Renault Koleos (2017-present)

Plenty of passenger space and luxurious touches make the Renault Koleos a good family choice

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Plenty of passenger space
Smooth ride and comfortable seats
Excellent value as a nearly new car

Weaknesses 

No seven-seat option
Only diesel engines available
Renault's reputation for poor reliability

The Koleos is Renault’s super-sized model: a longer, wider and taller version of the popular Kadjar.

Even if its occupants are super-sized too, the car’s spacious interior should provide plenty of room for them to stretch out, surrounded by soft-touch materials, mood lighting, and a large panoramic roof for watching the sky go by - which come as standard on every Koleos.

Renault is aiming upmarket with the intention of luring buyers who can’t quite stretch to the more expensive Land Rover Discovery Sport, Volvo XC60, BMW X3 or Audi Q5. Like the Renault, all of of these tall, muscular-looking cars are classed as a sport utility vehicles (SUVs). 

The Koleos won't be mistaken for an Audi or Volvo but it’s not as far off as you might think if you skip the entry-level Dynamique S model and opt for the mid-range Signature Nav car (a £2,300 premium when new). This includes an 8.7in dashboard touchscreen, part-leather seats, a rear parking camera and 19in alloy wheels as standard.

It’s fairly sophisticated on the road, with a smooth ride and only limited wind noise on the motorway. You feel more judders from potholes and bumps on slower roads, but the car remains steady in corners where it resists leaning. Here, it comes close to matching the excellent Skoda Kodiaq and the latest Peugeot 5008. The Peugeot still has the edge though, thanks to a hi-tech dashboard that’s easier to use, and a less bulky feel on narrow roads.

The Renault is more comfortable and better-equipped than other mainstream rivals, including the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Ford Edge, which are priced similarly. When you take its equipment into account, the Renault’s starting price of around £28,000 (before discounts) is also a match for the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail.

However, you are best off buying a Koleos as a nearly new car because its value plummets as soon as its first owner drives it away. There are already deals on 2017 models for £21,000, representing a £7,000 discount on the new price. Representative finance starts at around £300 a month.

For this, you’d be inclined to overlook the Koleos’ main weakness: unlike most rivals listed above, you can’t have a seven-seat version of the car. For a seven-seat Renault, you would need to look at the Grand Scenic.

The car’s raised floor also reduces boot space to 458 litres (although there’s an extra compartment underneath). That’s quite a bit less than the Skoda Kodiaq's 720-litres and and also smaller than the boot in the Nissan X-Trail. With the rear seats down, you can recover all of the Kodiaq’s legroom for luggage, giving you 1,690 litres of space, which is close to the best in its class.

It’s only available with a diesel engine but there’s a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes and the option of four-wheel drive, to give the Koleos some off-road ability to go with its rugged design.

The four-wheel drive system can be locked into place by pressing a button on the dashboard to offer superb off-road grip at speeds of up to 29mph. You’ll need to avoid deep ditches and steep descents, though: the car’s bumpers extend far beyond the front and rear wheels, so they can easily catch on rough ground

There are two sets of Isofix mounting points for child seats in the back and the car earned the full five stars in independent safety tests carried out by Euro NCAP. If you don't need seven seats and can overlook the lack of a petrol or hybrid option, the Koleos could prove an excellent nearly new buy.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 16:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
458 litres
Width: 
2063mm
Length: 
4672mm
Height: 
1678mm
Tax: 
£160 to £500 in first year, £140 thereafter

Best Renault Koleos for... 

Renault Koleos Dynamique S Nav dCi 130
The least-powerful diesel engine offers the best fuel economy. You can expect around 50mpg in real-world driving. Dynamique S cars are well-equipped despite being the entry-level cars.
Renault Koleos Signature Nav dCi 130
Upgrading to Signature Nav cars costs £4,000 (when new), but brings useful equipment, including an 8.2in touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, for simpler pairing with your phone. A standard electric bootlid is easier to operate with your hands full.
Renault Koleos Signature Nav dCi 175 4WD Auto X-Tronic
No-one’s going to buy a Renault Koleos for its performance - even this version, with four-wheel drive and the most powerful engine only accelerates from 0-62mph in a steady 9.5 seconds.

Renault Koleos History 

  • Summer 2017 Deliveries of the Renault Koleos begin
  • January 2018 Initiale Paris trim level added, with nappa leather seats, Bose sound system plus heating and cooling front seats as standard.

