The Koleos grows bigger, gains more premium features

The original Koleos was Renault’s first crossover ever, and the newest iteration is set to be the brand’s flagship SUV that will compete against the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Nissan X-Trail, among others. As Renault’s flagship SUV, the Koleos is now larger and offers seating for up to seven. It comes loaded with an automatic four-wheel drive system, new technology, and a decent list of driver assistance systems.

It’s not surprising to see Renault put so much into its new flagship SUV. Renault has been on a mission to drop new models like auto manufacturing is going out of style. With SUVs being snatched up like knickknacks at a convention for the elderly, it’s no surprise that Renault’s SUV lineup is the primary focus of this “plan.” Renault already has the Kwid, Captur, and Kadjar, and now Renault has officially debuted the Renault Koleos at the Beijing Auto Show.

At the debut, Group Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: “Today in Beijing, we mark the world premiere of the all-new, flagship SUV Renault Koleos.” He continued, “Koleos has been completely re-engineered with powerful styling, unique features, and full SUV capability.” So, now that you know a little about the Renault’s new flagship SUV, let’s take a closer look at it and what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Renault Koleos.

Exterior

2017 Renault Koleos High Resolution Exterior
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The new Koleos is a huge departure from the previous model. It is clearly longer and wider and is far more attractive on the outside. Not that the original was bad for the brand’s first crossover, but this new model has the look the Koleos should have already had. Up front, the Koleos has a muscular and defined hood with four different body lines that seem to feed life into the grille below. The headlights are all new units that feature an LED strip over the top of the low-beam light and along the outer side. The LED strip actually picks up directly below the headlight and curves inward toward the bottom of the grille.

The grille itself features four vertical slats with the Renault diamond emblem sitting in the middle of the top three slats.

The grille itself features four vertical slats with the Renault diamond emblem sitting in the middle of the top three slats. Down below, the fog lights are recessed into rounded-out rectangular cutouts on each corner. An air dam exists between the two cutouts with a piece of body gray body cladding rounding off the bottom of the fascia.

To the side, there is a very prominent body line that runs from the upper corner of the headlight assembly to the vent on the side door. The body also has a bubble-like effect to it to the front and rear on the side, giving the area around the B-pillar a look of depth. Down below, body cladding adds more character to the bottom of the doors and the side skirts. Moving farther back, we can make out a portion of the wraparound taillights and the chrome window strip is wider at the rearmost window. The waistline gets a higher as you move closer to the rear.

Walking around to the back will give you yet another pleasurable view of the re-engineered SUV. There is a short overhang above the hatch that houses the high-mount brake light. Down below, the taillights travel from the rear quarters and across the hatch. The bottom side of the taillights swoops upward so the inner point of the taillights point directly at the diamond emblem on the rear hatch.

Below the hatch, there is a reflector on each corner of the rear bumper, which also houses the rectangular exhaust outlets that are surrounded by chrome trim. The bottom of the rear bumper also got the gray cladding treatment. Needless to say, Renault put in a lot of work when it came to redesigning the Koleos, and that work paid off. This is arguably one of the more attractive SUVs out there at the moment.

Interior

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2017 Renault Koleos High Resolution Interior
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2017 Renault Koleos High Resolution Interior
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A quick look inside the Koleos reveals an upscale cabin that surely brings strong competition to the segment. To start off, just take a look at that leather upholstery. The leather on the seats, armrests, and center console are held together by white stitching, and it looks like the center of the seat cushions and seatback are perforated, hinting toward heated and cooled seats as an option.

On the technology front, the SUV has some blue ambient lighting in the storage pockets on the door and ahead of the gear shifter, just under the infotainment display

The interior looks like it can be had in several different color options. In the photo’s supplied with the SUV’s official debut, we see a combination of black trim, black leather, and white used for the pillars and roof. Another image depicts brown leather (with white stitching,) black trim, and white on the pillars and roof. Renault hasn’t divulged all of the information regarding color options, but we know there will at these be the ones mentioned here.

On the technology front, the SUV has some blue ambient lighting in the storage pockets on the door and ahead of the gear shifter, just under the infotainment display. Speaking of infotainment, the Koleos comes standard with the R-Link2 system that serves as a hub to control things like the Bose audio system, navigation, hands-free telephone use, and other driver aids. Renault didn’t give too many details about the infotainment system, but the screen is oriented horizontally and looks to be around 10 inches in size. There are several buttons on the right side of the screen, a few below the screen and a knob at each bottom corner. There is another strip of buttons below the knobs.

