Final Report - 19th September 2018
The Renault Koleos is large, with generous space, and a decent amount of kit.
On top of that, its 1.6-litre diesel displays a pleasing dislike for the taste of the fuel with our average of 43.1mpg, and emits a reasonable 128g/km of CO2, consigning it to the 30% BIK band. A mechanically very similar Nissan X-Trail emits 133g/km. It’s also punchy, if a bit noisy.
Standard kit included satnav, Apple CarPlay, leather and a vast sunroof.
However, the car also has its foibles. The infotainment system crashed on more than one occasion, and there were a few creaks and rattles from the interior. The boot was also annoying, because there wasn’t enough space between the floor and the luggage cover, which made it awkward to put anything in there without first putting it on the ground and rolling back said blind. Also, the solitary luggage hook was so far into the boot that you had to stretch to reach it, rubbing against a mucky bumper.
The ‘wave your foot under the rear bumper to open the boot’ system also failed to work more often than it did. Still, the auto-full-beam lights were superb.
A mixed bag then, but more than enough appeal to include it on your choice list.
Update - 8th August 2018
Signature Nav is the middle of the three trims available on the Renault Koleos, with Dynamique S below it and the somewhat pricey Initiale Paris sitting at the top of the range.
It is undeniably well kitted out, with dual-zone climate, heated leather seats, electrically operated tailgate and suchlike. However, despite this, the panel down by the driver’s right knee has a depressing number of blank switches.
Aside from the one to open the tailgate, it’s devoid of buttons. It’s perhaps a minor niggle, but nevertheless, when you want people to feel good about owning a car it’s a sure-fire way to make them think that they are missing out on something.
Fifth Report - 25th July 2018
I know I’m of a certain vintage, and this is an undeniably sepia-toned memory, but does anyone else recall a time when water used to just randomly fall from the sky? Yup, summer is here, and here to stay, it seems, which means there’s no excuse for not getting out into the back of beyond on the mountain bike.
The Koleos excels here. Only a quick tug of the levers in the side of the boot has the back seats flopped down onto the cushions, and then I can slide my mountain bike into place – and I need only remove the front wheel to make it fit.
Better still, the car seems averse to the taste of diesel on the journey to and from the middle of nowhere, averaging 43.2mpg.
All is not perfect though. The roads are extremely dusty at the moment and the bugs are out there mob-handed, which means the windscreen need to be cleaned frequently, and unfortunately the passenger-side windscreen washer jet has packed up. The driver’s side one is fine, so there’s either something blocking the left-hand one or perhaps a hose has become detached somewhere along the line. An investigation, firstly by myself, and likely then by a dealer, is imminent.
Mind you, rain would help to clean it…
Update - 27th June 2018
So spring finally decided to leap into action, which meant my first port of call was the garden centre.
Oh yes – plants, plants, more plants, tomatoes, flowers, bark chippings, compost and the odd power tool. And the mere matter of £152. Yes, £152 – on stuff that needs to be tended like a newborn lamb, and that I now need to watch like a hawk, lest the local wildlife take a fancy to it.
Still, at least the Renault took everything we’d bought without us having to lower the rear seats. In fact, keeping the rear seat raised actually meant the haul was held steady in the boot.
Better still, the driver’s seat was supportive during the next day’s backache!
Fourth Report - 13th June 2018
Technology is great – when it works, and the Renault’s infotainment system is a prime example.
It comes complete with Apple CarPlay, which allows users to operate many of their iPhone’s instructions using either the screen or the Siri voice control system, which is both slightly easier and safer.
All of which made it a bit galling to discover one day that the system refused to find my phone. Not only that, but gone was the welcome bong and the system began taking a few minutes to start up. I double-checked that it was an Apple cable I was using, then I went as far as erasing and restarting my phone to see if that helped. Nope. The Renault and my phone remained obstinately uncommunicative.
The only option was to, shock-horror, read the blooming manual. I undertook a couple of procedures involving deleting my phone from the car, to no avail. The only remaining course was to perform a factory reset, which clears all data from the system. Hallelujah – my phone and the car were on speaking terms once more, although I’d lost all audio settings and satnav destinations. Still, the good news is that it all starts up properly once more.
Update - 23rd May 2018
Modern cars have to deal with many types of scenario, from commuting in heavy traffic during a rainstorm to shifting a family in comfort on holiday at the height of summer. However, one task places greater demands on a car than most – the McDonald’s run. Oh yes.
