Renault Koleos - our unfiltered take
As far as French SUVs go Renault only has one true SUV and that’s the Koleos. Yes, the Duster may masquerade as one but it's still a crossover and a fine one. This, however, isn’t about the Renault Duster but all about its older sibling the Koleos which we recently tested. If you're eyeing one as an option, here’s what you need to know.
We instantly approved of its posture, which is that of a true SUV. It has a raised ride height and great ground clearance. Many vehicles are classified as SUVs but if put to the test they wouldn’t achieve what an authentic SUV would. We're not saying that you'll be able to traverse any terrain with the Koleos, but certain things matter when purchasing an SUV and ground clearance is one of them. We’ll discuss why later.
Functionality aside, the Koleos isn’t a bad-looking rooster. Of course, taste in aesthetics is an individual thing but ugly is ugly, and Renault’s SUV is far from that. We liked the C-shaped LED lights at the front as well as the rear combination lamp which runs from the one end of the boot to the opposite end. What makes the Koleos’ rear end even more attractive is the LED lamps at the back that are stunning to look at after dark. Something else worth mentioning here is that the Renault Koleos almost looks like the previous-gen Nissan X-Trail (the new X-Trail was launched a few weeks ago). Its shared resemblance with the Japanese SUV is for good reason - the two vehicles are a product of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. This means they use the same underpinnings and who knows what else.
If you’re wondering what to expect from the interior, well, it’s a typical Renault interior with a large touch screen found in nearly every modern vehicle being produced these days. What stands out is the quality of the cabin and the feeling of space. We can safely report that the build quality of the interior passes our inspection and that it's a roomy cabin. Slide into the back and you’ll be welcomed by plenty of legroom behind the two front seats. That’s what people look for in SUVs. The boot is a decent size at 464 litres, although when you look at it you feel as though there could have been more room. It’s a shallow boot in floor depth because Renault opted to offer its customers a full-size spare wheel instead of a biscuit, which would take up less space.
Renault Koleos engine specs
Having spoken about shared items between the Nissan X-Trial and the Renault Koleos, we must mention that the engine is one of them. It’s Nissan’s 2.5-litre petrol motor which isn’t the sprightliest on wheels at 126kW and 233Nm. It’s not to say that it’s sluggish, no. The average person would probably find no fault with the engine's performance, it does what it needs to do and does so without hassle. You just won’t experience the rush and feeling of being fast. For that, there are performance SUVs like the BMW X3 M40i. Fuel consumption is claimed to be 8.3l/100km and we must admit, we got very close to that during our time with the Koleos. It was in the 8s.
Renault Koleos Price
We’ll be the first to admit that this is value for money considering what you’re getting. We tested the high-spec Dynamique 4WD, and you get a vehicle with the option of 2WD and 4WD, and with Hill Decent Control. Here is where that ride height matters - you can do some off-road travel in the Koleos, knowing that you’ve got the clearance and traction to back it up. The standard Dynamique is priced at R596 999, while the Dynamique 4WD comes in at R646 999.
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