Renault Koleos 2.5 16v test

it worth it... Renault Koleos 2.5 16v
‘There’s no point running before you can walk’…that’s Renault’s philosophy… and the reason why the French manufacturer is only now entering the compact 4x4 market. Renault wanted to take its time, analyse the market, and learn from the mistakes of its competitors.

The Koleos has been created out of Renault’s partnership with Nissan and Samsung Motors. It’s built in the Busan factory in Korea, which is capable of producing up to 240,000 vehicles a year. It’s the first time the factory has been used to produce a vehicle carrying the Renault badge, and it’s no small task as the Koleos will be sold in 40 countries around the world. Thanks to its alliance with the Japanese manufacturer, Koleos is built on Nissan’s X-Trail platform. Available in both two and four wheel drive versions, the Koleos has something for everyone. We tested the four-wheel drive version…we’ll come on to that in more detail shortly, but suffice to say that it was in its element in the Moroccan desert.

Renault Koleos 2.5 16v Renault didn’t want to produce a stock 4x4, but rather a crossover, mixing MPV with off-roader and hatch. In terms of styling, the Renault designers were inspired more by a hatch than by a huge 4x4…and one thing Koleos is not is a retouched X-Trail, which cannot be said about Peugeot’s 4007 relative to the Mitsubishi Outlander. Fractionally longer than a Scenic, the Koleos has the feel of a true compact SUV. Its style is distinctive and interesting, and its Renault genes are unmistakeable.

Renault Koleos 2.5 16v Inside, that Renault-ness persists. The dash is like that of the Laguna. It feels instinctive and the materials used are high quality. There really is nothing bad to be said about it. In a first for Renault, the Koleos also gets a Bose sound system, while it has all the practical touches of a people carrier. Switch to 4x4 mode and head off-road and the Koleos comes into its own. The angles of attack and departure are among the best in the segment – this is where Nissan’s experience has come in handy. The Koleos also has a descent control system, which effectively limits the vehicle’s speed on an incline of more than 10% without the driver needing to touch the brake.

Renault Koleos 2.5 16v On the road, the Koleos is comfortable and quiet. The 170 bhp 2.5 litre petrol engine struggled under the 1622kg weight, but in the UK just the more torquey 150 and 175 diesel variants will be offered. As for its handling, the Koleos has a slight tendency to understeer and there is a bit of body roll, but it’s nothing serious…it feels safe at all times. Renault’s Koleos is late coming on to the market, but it has all the signs of a good student that has down its homework. Prices in the UK start at £17,995 on the road, making it cheaper than the Volkswagen Tiguan and Toyota Rav4, which are among its main rivals. Good things come to those who wait…

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