Review: Renault Koleos (2017)

Rating:

Luxurious and well-equipped. Lots of rear legroom. Quiet and refined. Compliant suspension. Handles well on open roads and poor conditions in AWD mode. Absorbs potholes on 225/60 R18 tyres.

Relatively expensive. No 7 seat option. No petrol engines in 2017. No paddles for X-Tronic CVT. Steering slow and clumsy in city traffic conditions.

Recently Added To This Review

6 June 2019 Renault Koleos revamped for 2019.

Only available as X-Tronic CVT automatic, now with same chain-cam, manifold in head 1,749cc 150PS/340Nm diesel engine as Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail (developed from Renault 1.6DCi)... Read more

1 February 2018 Renault reduces warranty from four years to three years

Renault models ordered and registered from 1 February 2018 are covered by a warranty package for up to three years from date of first registration. The first two years unlimited mileage, followed by a... Read more

2 January 2018 Koleos Initiale Paris introduced

The Initiale Paris gets two-tone Nappa leather and Hands Free Parking. An Amethyst body colour is an exclusive option. It is available to order, priced at £36,700. The Koleos Initiale Paris... Read more

Renault Koleos (2017): At A Glance

Based on the the Nissan X-Trail, the Renault Koleos is a big, family-friendly SUV with lots of interior space and plenty of standard equipment. But a limited and pricey variety of trim levels and engines, along with sometimes poor ride quality on 19 inch wheels, restrict its appeal.

The Koleos is sold with five seats only but on the upside the back seat is 1,300mm wide and there is masses of rear legroom for older kids or teens - although the standard panoramic glass roof impedes head room a little for giants. The boot is big, wide and flat with plenty of space for bulky stuff like pushchairs or weekly shopping trips.

Up front is where the Koleos impresses most, with plush and sturdy materials and plenty of technology. R-Link real-time navigation, a digital instrument display, dual-zone climate control, lane departure warning, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are all standard – but you’d hope for as much since there are only two trim levels. Top models gain luxuries including leather seats and a power tailgate.

The engine range is diesel only, with a 130PS 1.6-litre dCi and a 175PS 2.0-litre dCi. The Koleos is front-wheel drive as standard but, if you need extra traction, the 2.0 dCi is available with all wheel drive and either a 6-speed manual or an X-Tronic CVT automatic transmission. Neither diesel engine requires the addition of AdBlue.

Performance is ample if not spectacular – but engine noise is minimal. As in the Kadjar, acceleration off the line of the 1.6DCI 130 is a bit slow. But the 175PS 2.0 is actually the equal of an Ingenium 180 diesel in a Discovery Sport or an F-Pace. On the road the Koleos is easy to drive with light controls and good body control in bends. 18-inch 'Agapi' alloy wheels with 60 profile tyres improve ride quality enormously over the 19-inch wheels. These are standard on base versions and optional on the Signature. But, though precise, the slow steering prevents it from being agile in city driving.

The diesel only engine range and high start price, restricts the appeal of the Koleos. A Skoda Kodiaq has more seats and is more comfortable, while a Nissan X-Trail is cheaper. However, if you can get a good deal on a Koleos it will cope well with family life and comes with plenty of standard equipment. 

Renault Koleos 1.6 dCi 130 2017 Road Test

Renault Koleos 2.0 dCi 175 4x4 Long-Term Test

What does a Renault Koleos (2017) cost?

List Price from £27,180
Buy new from £22,557
Contract hire from £213.22 per month

Renault Koleos (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4672 mm
Width 2063 mm
Height 1678 mm
Wheelbase 2705 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the Renault Koleos is its best asset. It’s both spacious and well made, plus it comes with a good level of equipment and advanced tech. It is only sold as a five-seater which is a shame if you have a big family, but it is advantageous if you've got older children or teens, since rear legroom is very generous. 

Having said that, Renault has fitted an opening panoramic roof as standard and it does reduce rear headroom somewhat, although only taller passengers will find things tight. The huge asset of this roof is a clever castellated wind deflector thaty sends the air right over the hole so there is no buffeting inside with the roof open. It's one of the best sunfoofs we've driven.

The boot is spacious at 458 litres – plenty of room for pushchairs, supermarket runs or trips to a garden centre. Pick the top model and it has a power tailgate with a hands-free operation.

If you do need some more space it’s very easy to fold the rear seats down with one touch levers located in the boot. With the back seats down the load area is long and has a large maximum volume of 1,690 litres. But there is a little step in the middle where the seats fold, which might get in the way when pushing in a heavy object like a flatpack box. It is built as a luxurious car rather than a utility vehicle so those big folded seats waste a lot of space and leave a high load deck when folded.

