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New car review

Renault Koleos review

An effective new SUV which may surprise buyers, but entering an already overcrowded market

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Design
8.0
Performance
7.0
Handling
7.0
Economy
8.0
Value
8.0

Summary

The Renault Koleos is an effective new SUV which may surprise buyers in an overcrowded market.

Summary

The Renault Koleos is an effective new SUV which may surprise buyers in an overcrowded market.
 

Introduction | Design | Powertrains | On the Road | Equipment | Summary and Specifications

Exterior and Interior

The Koleos takes its exterior design cues from Renault’s executive-class offerings, principally the Talisman, a model one can’t buy in the UK because evidence suggests we no longer like large, French cars. The SUV that results is quite attractive – the exterior visuals don’t exactly say anything new, but the profile is muscular and purposeful without being outlandish.

Common to the Koleos and the Talisman is the platform. Both use the Renault-Nissan Alliance Common Module Family unit, which also underpins the Kadjar, Megane, Scenic – and the Nissan X-Trail which is one of the direct rivals to the Koleos.

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Renault says that the major focus when designing the new car was interior space – which is why despite sitting on one of the longest wheelbases in the class at 2710mm, the model is only being offered as a five-seater. If you want seven seats, they say, you can buy the Grand Scenic MPV…

There certainly is a lot of space, except in one area, rear seat headroom being somewhat cosy. But one can easily stretch the legs out and get comfortable in front or rear. The boot of 579 litres is among the larger in the class – more than the X-Trail, although less than in the Skoda Kodiaq (which by the way you can buy as a seven-seater). Mind you, the Koleos does boast a whole load of extra storage dotted around the car.

When you do stretch out and look around, you will find yourself in quality surroundings. The interior is both well designed and well put together, creating the premium impression that Renault strived for.

Dominating the driver’s controls is the centre console. Cars on the launch event were all to the top-level Signature trim, which sees Renault following the lead of Volvo (or perhaps Tesla?) in turning the screen to a much more practical portrait format – we predict many other manufacturers will follow suit.

The touchscreen is a big 8.7-inch unit with equally big buttons on it, making use on the move easy and reducing the number of extra controls, which in turn creates a clean, uncluttered console. Lower-spec Dynamique trim models get a seven-inch landscape version which we have yet to try.

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Introduction | Design | Powertrains | On the Road | Equipment | Summary and Specifications

Design
8.0
Performance
7.0
Handling
7.0
Economy
8.0
Value
8.0

Summary

The Renault Koleos is an effective new SUV which may surprise buyers in an overcrowded market.
Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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