Look­ing good

The new Re­nault Koleos is the French man­u­fac­turer’s new range-top­per. Si­mon Davis puts the new SUV to the test in Fin­land.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Motors -

The Koleos rep­re­sents a ven­ture into un­charted ter­ri­tory for Re­nault. Where the orig­i­nal Koleos was more of a com­pact SUV, this se­cond-gen­er­a­tion model moves the name­plate into the larger D-seg­ment, and crowns the Re­nault cross­over range.

Looks and im­age

The five-seater looks ev­ery bit the high-end SUV the de­sign­ers had hoped for, even if the large Re­nault badge proudly on the nose may not tra­di­tion­ally be as­so­ci­ated with such as­pi­ra­tions. The cabin, on the other hand, can’t quite cash the cheques that the Koleos’ ex­te­rior is writ­ing. With plenty of leather and mod­cons such as heated seats and sat nav, it isn’t a bad place by any means, but there is still a no­tice­able amount of less-than-de­sir­able-look­ing sur­faces.

Space and prac­ti­cal­ity

As far as in­te­rior space is con­cerned, you won’t be left want­ing. Front-seat pas­sen­gers will find they have more than enough head and shoul­der room, while two adults will be able to sit com­fort­ably in the back seats over longer jour­neys. The back seats of­fer a gen­er­ous amount of leg- and knee-room, and even with the op­tional sun­roof spec­i­fied, head­room is more than plen­ti­ful. Con­sid­er­ing the Koleos shares a plat­form with the Nis­san X-Trail, it was sur­pris­ing to find that the Re­nault didn’t re­ally feel as well sorted out on the road as its Ja­panese coun­ter­part. How­ever, the large, com­fort­able seats and abun­dant cabin space did go some way to mak­ing up for this. Opt­ing for smaller, 18in al­loys would cer­tainly rem­edy the large amounts of road noise, and make the Koleos an in­cred­i­bly com­fort­able longdis­tance cruiser. There are two diesel en­gine op­tions avail­able – a 128bhp 1.6-litre unit and a 175hp 2.0-litre one.

Value for money

With prices start­ing at £27,500 in the UK, there’s no ar­gu­ing with the fact the Koleos is a rather ex­pen­sive propo­si­tion in its seg­ment. While prices are steep – mov­ing up to £34,200 for the top-spec, Sig­na­ture Nav 2.0-litre diesel model – stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion is gen­er­ous. En­trylevel Dy­namique S Nav ve­hi­cles ben­e­fit from a panoramic glass sun­roof, 18in al­loys, au­to­matic dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, cup-hold­ers that can heat or cool drinks in the front of the cabin, and Re­nault’s 7in R-LINK2 in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that in­cor­po­rates sat nav, DAB ra­dio, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto. Sig­na­ture Nav mod­els cost from £29,000 when equipped with the 1.6-litre diesel. This top-flight trim level adds full leather up­hol­stery, 19in al­loys, a larger 8.7in touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and a pow­ered hands-free tail­gate, among other fea­tures.

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