Up front the layout is neat and classy, with good quality, soft-touch materials. It’s sturdily screwed together plus it has some nice flourishes like illuminated door inlays and wood details. The instrument binnacle is fully digital and easy to understand, plus there is a ouchscreen system with brilliant tconnected navigation as standard that shows you and gets your round every traffic jam unless the roads are totally gridlocked.

The system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, meaning you can access smartphone features including music and Google Maps navigation and Waze on the go within the car’s touchscreen system. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and a pair USB ports, plus an aux input if you want to hook up music the old-fashioned way.

The simple, two grade trim structure means there isn’t much on the options list. But there are a few luxury extras including a BOSE 13-speaker audio system and a climate pack, which features heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

Standard Equipment (from launch):

Dynamique S comes with rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, auto lights, auto wipers, traffic sign recognition with speeding alert, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, hill start assist, auto emergency braking, panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, part leather upholstery, ventilated cup holders, two USB sockets, AUX socket, 60:40 rear seat folding, auto dual-zone climate control, TFT instrument display, keyless entry and start, 7-inch touchscreen system, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and DAB Radio.

Signature S adds 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment, power tailgate with handsfree operation plus a larger 8.7-inch touchscreen system. 

Child seats that fit a Renault Koleos (2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Renault Koleos (2017) like to drive?

Renault only offers the Koleos with diesel engines. The basic 1.6-litre dCi has 130PS and produces 320Nm of torque, with official fuel economy of 57.6mpg. We’d sacrifice a few mpg for the extra flexibility of the 175PS/380Nm 2.0-litre dCi though – it’s punchier and quieter. It’s also available with a smooth and relaxed X-Tronic CVT auto and all-wheel drive.

Regardless of what’s under the bonnet, noise is kept subdued for the most part with the odd whir from the turbocharger and some grumbling when accelerating hard. Performance of the 1.6dCi isn’t blistering from a standing start, but on the go there’s enough punch for joining motorways, while long distance cruising is a quiet experience. The 175HP 2.0dCi is much better, with plenty of acceleration from standstill and gutsy country on-road performance easily the equal of any other 2.0 180HP SUV such as a Discovery Sport, F-Pace, Kuga or Tiguan. Unfortunately, on larger 19-inch wheels, that serenity is upset on typical B roads.

Over rough surfaces the Koleos on overpressured 19-inch wheels with 55 profile tyres never really feels settled, with the suspension subtly jiggling the cabin unless the road is smooth. The wheels thump over potholes too, which is a shame because the Koleos is an excellent drive on sensible ppressured 18-inch wheels with 225/60 R18 tyres. On these tyres it's set up for comfort over rough terrain with plenty of suspension travel, slow but very accurate steering and plenty of traction through corners. For serious roads it's best put in auto 4WD, though proper multi-point rear suspension means it's surprisingly good in 2WD

The Koleos is very large and there are a few blind spots caused by the big pillars, so it’s not town friendly – although no car in this class is. The slow steering doesn't help in cut and thrust traffic either. It's no sports SUV. On the plus side, if you need to squeeze into a tight spot there is an optional hands-free parking system, which takes care of the steering when it finds a suitable parking space.

Even if you leave the options boxes unticked there’s a decent amount of driver technology. A reversing camera, blind spot warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking and hill start assist are all standard. On the down side, there isn’t an adaptive cruise system, even as an option. 

If you go for the smooth, quiet automatic X-Tronic model then you'll also get standard all-wheel drive. It's not really meant for heavy off-road use but it's good enough for a gravel track or a wintry road. It's an automated system that detects slip and compensates for it, but you can press a button to lock the differential for slower, more slippery terrain like damp fields or mud.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 dCi 58 mpg 11.4 s 128 g/km
2.0 dCi 175 Xtronic 46 mpg 9.9 s 163 g/km
2.0 dCi 175 Xtronic 4WD 44 mpg 10.2 s 168 g/km
2.0 dCi 4WD 50 mpg 10.7 s 148 g/km
2.0 dCi Xtronic 4WD 48 mpg 9.5 s 156 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Koleos (2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

69%

Real MPG

25–47 mpg

MPGs submitted

20

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Renault Koleos (2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Should I buy a car that missed a service?

I'm looking to buy a used Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi from a dealer. While going over the paperwork, I noticed that the first service for the car was only done at 18 months/21,000 miles. When I pointed this out to the dealer and asked if this will void any remaining warranty on the car, they were not entirely clear on it. However, I'm a bit apprehensive about it and wanted to check if this meant the warranty would be void?
Don't touch it. These Renault 1.6 dCi need to have an oil and filter change at least every 12 months or every 12,000 miles regardless of what Nissan or Renault or this salesman tells you. I speak from experience of 20,000 miles with one. In any case, the 2.0 dCi 175 suits the X-Trail and Koleos much better than the 1.6 dCi, which is a bit too slow for the size of the car.
Answered by Honest John
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