Verdict: The Renault Koleos is huge in practicality, has a premium aura inside and easy to drive.

Platform sharing is not a new thing in the automotive industry, where cars of two different makes – or under a larger parent company – share a common design in terms of engineering and production efforts, as well as major components. But the one thing that isn’t shared between is their exterior design, where to the untrained eye, these cars look worlds apart.

Renault Koleos 4WD

This is practised mostly to reduce costs associated of developing new products. Vehicles with shared platforms have to look and feel different; styling, engine tuning and gear ratios, interior trims, seats, upholstery, the lists goes on. A good example is the Renault Koleos 4WD, which looks completely different than SUV it’s based on.

The Looks

Renault Koleos 4WD
Let us start from the outside; the Koleos as you see in pictures does look completely different from the SUV that it’s based on, but minor things like door handles and power window controls look uncanny. Other than that, everything else is new or taken from the Renault parts bin.

Renault Koleos 4WD

All upcoming and new Renault models carry the brand’s new signature C-shape daytime running lamps surrounding its Pure Vision full LED headlights, which visually emphasises the Koleos’ bold front-end design making it distinctive and recognisable. The C-Shape daytime running lamps do double duty, as the lower half of the ‘C’ acts as a front signal blinker.

Renault Koleos 4WD

The other significant difference is its width; the French car 23mm wider and it is longer by 22mm, but shorter by 37mm than its Japanese cousin. It has black plastic trimming, which starts from the front bumper, lower sides and ends at the rear.

Renault Koleos 4WD

At the rear, the Koleos boasts wide taillights, which amplifies its width visually draws attention to the badging in the centre. The lower half features two reflective elements and chrome garnishing with its rear fog lamp located in the middle. More chrome and silver garnishing can be found on its door handles, grille, window garnish, roof rails, and front bumper garnish.

The Interior

Renault Koleos 4WD

Jumping in, you will immediately notice that the Koleos is so not-X-trail; the dashboard is simple and organised with high quality materials used. The control functions may be unfamiliar at first, but once you understand how things work, they’re very much straightforward.

Renault Koleos 4WD

The leather steering wheel feels great in your hands and glides ever so graceful against your palm when you let it turn on its own accord. The buttons and toggles are large and tactile allowing you to operate the Koleos’ cruise control and telephony functions with ease.

Renault Koleos 4WD

The vinyl seats in the Koleos feel plush and comfortable with good amounts lateral support. The seat bolsters are large and are able to support persons of small build. The driver gets a power adjustable seat that allows you to adjust height, fore, aft and lumbar. The passenger gets a manually adjustable seat.

Renault Koleos 4WD

Hopping in to rear, accommodating two adults comfortably with plenty of leg and headroom is not a problem. The rear seats are deep and do support those at the rear laterally as well. If you do need to sit your threenager safely, then the Koleos do come with ISOFIX anchor points as standard.

Renault Koleos 4WD

Opening the hands-free power liftgate can be done by pressing the boot release button, via the key card, or by swiping your feet under the centre of the rear bumper with safe gap allowing the liftgate freely without hitting into anyone.

Renault Koleos 4WD

The liftgate height adjustment can be programmed from a toggle located below the Traction Control button. The Koleos provides a wide access into its 542-litre boot space, and folding the rear bench down expands that number up to 1,690 litres.

Audio & Visual

Renault Koleos 4WD

Entertainment comes from the latest R-LINK 2 navigation and multimedia system with voice control and custom home screens will keep everyone at the front entertained. The 8.7-inch capacitive touchscreen is clear be it day or night and is within the driver’s line of sight.

Renault Koleos 4WD

Here, not only you are able to browse your favourite radio stations or album tracks from your USB drive or Bluetooth streaming, finding your way home, adjusting the fan speed on its automatic climate control, you can also switch the 7-inch TFT instrument display with four different instrument design setting to choose from based on your personal preference.

Besides being able to change screens ahead, you can also change the ambient lighting with five different presets; there’s green, red, blue, purple and amber. Also, the R-Link 2 comes with Driving Eco2, which relays eco-driving data and coaches as you drive to become a smoother driver.

Renault Koleos 4WD

Sound reproduction comes from the Koleos’ eight speakers with 3D sound by Arkamys digital sound-processing software provides clear and crisp reproduction of your favourite music track. Neither Renault nor Arkamys released any official figures on the total system output, but I’d reckon it’s up there with other premium sound systems. Whatever the actual figure may be, the sound reproduction is as faithful as it gets. The bass is deep with plenty of punch and the mid and highs are intelligible without being overly saturated.

The Beating Heart

Renault Koleos 4WD

Pop the hood open and you’ll find a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated in-line four-cylinder engine similar to the Nissan’s 2.5-litre lump albeit with a very big but. It makes the same 169hp at 6,000 rpm and slightly lower 226Nm of torque 4,400 rpm. The 2.5-litre engine is connected to a CVT transmission that sends power to all four wheels via a electronically controlled part-time 4WD system.

Renault Koleos 4WD

The drive is delivered mostly to the front wheels and only a maximum of 20% is sent to the rear wheels when the engine’s full capabilities is unleashed. The part-time system comes with three driving modes; 2WD, Auto and 4WD Lock. The latter enables the drive train to distribute torque equally on both ends when the going gets rough. The system switches back to Auto at speeds above 50km/h.

Renault Koleos 4WD

This means better fuel economy and performance. As tested, the Koleos did a low 5.3 l/100km on highway and 7.7 l/100km combined, however results may vary depending on your driving style and condition. Like the front wheel driver version, the 4WD Koleos accelerates quickly and gains speed progressively, yet offering agile handling and sure-footedness through the corners. The CVT transmission is seamless without the rubber band effect hindering the driving experience.

Conclusion

Renault Koleos 4WD

The Renault Koleos scores high on value for its generous space and good fuel economy. Also, its easy-to-drive characteristics don’t intimidate the most timid of drivers, and the materials used inside are high and cleverly conjured. In addition, the Koleos’ high seating position allowing the driver to have a commanding view outside which makes it easy to navigate in tight spaces. Should you opt for one, Renault provides 5-years manufacturer’s warranty with 5 years free maintenance for parts and labour available at all 15 authorised Renault service centres nationwide.

Verdict: The Renault Koleos is huge in practicality, has a premium aura inside and easy to drive.

[Bryan Au]

Tester’s Note
+ Comfortable ride
+ Premium atmosphere
+ Solid build quality
+ Unfussy R-Link 2
+ Powerful audio system
+ Easy to drive
+ Frugal fuel consumption

Technical Specifications
Renault Koleos 4WD
Price Msia:
RM209,000 OTR w/o insurance
Engine: 2,488cc in-line four-cylinder
Power: 169hp
Torque:
226Nm
Fuel Economy: 5.4 l/100km (Tested)
Transmission: X-Tronic CVT Transmission

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