Published on March 18th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Renault Koleos Launch
Renault Koleos Launch
TC EURO CARS this month presented their all new product for 2010 to the attending media. The Renault Koleos, is Renault’s first ever crossover. Ideal for escaping the everyday routine, the Koleos is comfortable, easy to drive and boasts genuine off-road ability. It has been designed to be versatile, too, offering the same reassuring drive when motoring in and about town, on open roads and on highways as it does when it is taken off the beaten track.
The Renault Koleos also delivers the same standard of comfort as that expected of a saloon car, as well as cabin space worthy of a compact MPV. Designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors’ Busan plant in Korea, the Renault Koleos is the fruit of extremely close collaboration between teams from each of these Renault-Nissan Alliance brands.
The launch of Koleos marks a decisive step in the brand’s development to take its own authentic stance and a completely fresh approach in segments from which it has traditionally been absent. Renault Koleos offers a unique standard of safety and comfort, a parameter that has become a recognized Renault hallmark which is not only clear for all to see but also highly affordable at its asking price of RM211,658.79..
One of the key features of Koleos is the speed and ease with which drivers feel at home behind its wheel. The length and width of Renault Koleos are 4.52m and 1.85m respectively and these contained dimensions ensure that it copes as effortlessly with city motoring as it does when taken off the beaten track.
The practical dashboard design and development logic behind the easy to operate man-machine interfaces allow drivers to swiftly familiarize themselves with the different controls, while use of the navigation, radio, heating and climate controls is intended to be intuitive. Controls are all positioned either on the steering wheel or within easy reach of the driver. A raft of equipment aimed at taking the stress out of motoring underpins how effortlessly Koleos fits into the Renault family. Such features include the hands-free card and keyless starting functions, automatic headlamp and wiper activation, a tyre pressure monitoring system and cruise control/speed limiter, while the controls for the power windows, adjustment of the exterior mirrors and central locking are all located on the driver’s door. Careful attention has been paid to ensure that Renault Koleos boasts segment-leading head-up visibility and forward field of vision, while its rearward angle of vision figures amongst the best available in the segment. The driving position can be precisely adjusted thanks to the adjustable seat and height- and reach adjustable steering column.
The sensation of being in control is felt as soon as the driver settles behind the wheel of Koleos. The power steering is precise, progressive, and accurately feeds back information from the road. Despite its higher ground clearance, Koleos handles like a saloon car thanks to its chassis which was purposely developed to provide an optimal tradeoff between comfort and handling, both of which are of a remarkably high standard. Special attention was paid to cornering performance with the intention of to curb body-roll which can often be a feature of this type of vehicle.
Renault Koleos is a crossover whose roots can be traced back to the worlds of the saloon car, with MacPherson-type front suspension combines with the fully-independent multilink rear suspension seen on New X-Trail. This set-up guarantees comfort and directional stability in all situations, while the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos’ specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling. Ground clearance of 206mm (diesel version: 188mm) and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos’ off-road credentials.
Koleos is the first Renault model to feature four-wheel drive from launch. The torque split between the front and rear is automatically calculated as a function of available grip. In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. Should less grip become available, however, up to 50 per cent of torque is transferred to the rear. This front-rear split is ensured by an electronic coupler and controlled by the latest-generation ‘All mode 4×4-I’ system developed by Nissan for New X-Trail. This system, which is designed to optimize traction in all road conditions, is not only acclaimed for its efficiency but also contributes to Renault Koleos’ exceptional off-road ability. The same all-wheel drive management system also contributes to the vehicle’s active safety performance. The instant it detects even a small amount of oversteer or understeer, it immediately modifies the front-rear torque split, even before a possible intervention from the ESP kicks in. When grip is at a premium, such as on snow, mud, dirt or sand, the driver only has to flick a switch on the dashboard to electronically lock the transmission in 4×4 mode. Alternatively, should the driver so wish, the transmission can also be locked in two-wheel drive mode. Renault Koleos is equipped with a Hill Start
Assist function which can prove a particularly useful asset during everyday motoring. This system is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10per cent with a view to preventing the vehicle slipping back down the slope. It also does away with the need for the driver to switch rapidly from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal which is inherent in most vehicles. Similarly, Renault Koleos is equipped with a
Hill Descent Control system for even safer off-road motoring. This function is activated via a button mounted on the central fascia and automatically holds the vehicle’s speed at a maximum of 7kph on downhill gradients of 10 per cent or more without requiring the brakes to be used. This function works in reverse gear, too.
The practical, modular crossover
The versatility of Koleos concerns not only its on-road ability but also a comprehensive list of clever features and equipment in the cabin. To assist loading, Renault Koleos comes with a split-opening, ‘clamshell’-type tailgate. The upper part of the hatch permits access to the boot in cramped spaces and allows items of more than one meter wide to be carried. When lowered, the bottom part of the tailgate facilitates the loading of long items and serves as a handy seat for two adults (up to 200kg) when the vehicle is parked. Last but not least, Koleos’ boot aperture of 1.07m is amongst the widest of its category.
Modularity-enhancing features include the so-called ‘easy estate’ system which enables the 60/40-split rear bench seat to be folded from the boot thanks to two levers accessible without having to open the rear side doors. With the bench seat in the folded position, the boot floor becomes entirely flat to further facilitate loading. The boot volume of 450dm3 (VDA) with all five seats in the upright position extends to a very generous 1,380dm3 (VDA) once the bench seat has been folded. The available space can also be compartmented thanks to the presence of several hooks which enable the multipurpose retention net to be fixed in a choice of ways. In keeping with Koleos’ calling as a vehicle designed for outdoor leisure activities, its rear benchseat is equipped with a ski trap. The back of the front passenger seat can also be folded down to either form a table or permit the transport of items of up to 2.60m in length.
There are plenty of cubbies all around the cabin. The dashboard includes a chilled, 15-litre glovebox, while the stowage space in the centre console is equipped with a removable bin. Extra space is provided in a drawer located beneath the front passenger seat, the lower front door bins will take a 500ml bottle and the lidded stowage space incorporated in the armrest is ideal for CDs. Rear passengers benefit from stowage space in the rear part of the centre console, plus two underfoot lidded compartments of five litres each. The rear door bins can house either a 500ml bottle or up to five CDs, while stowage space is available in the rear central armrest, too.Underfloor stowage in the boot provides a further 28 liters which takes the total stowage capacity of Renault Koleos to a vast 70 litres (VDA). Rear passenger’s benefit from folding tables complete with cup-holder incorporated in the backs of the front seats.
Latest-generation power train
The engine of the Koleos range is a 2.5-litre Euro 4 powerplant (the Nissan TR25) which delivers 126kW (170hp) and torque of 226Nm and this driven by a CVT gearbox.