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On Test: The Renault Koleos

I spent some time testing the Renault Koleos. For the asking price, it has all the bells and whistles one could ask for. There is plenty of space in the cabin, which has been revamped to make it more comfortable than ever before. The overall outside design has also been re-vitalised to give it that bold look. As I took it on various tests, I pondered who this SUV would suit. For starters, it is aimed at males and females in their early forties, ideally from an urban area, who work in a management capacity with a desire to drive a vehicle that reflects their personality all in a high-status and boldly designed SUV.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

Restyled front and rear

At first glance, it has a very strong presence and stance. It has taught yet smooth lines for an SUV that has off-road capabilities. The newly designed front grille adds to this ‘aesthetic’ presence with the signature Renault C-shaped daytime running lights and full LED headlamps. This gives a state of robustness and high status.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

The Koleos is available with Pure Vision Full LED main- and dipped-beam lights. For significantly enhanced night-time visibility, this technology provides a beam that is 20% more powerful than that of halogen headlights.


The unique selling points of Renault’s latest offering are both remarkable and commendable. It has a powerful design, a refined interior equipped with the segment’s very best journey-enhancing features, marked by premium quality. In addition, there is extreme cabin comfort offering class-leading roominess, acclaimed four-wheel drive technology providing credible off-road capability and uncompromised safety standards.

Koleos quality

The interior of the Koleos ensures the well-being of passengers and once seated either in the drivers’ or passenger seat, you get the impression of being submerged in quality. For example, the new Koleos features a stylish satin-finish chrome for the steering wheel inserts, gear lever and air vent surrounds, along with a pleasant-to-the-touch finish for the centre console.

Another eye-grabbing feature, and one that I love, is the customisable LED cabin lighting, with a palette of hues ranging from green and blue, to yellow, red or violet, to complement the mood of the driver and/or passengers.

Another innovative feature worthy of premium models is the front cup holder that can be chilled or heated. Now that’s a great addition.

The spacious cabin is complemented by a large configurable boot (464l) and numerous storage solutions. Handles easily located in the boot enable the Easy Break system, allowing the 60/40-split rear bench to be folded instantly to free up an impressive total carrying capacity of 1,795 litres.

Off and on-road capability

We were perhaps lucky that at the launch, there was a moderate fall of rain probably enough to put the new Koleos through its paces in the dirt and mud. It handled with ease and not once did we expect to get ‘bogged’ down in the mud.

The ground clearance of up to 210mm adds to the SUV appeal of the vehicle, which is amongst the highest in the market. You know that you are sitting high up, and this adds extra confidence when crossing small rapids and muddy terrain.

High-end equipment

The Koleos is at the forefront of the SUV world and offers a host of high-end equipment and features. An extra-large touchscreen with exclusive Renault R-Link2 functionality for an enriched driving experience. Voice recognition for onboard GPS navigation, hands-free telephony and radio.

There are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowing compatibility for smartphone mirroring. There's also a Rear Parking Camera, for ease of manoeuvrability, and Cruise Control and Speed Limiter.


The Koleos is powered by a 2.5 petrol engine CVT (4x2 and 4x4), with a power output of 126kW, 233Nm of Torque, CO2 emissions of 188g/100km and controlled fuel consumption of 8.8l/100km.


A value for money that ticks all the requirements of an SUV. The ride quality is genuinely smooth. On and off-road capabilities were impressive indeed. It comes complete with all the bells and whistles.

Range and pricing

  • Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4x2: R596,999
  • Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4x4: R646,999

The Renault Koleos comes standard with a five-year/150,000km mechanical warranty; plus, a five-year/90,000km service plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15,000km.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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