The front exterior of a Renault Koleos

Renault Koleos review

Large and comfortable, the Renault Koleos is an SUV that's great as a family car. The interior has an upmarket look and feel, while the soft suspension makes it relaxing over long distances.

Pros

  • An upmarket look
  • Spacious and well equipped interior
  • Very efficient diesel engines

Cons

  • No seven-seater option
  • Limited engine choice
  • Infotainment screen can be slow to respond

Summary

“All the looks of a luxury SUV but without the price tag.”

Offering a premium look and feel, the current second-generation Koleos, which arrived in 2016, looks more athletic than previous cars with a wide grille, lots of chrome and more executive appeal. 

Some of the materials used in the interior are a bit hard, but there’s lots of Bluetooth connectivity and technology. 

This family-friendly SUV is also pretty practical and roomy with enough space for five people and their luggage.  

There’s a choice of two diesel engines. The larger 2.0-litre diesel is available with four-wheel drive, which is really useful for extra grip on slippery surfaces or in winter weather.

Front light shot of the Renault Koleos

What's the interior like?

“Plenty of features and space add to its good value.”

There’s an upmarket feel with plenty of leather on the steering wheel and gearstick. Some models have full leather upholstery for an extra premium touch.

The dashboard is dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the centre console, which increases to 8.7 inches on the top-spec Signature model. It contains live traffic sat nav and driving information. It uses Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and you have access to Renault’s own app store which can give you useful information such as finding out how efficient your driving is. There’s also a digital instrument cluster (the information you see through the steering wheel) which is useful.

There’s lots of adjustment options on the driver’s seat which adds to the good driving position and excellent all-round visibility. Space in the front and back is excellent with an airy feeling, especially if you have a model with the panoramic roof. 

At 579 litres with the seats up, boot space isn’t as good as some rivals but will suit most families. However, it does expand to 1,795 litres and has a flat floor which makes it easy to load in larger items.

The interior of a Renault Koleos with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“It drives well in town and is both economical and comfortable.”

The 1.6 dCi is a smooth engine while also being very economical. It copes well both in town and on longer journeys. 

There’s also a 2.0-litre with a manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is automatic. The CVT will be easier to live with if you spend much of your time in traffic. On relatively smooth tarmac, you’ll find it quite comfortable. 

The Koleos drives well in town where its steering is relatively light. It’s easy to manoeuvre, but it is a big car so you’ll find yourself squeezing into parking spaces. Although some models will have the optional parking assistance to help.

The side exterior of a white Renault Koleos

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Depreciation from new makes the Koleos a cost-efficient buy.”

Despite only being launched late in 2016, Koleos prices have not held up well at all which means you get a lot of car for your money when buying used.

The engines are very frugal and you should see mpg consumption figures in the mid-40s, possibly as high as mid-50s if you drive carefully. 

Insurance and servicing costs are similar to rivals and less than some of the more premium competitors. Overall, the Koleos should be relatively inexpensive to run.

Boot space shot of the Renault Koleos

How reliable and safe is it?

“Reliability has improved and it continues Renault’s reputation for great safety features.”

Renault has been steadily improving its reputation for reliability in recent years so the Koleos should be trouble-free. It’s important to remember to take occasional longer journeys so the diesel particulate filter can self-clean though.

Euro NCAP gave the Koleos a five-star crash test rating. There’s a very long list of safety equipment, which includes lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking.

Engine shot of the Renault Koleos

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.6 dCi Dynamique S

Best for family - 2.0 dCi Signature

Best for fun - 2.0 dCi GT-Line

Unless you need the power of the 2.0-litre engine or all-wheel drive transmission, then the 1.6-litre is a good choice. It’ll deliver a good combination of performance and efficiency for everyday use. 

The Iconic trim lacks some of the luxuries, but the Dynamique S is a great choice. However, in some cases, the price difference compared with the higher Signature versions is small so it's worth checking prices. You could also consider looking for models that have had the optional Bose sound system fitted.

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