Understanding Renault Koleos car names 

  • Koleos
  • Trim level
    Signature Nav
  • Engine
    dCi 175
  • Driven wheels
    4WD
  • Gearbox
    Auto X-Tronic
  • Trim level
    The trim level indicates the amount of standard equipment is fitted to the car. Entry-level models are badged Dynamique S Nav, followed by Signature Nav and then Initiale Paris.
  • Engine
    The letters dCi indicate a diesel engine (the only type available) and the following numbers show the engine's horsepower.
  • Driven wheels
    Renault Koleos models with four-wheel drive are badged 4WD.
  • Gearbox
    Automatic versions of the Koleos are labelled X-Tronic.

Renault Koleos Engines 

Diesel: dCi 130, dCi 175

You can search for as long as you like but you won’t find a petrol or hybrid option for the Koleos. In fact, your only decision is between two diesel engines.

First is the entry-level dCi 130, which is the most efficient, returning around 50mpg in real-world conditions, according to the Equa Index which estimates fuel consumption based on public road tests.

Performance is steady, but there's a noticeable rattle when you rev the engine, which is needed to make the most of the limited power; there’s no disguising the car’s 1,600kg weight, even before adding passengers and luggage.

The larger dCi 175 diesel suits the chunky car better, and this engine also comes with four-wheel drive as standard. This normally operates in an automatic mode, sending power to the two front wheels for better fuel economy. If it detects slipping, then it will drive all four wheels to improve grip under acceleration.

Real-world fuel economy isn’t too far off the official figure: you can expect around 43mpg from the manual and 40mpg from the automatic, according to the Equa Index.

An automatic gearbox is available with the dCi 175 engine and this is a type known as a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). It’s smooth and quiet at low speeds but can be lethargic when the accelerator is pushed hard. The gear lever can be pushed to the left and drivers can change gear themselves. It's not the snappiest experience but a welcome option.

Fuel

Official fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph

Top speed

dCi 130

Diesel

57.6mpg

130hp

11.4sec

115mph

dCi 175 4WD

Diesel

50.4mpg

175hp

10.7sec

126mph

dCi 175 4WD Auto X-Tronic

Diesel

47.9mpg

175hp

9.5sec

125mph

Renault Koleos Trims 

Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, Initiale Paris

If you’re coming to the Koleos from a Renault Clio, then the level of standard equipment on offer is going to seem impressive.

Entry-level Dynamique S Nav cars come with 18in alloy wheels, a rear-view camera plus front and rear parking sensors sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, a panoramic sunroof, part-artificial leather upholstery, and an Arkamys sound system.

There are plenty of USB charging points dotted around the cabin, while cup holders in the front can be set to heat or cool a beverage - a feature that comes as standard across the range.

A 7in touchscreen comes with sat-nav, a digital radio, Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which makes viewing certain apps and controlling them via the car, much simpler and safer.

However, the screen looks small amidst the large Koleos dashboard, which is better-suited to the 8.7in screen that comes with Signature Nav cars, costing an extra £2,300 when new . These versions also have brighter LED headlights and larger 19in alloy wheels. Heated front seats, part-leather upholstery and a powered bootlid that can be opened by waggling a foot under the rear bumper are all included.

At the top of the range, Intitiale Paris models add a unique alloy wheel design and automatic parking (the car steers itself while you control the accelerator and brake). High-quality nappa leather covers the seats, which will heat and cool you in the front. Rear passengers also have heated seats.

Renault Koleos Reliability and warranty 

Find a Renault Koleos sold before February 2018 and you’ll benefit from the remainder of a four year warranty that’s limited to the first 100,000 miles, which is above and beyond the industry standard.

Since then, though, Renault has disappointingly cut its warranty to run for three years and 60,000 miles. This does include breakdown cover over the same period.

It’s not a vote of confidence in a brand that has had its fair share of reliability issues. Even now, Renault ranks below average in the latest Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, sitting 25 out of 27 manufacturers for reliability and build quality.

Used Renault Koleos 

High-specification models from mainstream brands like Renault usually lose value quickly, but even by those standards the price of the Koleos plummets as soon as it becomes a second-hand car.

Nearly new models are £7,000 cheaper than the new list price, bringing the starting price of 2017 car to around £20,000 and representative finance payments below £300 a month, with a ten per cent deposit.

It’s a car that’s best bought second-hand, especially as you’ll benefit from a longer warranty with a pre-February 2018 model.