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Renault Koleos SUV review

2017 - 2020 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 53.9
” Suavely-styled SUV packed with advanced safety kit “

At a glance

Price new £26,665 - £36,200
Used prices £8,897 - £19,167
Road tax cost £180
Insurance group 18 - 23
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Fuel economy 36.2 - 46.3 mpg
Range 581 - 752 miles
Miles per pound 4.6 - 5.9
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Improved interior quality and usability
  • Long wheelbase for spacious rear seats
  • Simple, high-specification trim structure
  • Impressive 'stepped' CVT transmission
  • No petrol engine in range
  • No seven-seater available
  • Lack of badge kudos
  • Intrusive road noise

Written by Parkers Experts Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019


Renault Koleos

The second-generation Renault Koleos adds the third, and final, string to Renault’s crossover-style SUV bow, joining the Captur and Kadjar to fight its corner in a sector of the market increasingly saturated with rivals.

The list of those rivals is a long one, and includes the hugely popular Land Rover Discovery Sport,  Nissan X-Trail, Ford Edge, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and, most recently, the Skoda Kodiaq. The well-received latter is likely to provide stiff competition for the Koleos, not least because it provides the option of a seven-seat format.

Why can’t I have a seven-seat Renault Koleos?

Renault justifies its decision not to consider more than five seats on the basis that proportion and styling was more important, rather than ‘dressing up the hunchback’, and that the addition of an extra tier would simply cramp second row space.

With a 2,705mm wheelbase – one of the longest in its class – the argument in favour of rear seat space has certainly been vindicated. But as to proportion and styling, it strikes us that most of the effort has merely gone into making the front of a large box yell ‘RENAULT’ as loudly as possible, which it does very well indeed. Besides, if you want a seven-seat Renault, why not try the impressively stylish Scenic?

Still, with easy-fold, 60:40-split rear seats, a powered tailgate at which you may wave your foot when your hands are full of shopping, a maximum loadspace of 1,706 litres and wide opening doors to make the UK’s Austin 7-sized parking bays even more frustrating, space and practicality are well up there with the competition.

Renault Koleos

Another interesting decision given the burgeoning anti-diesel backlash, Renault has shunned petrol power for the UK, only arming the Koleos with a choice of 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesel engines for 130 and 175hp respectively.

The smaller unit is mated with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, while the larger features all-wheel drive and is available with a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). 

That latter option – which Renault’s dubbed X-Tronic transmission – with its attendant 2.0-litre engine and all-wheel drive is, apparently, slated to be the best-selling model in the UK.

Happily, then, this is are rare example of CVT that doesn’t set the engine bellowing off round the rev counter while the car catches up in its own good time. Seven artificial steps built into the system make a pretty decent fist of more closely matching engine revs to acceleration, which will please old school automatic aficionados, and their ears.

Renault Koleos interior

For all the easy driving charms of the X-Tronic transmission, the manual 1.6-litre powertrain is not to be sniffed at. The gearchange is light and easy, the engine more than willing. Both the steering and handling of this lighter variant feel somewhat more engaging, and it offers nigh on 10mpg more in the fuel economy stakes.

What equipment do you get in the Renault Koleos?

The model line-up is equally straightforward; that choice of powertrains available in just two trim levels – Dynamique S Nav or Signature Nav. With the former boasting a respectably lavish standard equipment specification, it’s unsurprising that Renault expects it to be the favoured option in the UK.

Full leather upholstery, heated front seats and a powered tailgate aside, the only real goodie that Signature Nav brings to the party is the larger 8.7-inch portrait format centre console multimedia touchscreen.

Renault Koleos rear seats

You get a vast amount of driver-assistance tech such as Automatic Emergency Braking, blindspot monitor, lane-departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

Other common safety features such as ESCABScruise control, six airbags and Isofix mountings on the two outer rear seats, are standard on the Koleos.

Such a large standard kit list means optional extras are thin on the ground. However, customers can spec the Climate Pack (only available on Signature Nav) which adds ventilated front seats plus heated rear seats, steering wheel and front windscreen should they wish.

A high-end 13-speaker BOSE sound system and automatic parking are also available.