Buying a Renault SUV has never looked so tempting. The Captur is currently the most popular car of its kind in Europe, and its bigger brother, the Kadjar, has won fans thanks to its low running costs and strong four-year warranty. If you’re in need of more space in your SUV, though, then there isn’t a Renault to suit you, and you’ll instead look towards bigger cars such as the seven-seat Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, or the five-seat Mazda CX-5. That is, until now, because Renault is joining the fray with its new Koleos.
If the Koleos name is familiar to you, then you might remember the original model from 2007. While that car offered generous amounts of equipment and decent performance, a combination of poor rear-seat space and high running costs kept it from becoming a class-leader.
What's new on the Renault Koleos?
Underneath, the new Koleos uses many of the same parts as the Nissan X-Trail, so it’s likely to handle in a similar fashion. That could potentially be bad news, because the X-Trail’s soft suspension means it leans heavily into corners, and isn’t as composed over rough surfaces as its rivals.
The five-seat Koleos is about the same length as the X-Trail, too, and has an identical wheelbase, which should result in decent leg room for rear passengers. There’s also 458 litres of boot space available with its rear seats in place, which should be enough for a couple of suitcases or some bulky shopping. That said, both the CX-5 and X-Trail will still offer you more luggage room.
Much of the Koleos’s design is taken from the Mégane family hatchback, including its large front grille and LED lights.
What engines can I choose from on the Renault Koleos?
There are just two engines to choose from at launch; they’re both diesels shared with the X-Trail. The 1.6-litre dCi 130 should offer enough power for most buyers, while the more powerful 2.0-litre dCi 175 is available in both front and four-wheel drive forms for those who want to venture off road – it’s also the only option available with a CVT automatic gearbox, as opposed to the standard six-speed manual.
There aren’t any plans for a hybrid version of the Koleos, nor is there a petrol option, so the dCi 130’s CO2 emissions of 126g/km and official fuel economy of 57.6mpg are the best it can offer for now.
What equipment can I get on the Renault Koleos?
Drivers can choose from two trim levels: Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav. As standard, every Koleos comes with 18in alloy wheels, climate and cruise controls, lane departure warning, a rear parking camera, a panoramic glass roof and automatic emergency braking (AEB). Signature Nav adds to that larger 19in alloys, heated leather seats and an automatically opening tailgate.
The Koleos’ options list includes a hands-free parking system, a heated steering wheel and an upgraded Bose stereo.
As their names suggest, both models come with sat-nav, provided via Renault’s R-Link 2 tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system. As we’ve found in the latest Mégane, this system is easy enough to use and has clear graphics, and offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Euro NCAP hasn’t yet tested the Koleos, but Renault's other SUVs, the Captur and Kadjar, both achieved full five-star safety ratings.
The door is open for a seven-seat version of the Koleos further down the line. Renault will be wary of cannibalising sales from its Espace MPV, though, which was recently reinvented with chunky SUV looks. However, that car isn’t currently offered in the UK, so we may well get a seven-seat Koleos.
How much will the Renault Koleos cost?
Prices for the Koleos start from £27,500, making it significantly cheaper than both of its Korean rivals. The CX-5 and X-Trail will still cost you less, though, with prices for those cars starting from £22,855 and £23,495 respectively.
As ever, Renault will aim to be particularly competitive with its personal contract purchase (PCP) deals, helped by generous finance contributions from dealers.
See more of the Renault Captur in our video review below.
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