Renault ‘s first 4×4 crossover, the Koleos, is a combination of comfortable, easy driving with genuine off-road ability. Renault says that it has been designed to be versatile and to give the same quality of drive whether motoring in and about town or taken off the beaten track.
The crossover features the comfort you would expect of a saloon car, with the cabin space worthy of a compact MPV.
The dashboard design is easy to operate and allows drivers to swiftly familiarize themselves with the different controls. A very good feature is that controls for the navigation system, hands-free telephone, audio system and automatic parking brake are all positioned either on the steering wheel or within easy reach of the driver. There is also a raft of equipment aimed at taking the stress out of motoring. Such features include the hands-free card and keyless starting functions, automatic headlamp and wiper activation, a tire pressure monitoring system and cruise control/speed limiter, while the controls for the power windows, adjustment of the exterior mirrors and central locking are all located on the driver’s door.
Despite its higher ground clearance, Koleos handles like a saloon car thanks to its chassis which was purposely developed to provide an optimal trade-off between comfort and handling. Special attention was paid to cornering performance with the intention of to curb body-roll.The MacPherson-type front suspension combines with the fully-independent multilink rear suspension seen on New X-Trail. This set-up guarantees comfort and directional stability in all situations, while the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos’ specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling.
Ground clearance of 206mm (diesel version: 188mm) and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos’ off-road credentials.
The versatility of Koleos concerns not only its on-road ability but also a comprehensive list of clever features and equipment in the cabin. To assist loading, Renault Koleos comes with a split-opening, ‘clamshell’-type tailgate. The upper part of the hatch permits access to the boot in cramped spaces and allows items of more than one metre wide to be carried. When lowered, the bottom part of the tailgate facilitates the loading of long items and serves as a handy seat for two adults (up to 200kg) when the vehicle is parked. Last but not least, Koleos’ boot aperture of 1.07m is amongst the widest of its category.
There are plenty of cubbies all around the cabin. The dashboard includes a chilled, 15-litre glovebox, while the stowage space in the centre console is equipped with a removable bin. Extra space is provided in a drawer located beneath the front passenger seat, the lower front door bins will take a 500ml bottle and the lidded stowage space incorporated in the armrest is ideal for CDs. Rear passengers benefit from stowage space in the rear part of the centre console, plus two underfoot lidded compartments of five litres each. Under floor stowage
Underfloor stowage in the boot provides a further 28 litres which takes the total stowage capacity of Renault Koleos to a vast 70 litres (VDA). Rear passengers benefit from folding tables complete with cup-holder incorporated in the backs of the front seats.
The Renault Koleos is available from Eurocar Cayman