Renault ups the ante with the new and improved Koleos

2019-02-27 06:01
The new Renault Koleos. PHOTOS: QUICKPIC

The new Renault Koleos. PHOTOS: QUICKPIC

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THE New Koleos: it’s “planted”, solid, quiet, comfortable and much nicer than the old one. The previous generation never sold very well in South Africa, with the last few easing off showroom floors by mid-2016.

Carried over to the new model is the Alliance’s 2.5-litre QR25DE petrol engine, now with more torque at lower revs, the X-Tronic CVT gearbox presently boasting seven virtual gears rather than the original five and, for the all-wheel drive version, iDrive 4x4 off X-Trail. It is still built at the Renault-Samsung factory in Busan, South Korea.

And, like other brands from that country, build quality has improved remarkably over the past ten years.

We were tempted to compare its fit and finish with cars from the German Big Three but knew that some readers might blow gaskets because certain things cannot be said out loud. It is very good, though.

And the new car looks every inch the solid, muscular and handsome D-segment SUV that Renault was aiming for. It is the brand’s new range-topper, so forget budget-beating Dusters and Stepways for a moment; think European, think Clio.

Briefly, the new range consists of three models in two trim levels, Expression and Dynamique; two drive trains, 4x2 and awd; one engine and one transmission.

Expression offers 4x2 drive, auto-on halogen lights with cornering foglamps, 17inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, black fabric seats with manual controls, rear parking sensors, powered windows and mirrors, automatic dual zone air conditioning with ducting to the rear and a temperature controlled cup holder, extra grab handles, a seven-inch touch screen, Arkamys 3D sound with app mirroring via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (now downloadable from Google Play Store), voice commands and the usual Bluetooth and plugs. The boot has grown from 450 litres to 464.

Safety kit includes six airbags; ABS brakes with EBA, EBD, ESC; traction control; hill start assist; ISOFix mountings; cruise control with speed limiter and side impact beams.

Dynamique offers a choice of 4x2 or awd and ups the ante. Try LED headlamps, 18inch alloy wheels, leather seats with electric adjustment on both front chairs (a R12 000 option on Expression), additional parking sensors front and side, reversing camera, blind spot detection, keyless entry and start, tyre pressure monitoring, illuminated sun visor mirrors, an 8.7” capacitive (more sensitive) touch screen, LED dashboard with ambient lighting in five colours and auto-fold for the outside mirrors.

Colours: Ultra Silver, Metallic Grey, Metallic Black, Mineral Beige, Cosmo Blue and Solid White – the only “standard” colour. The others attract an option charge of R2 522.

Driving impressions: Spacious and all the adjectives used above. All-wheel drive made easy going of gravel roads turned into quagmires by heavy rain the day before. The CVT is an acquired taste unfortunately. It’s co-operative when driving sensibly and fuel-consciously, with manual override available for emergencies or sporty motoring. Traditionalists still prefer a “normal” automatic though.

THE NUMBERS

Price: Expression 4x2 R399 900, Dynamique 4x2 R439 900, Dynamique awd R479 900

Engine: 2488 cc, naturally aspirated four cylinder, 16-valve petrol

Power: 126 kW at 6 000 rpm

Torque: 233 Nm at 4 000 rpm

Zero to 100 km/h: 9.5 seconds (4x2), 9.8 seconds (awd)

Top speeds: 185 km/h (4x2), 199 (awd)

Claimed average fuel consumption: 8.1 l/100 (4x2), 8.3 (awd)

Tank: 60 litres

Boot: 464 litres

Warranty: Five years/150 000 km

Service: Five years/90 000 km at 15 000 km intervals

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