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