New Renault Koleos vs Mazda CX-5

As Renault’s largest SUV, the new Koleos should meet the needs of most families. Let’s see how it stacks up against Mazda’s CX-5

Words By What Car? team

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Mazda CX-5 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Before we continue with this section, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Despite being large SUVs, neither is available with seven seats. So, if you need to carry more than four passengers, may we suggest you pick up a copy of last month’s issue and read our comparison of the Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail.

But assuming you only need to carry five, both cars will suit your needs just fine. The CX-5 is slightly roomier in the front, with seats that slide back farther than those in the Koleos, as well as more head room, although you won’t feel remotely cramped in either car.

The Koleos also has a lot less rear head room than the CX-5, but again, you’d need to be seriously tall to find your head brushing the ceiling. Conversely, we suspect even the moderately lanky will prefer the acres of rear leg room in the Koleos to the merely good leg room in the CX-5. But at least the CX-5 gets a seat reclining function should one of your rear passengers fancy a snooze.

Flick through the brochures of both cars and you’d think the Koleos has the bigger boot. It certainly has a longer cargo area, but we were able to squeeze more carry-on suitcases into the CX-5 (eight versus seven).

Both cars have levers in the boot that you can pull to fold down the rear seats, but the CX-5 goes one better by having 40/20/40 split-folding seatbacks rather than the Koleos’s less convenient 60/40 arrangement. Once they’re folded down, the CX-5’s rear seats also lie at less of an incline.

Mazda CX-5

Official boot capacity 506-1620 litres Suitcase capacity 8

CX-5 has the more flexible rear bench because it folds in three parts and can recline. Tall rear seat passengers will appreciate having a bit more room under the front seats for their feet and the extra head room over the Koleos.

Renault Koleos

Official boot capacity 579-1795 litres Suitcase capacity 7

All versions of the Koleos get a panoramic roof that eats into head room in both the front and rear. The boot is long and has deep cubbies for storing oddments, but a low load cover means it’s not as capacious as you might think.

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