One of the first official press cars I ever received was a jet black Renault Koleos. Back then I was in awe of this new ride and our market wasn’t bulging with SUV’s yet. Let’s see what this second generation is like, shall we?
What you need to know: Replaced circa 2017, the first-gen Koleos was a round and friendly, momsy and inoffensive-looking machine which shared its underpinnings with Nissan’s equally agreeable Qashqai of the time. This all-new model suddenly looks as sharp and determined as its Japanese twin, the latest X-Trail.
More info: So far so good. Angry-faced medium-sized SUV’s playing swapsies ‘n sharies with their tech (Bluetooth, USB, climate, airbags, they’re all here) while replacing the badly-positioned Renault Kadjar. By the sheer merit of its size and gadgets (nav, LED headlights, keyless access, etc.), this Koleos jumps a few notches up the SUV bragging order.
What else? Happily, that hasn’t affected the price much. There are cheaper (and smaller) options below R479,900 but not much beyond that which can offer this level of space-tech-price combination. Unless you want to go German… and pay double. It’s also quite a looker; with those chiselled Renault light clusters on either end.
Watch out for: The drive train flummoxed me at first. Is it a turbo-petrol? Auto? Hang on, this is a CVT, isn’t it? That last question is a compliment in itself because it denotes this as a CVT ‘box where you hardly notice the rubber-band effect. And then it turned out that this is a 2.5L naturally-aspirated four cylinder petrol engine.
Why you’ll want one: This motor pulls well in all situations (at least near sea level), isn’t too greedy with the contents of its 60L fuel tank while its host rides well thanks to fairly docile suspension setup and sensible 225/60R18 tyres. A keen ESP system, Renault/Nissan AWD knob and 210mm of ground clearance should see off most things beyond the suburban asphalt.
There are two lesser-spec’d models without all-wheel-drive gibbons available which all use this amenable big-four CVT setup. Renault throws in a five-year/150,000km warranty and five-year/90,000km service plan with each sale. Final verdict? The Renault Koleos is spacious, loaded with gadgets and good value, too!
- Engine: 2.5L i-4 petrol
- Transmission: CVT Automatic, AWD
- Max. Power: 126kW
- Max. Torque: 233Nm
- Avg cons.: Approx. 10L/100km (claimed 8.3)
- 0-100km/h: 9.43 seconds (claimed 9.8)
- Top Speed: Claimed 199km/h
- List Price: R 479,900