Koleos is a colos­sus

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

ANEW flag­ship SUV has set sail from the port of Re­nault – and the Koleos looks more than ca­pa­ble of tak­ing on the fleet of com­peti­tors pit­ted against it. Sit­ting at the top of a range that also in­cludes the medium-sized Kad­jar and smaller Cap­tur, the French motor group’s king-size cross­over is a qual­ity in­di­vid­ual.

It is a large motor but han­dles its bulk well thanks to a sporty stance and swoop­ing lines which, com­bined with an ap­peal­ing front end fea­tur­ing a natty grille and dis­tinc­tive LED head­lights, make it easy on the eye.

The Koleos is not just a pretty face though as mus­cu­lar whee­larches and chunky al­loys en­sure it looks ready to take on the mo­tor­ing world. The rear of the Dy­namique S Nav model I drove fea­tures a handy pow­ered tail­gate with a spoiler at the top as well as stylish light clus­ters.

Put your hand on the door han­dle and the car un­locks au­to­mat­i­cally al­low­ing you to slide on to the com­fort­able and sup­port­ive seat.

You im­me­di­ately ap­pre­ci­ate the amount of space avail­able as well as the mod­ern de­sign that pro­vides an at­mos­phere of calm.

The dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter looks im­pres­sive but the star of the show is a ver­ti­cally-mounted colour touch­screen in the cen­tre of the dash­board that gives easy ac­cess to the satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion – backed up with TomTom live traf­fic up­dates – and au­dio sys­tem.

Hook­ing the car up to your smart­phone is easy thanks to An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay con­nec­tiv­ity and there are four con­nec­tions for other per­sonal elec­tronic de­vices.

The fan and dual zone cli­mate con­trol op­tions are also ac­cessed via the touch­screen help­ing to re­duce the num­ber of di­als and but­tons on the dash­board.

Oher good­ies fit­ted as stan­dard in­clude a re­vers­ing cam­era, an elec­tric park­ing brake plus key­card open­ing and start­ing, as well as hi-tech safety sys­tems such as blind spot and lane de­par­ture alerts and au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing.

Re­nault en­sure the fam­ily-sized five seater sports a top-class cabin us­ing plenty of soft-touch plas­tics and part leather up­hol­stery.

There is lots of room for five adults and bags of stor­age with deep door bins and a seven-litre cov­ered cubby un­der the cen­tre arm­rest, form­ing part of a team of­fer­ing 35 litres of space for your odds and sods.

The boot can cope with 579 litres of what­ever you choose to throw in the back with 60/40 split-fold­ing rear seat backs al­low­ing this to be in­creased to 1,795 litres.

There will be no prob­lem get­ting vol­un­teers for the rear seats as both head and legroom are ex­cel­lent while two USB charg­ing ports and a 12-volt power socket al­low ev­ery­one the op­por­tu­nity to charge up their de­vices.

The Koleos is a re­spon­sive beast con­sid­er­ing its bulk with sharp steer­ing and good lev­els of grip leav­ing it any­thing but shabby when it comes to tak­ing cor­ners. Body roll is well con­tained and the ride is firm with­out be­ing un­com­fort­able.

The 175bhp 2.0-litre diesel en­gine un­der the bon­net of my test car comes with four-wheel drive while the su­per smooth seven-speed CVT auto box is an op­tional ex­tra worth con­sid­er­ing.

The oil burner of­fers lively per­for­mance with 0 to 60 achieved in 9.5 sec­onds on its way to a top speed of 125mph while fuel econ­omy is claimed at 47.9mpg – a fig­ure I got rea­son­ably close to – with car­bon diox­ide emis­sions of 156g/km.

De­spite the 4x4 ca­pa­bil­ity the Koleos is not an out-and-out mud plug­ger – there’s a hill holder to help with up­ward gra­di­ents but tra­di­tional brak­ing is the or­der of the day for de­scents.

Should you find your­self in a muddy field though the Koleos can get you out of it with the handy ad­di­tion of doors de­signed to pro­tect the sills keep­ing muck away from your smart clothes when en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing the ve­hi­cle.

It all goes to­wards al­low­ing the Koleos to of­fer a premium SUV feel at a de­cent price with a touch of French flair.

TEST DRIVE RE­NAULT KOLEOS

Model: Re­nault Koleos Dy­namique S Nav dCi 175 4WD Auto X-Tronic Price: £31,900 Me­chan­i­cal: 175bhp, 1995cc, 4cyl diesel en­gine driving all wheels via au­to­matic gear­box Max speed: 125mph 0-62mph: 9.5 sec­onds Com­bined mpg: 47.9 In­sur­ance group: 23 CO2 emis­sions: 156g/km BiK rat­ing: 33% War­ranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles

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