Renault Koleos 2017-2020 review

Open gallery Close by Matt Saunders 22 September 2017 Follow @TheDarkStormy1 Share

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If mention of the Renault Koleos nameplate has you furrowing your brow and staring meditatively into the middle distance, don’t worry: that serves to confirm the level of impact the car has made in the UK up to now.

For the record, the first-generation model was launched in 2007 as Renault limply embraced an early flush of enthusiasm for crossovers.

Love them or hate them, dramatically large wraparound lights have become a recent Renault trademarkMatt SaundersRoad test editor

The reason you might not remember it is because, despite sharing its platform with the supersonically popular Nissan Qashqai, the Koleos wasn’t the most visually appealing crossover the world has ever seen, and didn’t really do much to reward closer inspection.

Before the third year was out, Renault pulled the plug on UK sales, although it continued production for the rest of Europe until 2015.

Its replacement, already more than a year hence from its unveiling at the Beijing motor show, isn’t really a replacement at all.

The old Koleos was a tall hatchback yet the new one, alike only in name, is at the top end of the mid-sized SUV category and is intended to head up a soft-roader line-up that already features the supermini-sized Renault Captur and Qashqai-related Renault Kadjar. It was suggested that Renault might call the new model the Maxthon, but instead it’s second time round for the Koleos badge.

Name aside, the product makes total sense. The manufacturer desperately needs something to fill the void left by an absent D-segment saloon and to compensate for the steady shrinking of the MPV class’s popularity.

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The prospect of a largish family crossover has worked for a host of mainstream rivals and, clearly, Renault’s relationship with Nissan means all the engineering resource is in place, including the Samsung factory at Busan in South Korea.

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Now the British buying public just needs convincing that a Korean-built, supersized, French facsimile of an Anglo-Japanese crossover is just what the doctor ordered.

Verdict Model tested: Rating: 6

Renault Koleos 2017-2020

GoodModern, austere stylingFamily-catering sizeDecent value at the mid-range specBadBrittle, inconsistent ride qualitySecond-rate refinementPonderous and outmoded CVT transmission

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