Flair from France

Re­nault shows it’s never too late to join the SUV scene, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

RE­NAULT was late com­ing to the SUV scene, but when it did ar­rive, it did so with quite a bang in the form of the Koleos.

Given its as­so­ci­a­tion with Nis­san and ac­cess to the Ja­panese car­mak­ers’ off-road ex­per­tise, it was in­evitable that Re­nault would build an SUV.

It was also a given that when it did it would be a com­pe­tent off-roader.

Model watch

THE Koleos was some­thing of an in­ter­na­tional trav­eller in the auto world, be­ing the prod­uct of the French-Ja­panese al­liance be­tween Nis­san and Re­nault and built in Korea by Re­nault Sam­sung Mo­tors.

Though the Koleos was based on the Nis­san X-Trail and used the same all-mode 4x4 run­ning gear from the X-Trail, it brought a touch of French flair to the SUV scene.

At first glance you would not have guessed the five-seater Koleos wagon was a close cor­po­rate cousin of the X-Trail. It had a fresh, at­trac­tive look that clearly set it apart from the more con­ser­va­tive-look­ing Nis­san.

Re­nault in­tro­duced the Koleos with two lev­els of trim, the en­try-level Dy­namique and the bet­ter-equipped Priv­i­lege, with 4x4 and 4x2 petrol and diesel mod­els.

The petrol en­gine was a 2.5-litre four-cylin­der unit pro­duc­ing 126kW at 6000 revs and 226Nm at 4400 revs, and the 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesel was avail­able in two tune vari­ants, depend­ing on the trans­mis­sion choice. When linked to the man­ual gear­box it put out 127kW and 360Nm, but was de­tuned to take care of the auto and put out 110kW and 4400Nm in that com­bi­na­tion.

Re­nault clev­erly of­fered the Koleos in two-wheel drive form, in which it was a reg­u­lar front driver, or four- wheel drive form when it had Nis­san’s all-wheel drive 4x4-i sys­tem.

With the 4x4 sys­tem the Koleos could be driven in two-wheel drive mode, auto or four-wheel drive with a switch.

In auto mode, it ran in front-wheel drive un­til the sys­tem de­tected wheel slip when it would be­gin driv­ing the rear wheels as well. The max­i­mum torque split be­tween front and rear wheels was set at 50 per cent.

The trans­mis­sion choices were a six-speed man­ual gear­box, a six-speed auto, and a CVT con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion.

The cabin was stylish and mod­ern, and quite roomy, though tall occu-

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