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First report: Renault Koleos long-term test

Date: 05 February 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Renault Koleos Signature Nav dCi 130
P11D price: £29,585
As tested: £30,245
Official consumption: 57.6mpg
Our average consumption: N/A
Mileage: 276

1st Report - Biggest is best?

The Koleos was the final piece of Renault's current three-pronged assault on the booming SUV market. The compact Captur was one of the first models in its segment to go on sale, receiving a facelift last year. Then we got the Qashqai-sized Kadjar, before the new Koleos arrived as the biggest of the bunch. Although the Koleos name itself isn't new, it hadn't been seen in the UK since 2010. The new car is aiming to beat the likes of the Nissan X-Trail - which could be tricky, as it's based on the same underpinnings. But to see what it's like to live with day to day, we're welcoming one onto our fleet for the next six months.

Our car is in Signature Nav trim, which was the top-of-the-range model from launch, although Renault recently announced a new Initiale Paris trim to sit above it. As you'd expect from a range-topper, our car comes with plenty of kit to keep us entertained and safe. Most of this we're already familiar with at BusinessCar, having seen it on our previous long-termer, the Megane. 

 Rear Shot

On the move, safety features include a lane-departure warning system, advanced emergency braking system, and a blind-spot warning system. There's also hill-start assist, cruise control, a rear parking camera, and a system that recognises traffic signs to keep you updated on the current speed limit. I'm hoping to find the latter especially useful, as my regular commute to the BusinessCar office features plenty of rural roads that turn into 30mph residential streets and then back again. There's also a stretch of smart motorway with variable-speed-limit cameras, meaning plenty of potential for heart-stopping, "Wait, that sign did say 60mph, didn't it?" moments.  

Despite its size, the Koleos only comes with five seats, rather than the seven available in some rivals, meaning its advantages over smaller SUVs when it comes to practicality will be based around transporting the same number of passengers more easily, rather than fitting more of them in. 

Stepping aboard for the first time, you get the high driving position that is often such a selling point for cars of this type, though I suspect I may suffer from driving vertigo, as I immediately wanted to adjust the seat to its lowest setting. Also, having stepped into it from a supermini, the back window seemed a long way away in the rear-view mirror. However, since the Koleos comes with a rear parking camera, and front and rear sensors, as standard, there shouldn't be any issues with manoeuvring.


Under the bonnet, our car comes with a 1.6-litre diesel engine, the smallest of the two engine options Renault offers. Although Koleos drivers won't be expecting lightning performance, it does seem like a lot of car for a 1.6-litre engine to haul around. We're looking forward to finding out how it performs on the road, and whether we'll wish we were instead running the
2.0-litre diesel. For our car, Renault claims a 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds, and a top speed of 115mph. Of course, the big advantage of a smaller engine should come via the wallet, and in terms of running costs, the car claims to achieve a combined 57.7mpg, and CO2 emissions of 128g/km, compared with the quoted 50.4mpg and 148g/km for the 2.0-litre. Our car's figures result in a 27% BIK band for the current tax year. 

On first impressions, the Koleos seems solidly put together, striking to look at, and certainly spacious inside, with a good amount of standard equipment. We're keen to find out if it will continue to impress once we start to rack up the miles from behind the wheel.