ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE RENAULT KOLEOS
A number of people seemed surprised at one of the latest vehicles I had on test, their response was simply that they were not aware that Renault produced an SUV.
The all new Koleos is in fact the flagship for the Renault SUV family, one which delivers the ruggedness of an SUV but with the bonus of comfort levels of an executive saloon.
Of course there was an earlier vehicle which had the same name and it never proved as popular perhaps as Renault would have wished. We have come to expect from Renault a host of onboard technology and once again they don’t disappoint with their large SUV. With a powerful stance that sets it apart from its rivals, the Koleos takes Renault design cues from other C and D-segment models such as the new Megane and Talisman.
Renault’s signature C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) at the front and always-illuminated horizontal DRLs to the rear make the new Koleos instantly recognisable. The interior is not only spacious but also offers high comfort levels and a clear cabin thanks to its opening panoramic sunroof.
Returning to passenger comfort, rear passenger leg room which is amongst the very best-in- class thanks to its five-seat architecture. On the practical side of things, boot space is 458 litres and with rear seats down 1,690 litres, facts which will further enhance the appeal of this Renault.
I fully approve of the One-Touch easy folding rear seats whereby they can be folded (individually or all at once) via a button in the boot and the Signature Nav comes with a powered automatic tailgate that can open or close the rear boot by a press on the keycard or, conveniently if carrying luggage, by waving a foot under the rear
Keeping all occupants safe in all weathers, Renault’s ALL MODE 4×4-i four-wheel drive technology, and with a ground clearance of 210mm, this SUV complements its exceptional refinement with all-terrain ability.
We all like choice when buying a new vehicle and in the best Renault traditions, with Koleos a choice of trim levels, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav and Initiale Paris.
All trim levels provide a truly comprehensive standard specification. Taking a look at power units, the dCi 130 (130PS) engine is available on both trim levels with a six-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive while the dCi 175 (177PS) engine is available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed Auto X-
Tronic transmission, both with ALL-MODE 4×4-i four-wheel drive.
Have you the desire to make your new Koleos stand out from the crowd? Well you can with the optional Climate Pack which offers ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and a heated front windscreen, and is available on Signature Nav.
A 13-speaker BOSE sound system and Hands Free Parking are available on Signature Nav as well as the possibility of specifying either Sierra Brown or Silver Grey in lieu of the standard Carbon Black leather upholstery. Metallic paint is available as an option on both trim levels.
Now to the heart of the matter. Impressions behind the wheel. The new Koleos occupies a slot in the busy D-Segment of the SUV market and it faces stiff competition.
Right away I was struck by not only the comfort levels but the generous cabin space and in particular the space provided for passengers seated in the rear. My week with the Koleos included a variety of different road surfaces plus an opportunity to tackle some mild off road driving, however very heavy rain made for extremely slippery conditions and as many will agree, wet grass becomes like ice.
My test period was with the Signature and it delivered power aplenty with a very smooth automatic transmission.
I had 177PS and a smooth seven speed automatic transmission X-Tronic transmission with ALL-MODE 4×4-i four-wheel drive. This combination provided reasonable performance, rest to 62mph (100kph) in 9.5 seconds.
Worth noting the Koleos is built in South Korea and those acquainted with Kia and Hyundai vehicles could not fault their build quality.
Sharing a platform in company with some Nissan models, Renault can be well pleased with their big SUV.
Just stop to consider, only a few years ago, if you mentioned the word SUV, people would probably have looked in amazement; today virtually every manufacturer has at least one in the armoury.
Renault can be well pleased with the Koleos it competes well with its competitors and it does offer a lot for the money. In this case the model tested costs £34,200 N.I. whilst in the R.O.I. the Koleos starts at €34,490.