity: 2.488 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 126 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 226 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 188 g/km
DRIVELINE: Continuously variable transmission
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4672 mm
Wheelbase: 2705 mm
Width: 2063 mm
Height: 1678 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1569 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres