2009 Renault Koleos | new car review

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 by

As you may or may not know, Renault and Nissan are partners and have been for around ten years. Consequently they share technology with each other.

It’s surprising that, given the length of the partnership and Nissan’s long heritage of 4×4 vehicles, there hasn’t been a Renault 4×4 until now. But better late than never – here’s the Koleos. Based on the Nissan X-Trail, the Koleos aims to unite Nissan’s off-road expertise with Renault’s design flair. The result is what’s known as a crossover vehicle – in Renault’s words, a car that offers the comfort levels expected in a road-going machine with the ability of a proper off-roader.

The signs are promising, particularly as the X-Trail is noted as being thoroughly competent away from the tarmac. Having said that anyone wanting a proper off-roader is likely to go for an X-Trail. Or some form of proper off-roader – many of them now have all the creature comfort’s we’d expect in a car. Who, when wondering what vehicle to get for dune-bashing, would choose a Renault?

2009 Renault Koleos

That aside, the Koleos is rather good on the rough stuff, and it’s certainly more svelte to look at than most of your common-or-garden, chunky 4x4s. On road, it’s been noted for less-than-spectacular performance, being a bit wallowy because of its high center of gravity and soft suspension. But then again, that’s an accusation that could be leveled at an awful lot of off-roaders.

The interior is of a high standard and very spacious – there’s 1,380 litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded down and a further 70 litres of space scattered across storage areas throughout the cabin. Five versions of the Koleos will be offered in the GCC – two with front-wheel drive only and three with all four wheels powered.



2009 Renault Koleos

All are powered by a 2.5-litre engine with 170bhp and 226NM of torque, attached to a CVT gearbox – that’s continuously variable transmission to you and me, a belt driven gearbox that does away with traditional cogs for extra smoothness. If you want to shift manually, there’s a six-speed manual shift mode as well.

We’ve driven the Koleos, and while it’s surprisingly good off-road it’s a little disappointing on it, in terms of its handling. That probably won’t be an issue for most users in these lands of predominantly straight roads, but it strikes us as excelling in areas where it needn’t bother, and coming up short in areas where it should be better. Still, it’s something a bit different from the usual array of Japanese SUVs.

2009 Renault Koleos


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