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Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4×4 X-Tronic: review

Renault Koleos 17 front
Big car comforts: Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4x4 X-Tronic


22 August 2017

Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4×4 X-Tronic

  • Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4x4 X-TronicP11D Value / BIK band: £33,645 / 33%
  • 5-door SUV
  • 173bhp/380Nm 2.2 litre, 4cyl diesel/CVT auto
  • Economy (comb) / CO2: 47.9mpg / 156g/km
  • Performance: 9.2sec /125mph

What is it?

THE Renault Koleos sees the French car-maker’s return to the  big car segment and our first drive in the UK was in the range-topping Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4×4 X-Tronic.

This model also sees the final chapter in its assault on the SUV market alongside the smaller Captur and Kadjar models.

The French firm’s range-topping SUV is built on the same CMF platform as Renault’s other premium models, the Espace and Talisman and you can see these models’ influence in the styling of the Koleos.

On top of the new look and platform, the Koleos is designed to place the emphasis on passenger comfort and interior space. As such, Renault are claiming that this five-seater has rear passenger room to rival the best in class and 458 litres of boot space.

What’s hot

  • There’s the choice of two diesel engines in the Koleos, a 1.6-litre dCi 130 and the 2.0-litre dCi 175 we have here. The dCi 175 is best described as torquey with 173bhp, plus 380Nm of torque. Acceleration to 62mph takes 9.2 seconds, with a 125mph top speed. The real highlight of this engine is the X-Tronic CVT transmission with which it is matched. The CVT transmission is impressively smooth, but is stepped so it still feels like a manual – clever!
  • Sadly, we don’t get either of Renault’s other big car models, Espace and Talisman, in the UK, but you can see their influence in the Koleos’s styling. At the front, there’s the imposing family nose with the largest Renault diamond badge and ‘L-shaped’ daytime running lights, styled LED headlights, the chrome edged and curvy grille, and fluted bonnet. At the side, there’s a curvy shoulder line, lower cut out and distinctive chrome detail running from the headlights, down the front wing and finishing on the leading edge of the front doors. In fact there’s plenty of chrome detailing all-round the Koleos. At the back, a set of large family look rear light clusters are the highlight.
  • Inside, like the outside, the Koleos follows current Renault styling cues with the dashboard dominated by the 8.7 touchscreen for the R-LINK infotainment system. There are also the LCD instruments. In fact, the dashboard and trim quality is good, the instrument and switchgear is logically laid out, plus there’s plenty of stowage and useful features such as four USBs. The seats are supportive and very comfortable and there’s a good amount of adjustability to find the perfect driving position. Move to the back of the Koleos and it’s hard not to be impressed with the amount of leg and shoulder room and the 458-litre boot that can be stretched to 1,795-litres with the rear seat folded.
  • On the road, the Koleos is all about comfort rather than sportiness and in general it’s a success. The steering is reassuringly precise and even though there’s some body roll in corners, this Renault feels very secure and there’s plenty of grip.
  • Renault are very proud of all their safety awards and the Koleos has already received a five-star Euro NCAP rating. At the front, there’s the expected front and side airbags. Other active safety features include the traction control, stability control, electronic brake force distribution, hill start assist, Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).
  • Okay, in this range-topping Signature trim, the Koleos costs a not insignificant £34,200, but it does come with a comprehensive amount of standard kit including a rear parking camera and sensors, opening panoramic roof, electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors, 19-inch wheels, full LED headlights, heated front seats, leather trim and a power tailgate.

What’s not

  • This dCi 175 diesel engine is the most powerful, but it doesn’t feel 173bhp quick and is quite noisy.
  • Despite 173bhp, the focus on refinement means the Koleos isn’t that engaging to drive.
  • The ride on the standard 19-inch wheels gets smoother the faster you go, but it is at its worst at low speed and can feel quite brittle.
  • I’m sure if I lived with the R-LINK system I would get used to it, but on short acquaintance, it seems a bit complicated to use on the move.
  • There might be plenty of rear leg and shoulder room in the Koleos, but taller rear passengers will be disappointed by the compromised headroom because of the standard opening panoramic roof.
  • The lack of a seven-seat option could affect the Koleos’s desirability when compared to rivals such as the Skoda Kodiaq.
  • Built in Busan, Renault’s North Korean factory, quality is generally good, but there were still some squeaks from the trim in this early build car.

Verdict on Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4×4 X-Tronic

The new Renault Koleos is an attractive, spacious and well-equipped alternative to popular SUV rivals – even if in range-topping Signature trim it’s expensive.

So how does it compare to its key rival – the Mazda CX-5? Closest model is the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D 175 Sport Nav. The Mazda is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by over £1,000.

However for an SME the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Mazda continues to be strong, with its lower 152g/km emissions versus 156g/km of the Renault. However, the Mazda does also have a lower tax band of 32% versus 33% of this Renault.

Renault Koleos 2.2 dCi Signature Nav 4x4 X-Tronic
Spacious and well-equipped new Renault Koleos



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