The D-Segment SUV sector is growing at quite the pace in Ireland, and Renault's addition of the Koleos to their Irish fleet is a firm sign that they want part of the action. During 2017 and 2017, we have seen the introduction of some excellent D-Segment and large SUVs. Their popularity is growing and Renault has decided to take the Koleos back to the Irish market. Consumers seem to want more practicality from their cars, the only real question mark that we’d have about this car is whether they made a mistake by not offering a 7-seat option.
Our main test vehicle was the 2.0 litre dCi 175 4x4 model. The 4x4 capabilities are good enough and will certainly get you up a slippy or icy road. We brought it through low rivers and up steep enough mucky roads and found it to be good enough. We experienced a small bit of lag when we put the foot down in the Koleos from stand still, but on the road overtaking will not throw up any major issues. Some of the lag may have come from the S-Tronic automatic CVT transmission, which despite the lag, is one of the better CVT gearboxes. Also available is a 1.6 litre dCi 130 engine. While its 130 figures are lower than the 175, it will probably prove to be the more economical and the biggest seller.
Steering offers nice feedback in the models that we drove - the 4x4 obviously feels more grounded. On corners, you will feel body roll (especially if you're sitting in the back) - but this is par for the course in SUVs of this size. The suspension deals well enough with bruised road surfaces.
Renault will not offer the lowest available trim to the Irish market – which means that the physical features of these vehicles are quite refined. The engine noise is not overly intrusive on the interior and while there is a bit of road noise, it is not bad.
Because Renault Ireland has eliminated the lowest trim of the Koleos, the quality of the equipment in the vehicle is very good in both available trim levels. The interior is the best I've experienced yet from Renault. There is a nice touch screen in the dash, and the R-Link system is easy to use – although not to everyone’s taste.
Standard safety equipment with the Renault Koleos includes ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, Electronic Stability Control with traction and understeer control, hill start assist, and more. Some ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are also available with the vehicle. These systems include, Advanced Emergency Braking System, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Traffic Sign Recognition.
The rear cabin is huge with plenty of leg, shoulder and head room. They come well specced too, with USB connection points to both the front and back (as well as 12v charge points we counted one in the front, one in the middle and another in the boot). There is netting on the back of the front seats, so kids or adults can store their newspapers and books. The rear also has a very tiny transmission tunnel, and because it is so small, I don't see any issue with getting three adults in there. The boot offers 565 litres, which should be bigger considering the size of this vehicle. With that said, 565 litres should be enough for most people. It's also worth noting that Renault opted not to make a 7-seat version, this means that it lags a little in comparison when it comes to practicality in comparison with the likes of the Kia Sorento and the new Skoda Kodiaq.