£27,495 - £31,495 Price range
44 - 45 MPG
The Renault Koleos is worth considering if you have no need for seven seats, want an SUV that’s extremely comfortable and need a big boot.
Renault has priced the car high, but that’s offset to some extent by the car’s high levels of standard equipment (and carwow’s massive saving!) – a full-length glass roof, sat-nav, part-leather seats, ambient lighting and cup holders that can heat or cool drinks are all fitted as standard.
Courtesy of that glass roof, you’ll find the Koleos’ interior feels light and airy. The front seats are extremely comfortable and there’s acres of legroom for your rear-seat passengers. The small hump in the floor and wide rear seats mean that, even three up, everyone in the back should be happy.
The Koleos gets Renault’s R-LINK 2 infotainment system in either seven-inch landscape form or with an 8.7-inch portrait display. The latter comes as standard on top-of-the-range Signature Nav models, is pretty to look and simple to use, although you’ll sometimes find its directions hard to follow and it’s frustrating that you have to use it to make minor adjustments to the ventilation system.
Interior quality is a mixed bag. There’s stitched, what-appears-to-be leather on the centre consoles grab handles and shiny chrome trim pieces, but the plastics look and feel cheaper than you would get in a Skoda Kodiaq. The wood trim fitted to some models is also of questionable authenticity.
You’ll find the Koleos feels large to drive, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you’re in town, bumps are ironed out well and the Renault’s cabin isolates you well from noise at high speeds. The suspension feels quite soft but body lean is reasonably well contained unless you barrel into corners too enthusiastically. A Skoda Kodiaq feels sharper to drive, if that’s what you’re looking for.
You can choose from two diesel engines. The 177hp 2.0-litre model comes as standard with four-wheel drive and is actually pretty handy off-road. The same engine can also be specified with CVT automatic gearbox that shifts smoothly and doesn’t cause the annoying drone you get in other gearboxes of its ilk.
Unless you want four-wheel drive or an auto, though, the 130hp 1.6-litre diesel feels about as quick as the more powerful engine and should return close to 50mpg if driven carefully.
Euro NCAP has yet to rate the Koleos for safety, but expect it to score well thanks to automatic emergency braking coming as standard.
So, the Koleos has a comfortable cabin, proper off-road ability and generous standard equipment levels, but in an extremely tough class, alternatives feel better built, are more fun to drive and have the option to specify seven seats.