2017 Renault Koleos – Stylish and Fresh beginning
A stylish addition in the midsize SUVs, the French flare Koleos standout
There’s no surprise in the fact that SUV’s makes more sense than the sedans. These multipurpose go anywhere vehicles are more popular among the customers who are replacing their old sedan with the new ones, end up upgrading to the similar-sized SUVs.
However, what is challenging for the most automaker is the widely common compact to midsize segment. It’s overcrowded with the legacy bearing SUVs such as Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Rav4. Adding to the mix there is then an up-scale layer of premium brands like Audi, Lincoln, Lexus, Mercedes, and Volkswagen and then perhaps the list again grow more with Porsche Macan and Range Rover Evoque. The market gets tougher for those platform sharing companies or badge engineering car manufacturers, such as Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tuscon. A thin line that is left to make up the decision, usually, boils down to the haves and have-nots in the price bracket. The final decider-tilt is drawn from the car design. Phew, tough decision.
The marriage of Nissan and Renault is also known one of the best in the business. An interesting mix of Japnese and French collab. Benefiting, both Nissan and Renault in terms of platform sharing and other mechanical parts. The result of this joint venture is our test drive of this week – the all-new 2017 Renault Koleos. This recently launched Renault Koleos is a mechanical twin of the already available, highly competitive Nissan X-Trail. So let us find out a compact SUV with the French styling flair and approach towards the ergonomics with the European imagination faces a tough competition through Rearview Mirror simple judgment criteria that comprises of 4 important factors:
- Appearance and Styling
- Performance and Handling
- Value. (aka, A buyer’s guide to the galaxy)
The Koleos arrived fresh with only 425 km on the odo done in the Meissen Blue color. For weeks, my elder daughter who teamed up with her younger siblings, pressurized me to take them to ANI:ME at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. A Japanese festival displaying the cultural heritage of arts and crafts. To me this is the best opportunity to test drive the midsize family SUV as the most important people in my life can pour in their experience from the back seat!
Dashing Design 9.0/ 10
Undoubtedly, design and styling is the strongest point of the all-new 2017 Renault Koleos. The stylish front fascia sculpted hood with literally speaking, the large Renault diamond emblem residing as the jewel in the crown on the glistening chrome grille. Large headlights featuring pure vision LEDs and a strip of Daylight Running light forming a part of the bumper. There are no useless creases, yet the bulging fenders are there to enhance the SUVish bold looks. I like the rear end of the Koleos with beautiful, sleek in-the-bumper twin chrome exhaust ends. Similarly, like the headlights, the tail light also features Edge Light technology, with bright 3D effect. However, honestly speaking, Koleos does look like a mixture of the Audi Q7 and the Lincoln MKX.
Inside the cabin, the first impression you get that it was done well with chrome inserts adding the premium-feel along with piano black finish on the center console. I wished the most used feature, a large 7″ tablet like LCD screen frame could’ve done with a higher quality plastic, instead of tacky covering.
Following the exterior appearance, the cabin design is pleasant with functional and easy to operate dashboard layout. I liked the commanding driving seat position. In fact, the nicely bolstered leather seats were supportive. The all-electronic instrument binnacle was quite snazzy and informative as I can see the speed rating limits constantly displayed. Thanks to the ambient lighting, I was able to choose thru 5 warm colors according to my mood and impress my kids. The long 2705 mm wheelbase benefited a comfortable space in the rear cabin, which provided a relaxed 289 mm knee room for the adults on the long journey and excellent for the kids. Same is the case for the boot space which was adequate for the picnic paraphernalia or luggage space for the frequent airport visit that everyone experience here in UAE.
The Ride – 7.5/ 10
While most automakers have shifted towards force feed induction system aka turbocharging for their engines. In the case 2017 Koleos, Renault decided to stay put with its naturally aspirated 4 cylinder 2.5l good for producing standard numbers: 170hp and 233 nm of torque. The engine is mated with upgraded X-Tronic CVT transmission. Even though, Renault decision of combining the two major hardware can be appreciated in terms linear power delivery. So there’s hardly any drama or exhilaration. Still, when needed the engine shown no reluctance to pass an 18 wheeler on the highway. However, the combination dislikes the high rev range driving.
Also, these days, most SUV’s that are equipped with driver-selectable 4WD controls. Usually, it comes in the shape of the jog-dial or toggle switch located on the center console, next to the gear lever. Our tester was equipped with All Mode 4×4 i-transmission, but Renault free up space in the console area and placed the 4WD switch under the dashboard and hence became an out of sight, and out mind forgotten feature.
I liked the nice ride. It was quiet and compliant. The suspension remains firm for the confident driving at the same time the shocks were and cushy enough to absorb the gravel and stones on the rough and rutted terrains. They passed the test with flying colors, especially when going over the spine-jarring speed bumps found in the shopping mall parking lots.
Safety – 8.5/ 10
Koleos comes equipped with a long list of standard and available safety features. Not many SUVs in this segment are fitted with the Hill Start feature, Koleos comes with this worthy feature. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) for confident driving on wet roads especially while cornering. Full driver and passenger airbags, front and rear with side curtain. The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) which indicates individual air pressure in each tire. Also, the fog lamps are equipped with cornering light bulbs that illuminate the area in the direction of the wheels are turning hence providing clear a view ahead to the driver. ISOFIX latch system for baby seats on the rear bench seat.
Buyer’s Guide to the Galaxy – 8.0/ 10
Our tester was the LE grade, top-of-the-line and it was well equipped. With a sleek and stylish remote start key, you can start the engine and cool up the cabin even before you set your foot inside and thanks to aircon ventilated front seats you can embark on your journey without roasting the butts. A panorama sunroof, Bose sound system, should you like to enjoy Daft Punk. A large 7″ multipurpose center screen with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) along with R-Link 2 multimedia system that provides Bluetooth mobile connectivity. Automated park assist, reverse camera as well. The rear trunk can be easily accessed by kicking under the rear bumper without placing your shopping bags on the floor.
Here’s the thing: most of these compact midsize SUVs are essentially softroader, means they can’t do the task hardcore dune bashing or climb up the rocky mountain. However, they can climb up the slippery hills to a certain extent and can take you to the sandy beaches for a family outing on weekends. The all-new 2017 Renault Koleos delivers what it promises. As a midsize SUV, the Koleos exceeds expectations with its larger dimensions than many in the competition. It also beats the competition in terms of providing abundant features at a value price – AED 95000!
You can buy Renault Koleos is available by Arabian Automobile exclusive dealership. The suggested retail price for the UAE market starting from AED 74900 to AED 95900 is highly competitive along with a 3 year / 100,000 Km standard manufacturer’s warranty.