However, the good news is that the Koleos copes admirably with this arduous task. It’s manoeuvrable enough to deal with the narrow drive-through lane, its window is precisely at counter level, and the rear cupholders are big enough to carry even large drinks. Better still, the leather trim of our car has a sterling ability to repel tomato ketchup, requiring only a quick wipe to be as good as new again.
Third Report - 7th May 2018
The Koleos has been on holiday. Over the Easter weekend my girlfriend and I headed off to the Peak District for a few days of solitude and walking, and the big Renault proved to be pretty adept transport.
We may have been going for only four days but we packed for a fortnight, and just in case, we took clothes to deal with every form of weather event. On top of that there was food and drink for the duration. The Renault’s boot is neither the biggest nor most usable out there, but nevertheless it took almost all of our stuff (the back seat took the rest).
Our trip up was uneventful, but the ride over the scruffier roads of the Peaks wasn’t terribly clever.
Still, an average of 43.1mpg is reasonable for what is a genuinely sizeable machine. Indeed, the Koleos made some of the Derbyshire lanes feel decidedly narrow.
However, what the journey really threw into sharp relief was the fact that the Koleos has developed two or three rattles. There’s one from the luggage area that has been there since the car arrived. Now, the padded lid for the central cubby has begun to squeak intermittently, as has the dashboard.
Update - 4th April 2018
The days are finally getting longer and the clocks have gone forward, which means a little more time to enjoy getting out into the hills of a weekend. There really are few things finer than being in the middle of nowhere and unable to hear a motorised vehicle.
The Koleos makes reasonably short work of getting to these remote locations, helped by its acceptably light thirst and large fuel tank, although there’s a bit too much road noise when you’re at speed for my liking.
However, once in the back of beyond, the boot is at the perfect level for changing footwear. Better still, the heated front seats work quickly after a chilly yomp.
Second Report - 21st March 2018
Climate control is an undeniably wonderful thing, because it allows you to set the temperature of your car’s interior, press ‘Auto’ and let the system get on with keeping the airflow and temperature just so.
Dual-zone climate is even better, because it lets you dial up the ideal temperature for your side of the cabin (although my girlfriend’s and my tastes are so disparate that we risk developing a weather front somewhere above the central armrest).
However, the Renault’s climate control system has always irked me. For a start, it never seems to cool the cabin unless it’s on ‘Lo’, and secondly, it fails spectacularly to keep the windows free of misting. I have to take it out of ‘Auto’ mode, direct the airflow upwards, and make sure the aircon is switched on – and if anyone presses Auto again, the system reverts to aircon-off mode, no air to the screen, and starts to blow out hot air.
However, one way to keep the cabin cool and demisted is to open the large panoramic sunroof, which is a huge bonus. No matter whether the roof is tilted or slid back, it floods the cabin with both winter sunlight and fresh air – superb.
Update - 21st February 2018
The Koleos has certainly been earning its keep over the past few weeks, with jaunts to work all over the south of England, plus the usual trips to the supermarket, train station and friend’s houses.
However, with all these miles comes dirt, which seems to affect the reversing camera particularly badly. It quickly becomes grimy and the filth renders it all but unusable when it’s dark.
Also, the electrically operated tailgate has a functions that’s supposed to open it when I waggle my foot beneath the rear bumper. More often than not this refuses to work, making me look like i’m performing a somewhat precarious version of the hokey coney for no apparent reason.
First report - 7th February 2018
What’s in a name? Here’s hoping, not much. You see, the Koleos name has been around before, attached to a dull, half-hearted pseudo SUV a few years ago.
No longer though, because it now sits on the tailgate of an all-new, glamorous and imposing SUV.
Look beneath the bonnet and the word ‘imposing’ is not the first to spring to mind, because what resides there is a 130hp 1,598cc diesel motor. Does it struggle? Not a bit of it; the 320Nm of torque means performance is more than acceptable, and our early average economy figure of 42.7mpg seems reasonable. At Christmas, this light thirst, combined with the 60-litre tank allowed us to head from London to north of Dundee without having to refill.
The CO2 output of 128g/km is pretty decent, and puts the car in the 27% tax band. It’s competitive against the Mazda CX-5 2.2D, although the 150hp Mazda has a significant power advantage, and the Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi, which uses an identical engine to the Renault.
There’s plenty of kit, too, although some of it works better than other bits. More of that later. Nevertheless, the new Koleos looks like it’ll make a decent name for itself.