Chill out in Re­nault’s classy new Koleos

Rochdale Observer - - MOTORS -

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.

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