Chill out in Renault’s classy new Koleos
Although I can’t say I was happy to be there, I was happy I was there in a new Renault Koleos.
The biggest in Renault’s attractive range of SUVs, ahead of the Captur and Kadjar, and still something of a rarity on UK roads, the Koleos is a car for all journeys, and especially this one.
And not just because of the cooled seats that prevented me from blowing my top.
Our test model was the Signature dCi 175 4x4 X-Tronic, which is quite a big name for quite a big car.
On the outside the Koleos is quite an aggressive-looking beast - this is not a vehicle, like so may other, pretending to be a big 4x4, it IS a big 4x4.
Renault describes it as having “muscular proportions and dynamic stance” and I can’t do better than that. The low roofline and the large wheels balance well to give the car a good looking profile.
Inside things are good, too - there’s plenty of room, especially in the back. Opting to forego a seven-seat version has obviously helped Renault make the most of the interior space, but this isn’t at expense of room in the boot, which is still very generous (enough space for a couple of bodyboards as well all the bags for a week-long stay in the south west).
Engine-wise we’re looking at a powerful and appropriate four-cylinder, 16-valve unit in the dCi 175. It’s only available on the 4x4 version, but you do have a choice of a six-speed manual, or the X-Tronic auto gearbox.
The auto is of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) variety, so there’s an “infinite number” of gears - and I’m pretty sure I used every single one of them when navigating the ups and downs of Cornwall’s terrifying highways and byways. A blessing for the clutch leg, which could also spend the week on holiday.
This engine returns acceptable fuel efficiency figures of 47.9mpg combined, and it’s no slouch, either, capable of 0-62 in 9.5 seconds.
Pricewise the range begins at £27,500 for the base Dynamique S Nav dCi 130 version (which beats the top of the range for fuel efficiency by a full 10mpg, but obviously lacks the allwheel drive).
The top of the range we tried runs to £34,200 off the shelf, but we had extras pushing the OTR price up to £36,000 (including £400 for the climate pack that includes the ventilated seats).
Now, that’s a bit more than you’d pay for a top specced Skoda Kodiak, but a bit less than you can pay for a Hyundai Santa Fe.
Where the Koleos wins is with its spacious interior, and its dashing good looks - and the fact that it’s a very acceptable drive. And more than that, overall its very deserving of its place at the head of Renault’s now complete, and rather compelling, SUV line-up.