The SUV is significantly larger than the outgoing model and shares its platform, 2.5-litre petrol engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) with the Nissan X-Trail, a result of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. At 4672mm long Koleos is only 30mm shorter than the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The line-up comprises four models, two with the Zen handle and two with the curious name of Intens, each riding on 18-inch wheels. There’s the 2WD drive Zen ($44,990) and the 4WD Zen ($49,990).
Intens goes up a notch, both with 4WD and more equipment and the choice of the 2.5-litre petrol engine ($54,990) or a 2.0-litre diesel ($59,990). The diesel Intens won’t be available until early next year.
Koleos is being billed as Renault’s “first D-segment SUV’, in that it’s 150mm longer than the old model and with a more upmarket design inside and out. There’s more cabin room, too, including an important 289mm of knee-room for second-row passengers. Door apertures are said to be wider than most.
The boot has a two-tiered floor, the top tier offering 458 litres of space. Fold the split 60:40 middle seats forward and 942 litres becomes available. Scattered about the cabin are a further 35 litres worth of cargo cubby holes.
Renault believes the cabin is in a class of its own with high-end features such as heated front seats, LED ambient cabin lights, high-end materials, and a Bose audio system.
High-end active safety features available include autonomous brakes, lane assist, automatic headlights, and blind-spot monitoring.
The 2.5-litre engine delivers 126kW at 6000rpm and 226Nm at 4400rpm. Renault claims town-and-around fuel use of 8.1 litres for the 2WD and 8.3 for the 4WD. Diesel usage if not available as yet.
The on-demand 4WD systems operates via a switch on the dash. When engaged, it automatically splits torque front to rear. A 4WD lock mode selects permanent all-wheel drive. Renault says the Koleos has 213mm of ground clearance, with an approach angle of 19 degrees and a departure of 26 deg.