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Latest report: Renault Koleos long-term test

Date: 28 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: 43.6mpg
Mileage: 2,292

2nd Report - Carry on carrying

The Renault Koleos is the sort of large SUV driven by people who, a few years ago, might have run an estate car instead. That means it has to be good at carrying large loads, and a recent trip to buy a new chest of drawers provided an early test for this.

Koleos Boot

Living with a car allows us to test the real-world usefulness of features that might otherwise seem like gimmicks. As an example, consider the Koleos's hands-free tailgate, operated by waving a foot under the rear of the car. I'd not given this feature much thought until this trip, but standing in drizzle with both hands full of a surprisingly heavy flat-pack, it suddenly seemed like a real bonus. I may not have the knack for it yet, as it took a couple of attempts before the system clocked me, but once it did, my relief at being able to slide my purchase straight into the boot without having to put it down and pick it up again was genuine. And slide straight in it did - the boot floor is totally flat and there's no lip on entry, making loading easy.

I didn't need to fold the seats down on this occasion, but if I had, Renault's One Touch system means this would just require a quick pull on the levers on each side of the boot to drop them, without having to walk round and open the rear passenger doors. 

Also, the retractable parcel shelf can be unlatched with one hand, before rolling itself out of the way behind the rear seats; it is then just as easy to pull back out and relatch when
you're done.

Even when not transporting big loads, I'm still enjoying how, on regular workday mornings, the keyless entry means I don't have to fumble in my pockets for the fob before opening the boot. Also, being able to then press the close button and get in the driver's seat while the tailgate shuts itself may save literally two seconds, but when it comes to cutting down on commuting stress, it all adds up.

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.