Published on October 12th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Renault Koleos 2.5L test drive review
The design of this all new Renault Koleos is best appreciated in person. Most of the pictures of this new Koleos on the internet provide a commanding handsome look, but trust me, in person at the nearest Renault showroom, you will be very impressed with what the Renault designers have done for this all new Koleso SUV.
The Koleos re-enters the SUV segment with engineering shared with the very popular Nissan X-TRAIL. (well Nissan owns Renault for some years now so this should come as no surprise). For the Malaysian market, Renault sells the Koleos with the same 2.5-litre petrol engine found in the RM165,000 Nissan X-Trail, driving just the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Renault marketers have decided to leave out the 4×4 system for this new Koloes as nearly all buyers just want a large high riding comfortable vehicle as they will never venture off-road. At best they will climb a curb to park, take in a gravel road to visit a small farm or drive on a partially constructed road to got to their destination. There is no need for an expensive, heavy, fuel sipping 4×4 system to do all this. Just a high riding position, big wheels shod with SUV tires and some long travel suspension is needed by Malaysian buyers.
This new Koleos is instantly recognisable as a luxury Euroepan SUV. It is for now a top-of-the-range Renault and the design clearly shows this, thanks notably to its front end design that incorporates a prominent Renault logo set at the centre of a broad chrome grille.
The taut bonnet lines contribute to the car’s powerful design, an impression that is heightened by the presence of several chrome embellishments, including strips that run from the head lights along the full length of the wings to visually lengthen the front end and exude an impression of dynamism and elegance. Unique in the segment, this feature sets the new Koleos apart from other SUVs.
The 2,710mm wheelbase for a total vehicle length of 4,670mm counts amongst the longest in the class and allows the new Koleos to boast record-breaking interior space to position itself as a D-segment SUV.
At the rear, Renault’s trademark style is again prominently on display. The wide, horizontal tail lights amplify the impression of width (1,840mm) and draw the eye to the Renault diamond logo on the tailgate. Chrome inserts set into the lower part of the rear bumper take the shape of twin exhaust tail pipes, a detail that is complementary with the Koleos’ overall exterior design.
Koleos refined, spacious interior
This new Renault Koleos features record interior space and a comprehensive list of equipment also found on Renault’s latest high-end models. The carefully-appointed interior features colours and materials selected for the quality they exude, in a bid to become the segment’s benchmark in terms of comfort and refinement.
The front seats of the new Koleos are amongst the very best in class. There is 6-way power adjustment, power lumbar adjustment and the rear of the seat comprises a flexible yet resistant semi-rigid shell that frees up extra room for rear passengers in addition to contributing to a spacious interior design.
With knee room of 289mm, the new Koleos not only outclasses its rivals but also provides rear passengers with generous head room, shoulder room and elbow room.
In addition to its benchmark cabin space, this new Koleos boasts a large modular boot and numerous handy stowage solutions. There rear folding seats forms a flat floor. With an “Easy Break” system: handles located inside the boot enable the 60/40-split rear bench seat to be folded in an instant and more than doubling carrying capacity. There is also 35-litres of additional stowage, including an 11-litre glove box and a 5-litre cubby in the centre console.
Luxury appointed interior
This new Renault Koleos’ interior subtly blends robust SUV cues with the impression of quality expected of a large family saloon thanks to the use of attractive, scratch-resistant materials such as satin-finish chrome for the steering wheel, gear lever and air vent inserts. The centre console is covered by a protective film that is hardy and pleasing to the touch. The cushion-backed materials selected for the dashboard and door panels also contribute to the cabin’s restful ambience, while leather upholstery and leather-trimmed armrests feature contrasting top stitching.
Travelling comfort is further enhanced by customisable LED cabin lighting, with a palette of hues ranging from green, to blue, yellow red or violet, depending on the mood of the driver and passengers.
Last but not least, this new Koleos features R-LINK 2 in car system. The system serves as a connected control centre to coordinate functions like infotainment, navigation, hands-free telephony, radio and driver aids. Key features are:
- With an 8.7-inch portrait screen for easy use,
- Same tactile functions as a personal tablet (two-finger zoom, page scrolling, drag and drop, etc.),
- Realistic navigation display with 3D representation of buildings,
- Connectivity and charging options include Bluetooth® for hands-free use of a telephone and audio streaming, a USB port, a 3.5mm jack socket, a 12V power supply and, depending on version, an SD card slot,
- Voice recognition for navigation instructions and telephone use, plus the ability to read e-mails aloud,
- Four customisable homepages with widgets for swift access to the most frequently employed functions,
- Wide range of applications designed specifically for automotive use available from the R-LINK Store.
- Driving data (speed, RPM, fuel consumption, etc.) is displayed on a personalisable 7 inch colour screen situated behind the steering wheel, in the driver’s line of sight.
Ingress is facilitated by the wide aperture of the doors, which open to angles of 70 and 77 degrees at the front and rear respectively, figures that position the new Koleos amongst the best SUVs in its class. The design of the doors protects the sills from becoming soiled and minimises the width of the sills to make climbing on-board even easier.
You might think that this large Koleos with its 171bhp petrol engine needs more power. You need to test drive this to see and feel the power provided. It propels from rest to 100km/h in just 9.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 200km/h. The CVT transmission shifts between gears so quickly that you really never feel the shifts. This Koleos is so easy to drive, with very well-placed controls and a commanding driving position. This is a big car, and you are always aware of it and not just when it comes to parking, however the sensors do a great job in making sure the sides of your Koleos is void of scratches.
The previous version did not carry a design language and interior cabin that was impressive enough to challenge the Japanese rivals. This NEW Koleos is a game changer as it takes on the Japanese rivals by a wide margin and now sits comfortable side by side with the German rivals at a lower asking price (this is the best part…higher quality and features at a asking price that is so attractive).
Renault Koleos SUV 2.5L Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder 16V DOHC Twin CVTC
Gearbox: CVT Semi-Auto
Horsepower: 171bhp @ 6000
Torque: 226Nm @ 4000
Top speed: 200km/h