Renault has had good success to date with its SUV range including the compact Captur and larger Kadjar SUV, which manage to stand out for their bold design and reasonable pricing. Now Renault is completing the set with the arrival of the Renault Koleos SUV. Will it be as roaring of a success as its siblings?

Renault are pitching the new Koleos as a D-segment SUV that combines “muscular style with the elegant refinement of a large saloon”.

The Renault Koleos has kerb appeal in spades, and sat next to the Kadjar it’s evident that it’s the big daddy of Renault SUVs. The Renault design cues from the brand’s current suite of vehicles are all there: the bulbous nose, edgy daytime running lights, large Renault lozenge in the centre of the grille, curvaceous body and flamboyant rear light signature. The Koleos has presence and looks high-end.

2017 Renault Koleos review ireland
The interior of the new Renault Koleos

Inside, the cabin is familiar Renault territory again with the brand’s digital instrument cluster a key feature, as is the 8.7” portrait style infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, standard on Signature Nav models. The full leather upholstery on my test car gives the cabin a more premium feel; the wooden inserts in the door panels and dash are less successful. There are plenty of soft touch materials but the cabin of the Koleos would struggle to bother the clean-cut elegance of a more premium offering.

Priced from €34,490, the Renault Koleos will seat five exclusively with no option for seven seats like rival Skoda Kodiaq and Hyundai Santa Fe. At least the Koleos will accommodate five with great ease and comfort: there is plenty of space in the back and a powered tailgate reveals a 458 litre boot that is wide and tall.

Power for the range comes from a 1.6-litre dCi diesel with 130hp (from €34,490) or a 2.0-litre diesel with 175hp (from €40,490). There is the option of an ‘X-Tronic’ automatic gearbox and four wheel drive is also available.

My test car had the larger diesel with four wheel drive and automatic gearbox, coming in at a hefty €46,790 in Signature Nav trim. The automatic gearbox is a CVT affair but it performs well for such a unit, though in my opinion it’s still missing the silky smoothness of a dual clutch unit. The diesel rumbles away at idle but quietens down once it warms up on the open road and progress is brisk from the 175hp 2.0-litre unit.

2017 Renault Koleos review ireland
The Renault Koleos will seat five in comfort – there is no seven seat option

On the road the Renault Koleos handles well for a large SUV. It’s not the most involving drive, but there’s not too much roll in the corners and the steering is direct enough to steer the big brute with a fair deal of precision. It’s a comfortable cruiser, but thumps a bit more over the uneven surfaces around town.

In Ireland, the new Renault Koleos will be offered in two trim levels, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav, and both come well equipped.

Standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, 18″ alloys, roof bars, part-black leather upholstery, tinted rear windows, cruise control, ambient lighting, automatic dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and a 7″ touchscreen with satellite navigation and Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone compatibility.

Renault’s advanced driver assistance systems, such as Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition with Over-speed Prevention and Hill Start Assist have been applied across the line-up. A rear parking camera with front and rear parking sensors is also included on all versions as well as an electrochrome rear mirror.

2017 Renault Koleos review ireland
Renault fans looking to upgrade will love the spacious, upscale Koleos SUV

Signature Nav adds to this specification with 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels, full LED headlights, electric tailgate, full black leather upholstery with heated front seats and the R-LINK2 multimedia system is increased to an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen.

It’s a sign of the times that in Ireland Renault doesn’t offer a D-segment saloon, but instead now offers a more fashionable, large SUV like the new Koleos. There is no question that the Renault Koleos has the kerb appeal, and it does look like a more upscale model among Renault’s current SUV range. This is a super competitive segment with many rivals offering seven seat options, but for Renault fans looking to upgrade to a large five seat SUV, the Koleos offers a lot of space, image and comfort.

Model tested: Renault Koleos Signature Nav dCi 175 CVT 4WD
Price: €46,790 (Range starts €34,490)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 380Nm
9.5 seconds
Top speed: 125km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions: 
Motor tax:
€570 per year

If you are looking for a large SUV you might also like this review of the Skoda Kodiaq.

Caroline Kidd