Overall the interior is pretty luxurious and looks like a pretty comfortable place to spend some time in. I like the way the Infotainment screen is oriented vertically and integrated into the center stack. I also like the hybrid-like instrument cluster. The center display is virtual while the needle gauges on the left and right are more traditional. And, since the Koleos is designed to go on-road or off, Renault took the time to add plenty of oh-crap handles. You can see them on the roof above the doors, but more interestingly, the knee bolsters on the dash curve around the center stack and slant downward to connect to the base of the console, creating a handle for the passenger and driver. Overall, the cabin gets my approval.

Drivetrain

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So far, Renault has yet to disclose any information regarding what will power its new flagship SUV. There are a lot of possibilities on the table, thought. Renault could borrow drivetrain options from the Nissan X-Trail, which would bring a gasoline-powered 2.0-liter with 143 horsepower, a gasoline-powered 2.5-liter with 170 horsepower, or a 1.6-liter diesel mill with 130 horsepower.

On the other hand, it could bring over the powertrain options from the Kadjar. What we know for sure is that the Koleos comes equipped with a user-friendly, four-wheel-drive system. The system offers several modes of operation including two-wheel drive, four-wheel auto, and four-wheel lock. The system is said to deliver all-terrain ability and enhanced stability by neutralizing understeer and oversteer.

Safety

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On the safety side of things, the Koleos offers an active emergency braking system, lane departure warning, safe distance warning, traffic sign recognition with speed warning, blind spot warning, and tiredness detection. Other features include a rearview camera, automatic high- and low-beam headlights, parking sensors on all four sides, and easy park assist. Needless to say, the Koleos is well equipped, so I doubt we’ll be disappointed when we find out what lurks under the hood. Stay tuned for updates.

Competition

Mitsubishi Outlander

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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The Outlander isn’t the most exciting seven-seat SUV on the market, but it does offer high practicality at a competitive price. The exterior looks good, with bold styling and unique touches all around. The fuel economy is also quite good, but the trade off is performance that seems to struggle. The interior is on the bland side, but AWD comes standard, so if you’re looking for something that does the job and not a whole lot more, the Outlander might be the right choice.

Read our full review here.

Nissan X-Trail

2015 Nissan X-Trail High Resolution Exterior
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It’s expected the Koleos will offer more or less the same mechanical bits as the Nissan X-Trail, which means the two will probably fight it out over things like styling and interior appointment. From the outside, the Nissan looks like an SUV should, while the cabin has all the right features of tech and usability. I could see Nissan giving these attributes an update to keep it ahead of the Renault, so we’ll have to see where it sits when the Koleos successor is finally released.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

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When spy shots of the new Koleos started surfacing, I was a little skeptical that Renault would do right by the model. The original did well in some markets, but poor in others. Now that we’ve seen the finished product, it’s pretty clear that Renault went all out on its new flagship SUV. It’s filled with technology that will be used and doesn’t have any of the extra crap that nobody ever uses. The interior is upscale and luxurious, and it is sure to be a hit in most markets.

The problem is, it will also be going up against the Nissan X-Trail, and I’m curious to see how the two will manage to differentiate the models. If not, both brands may see troubling sales as customers are forced to pick between one or the other. The best thing about the Koleos is that Renault kept its word when it said it was going to make a vehicle suitable for all terrain. I expected to see some wimpy all-wheel drive system, but Renault surprised us all and gave the SUV a real 4WD system. Good work, Renault.

  • Leave it
    • Could be too close to the X-Trail
    • Engine packages might fall short

Updated History

Updated 11/16/2015: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming SUV from Renault our for a new testing session, and this time they also took some photos of the interior. Koleos’ successor is expected to be unveiled sometime in early 2016.

Updated 03/11/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Koleos successor out for a new testing session in Northern Sweden. New rumors suggest that the new SUV could be named "Maxthon" and that it should be unveiled in September at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Spy Shots

March 11, 2016 - Renault "Maxthon" caught testing in Sweden

2017 Renault Koleos Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Renault Koleos Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Renault Koleos Exterior Spyshots
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November 16, 2015 - Renault’s future SUV reveals its interior

2017 Renault Koleos Spyshots
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2017 Renault Koleos Spyshots
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2017 Renault Koleos Spyshots
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October 16, 2016 - First testing session

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2017 Renault Koleos Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Renault Koleos Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Today at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed the new Renault KOLEOS, a high-end, totally redesigned SUV geared to reach 80 markets.

2017 Renault Koleos High Resolution Exterior
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“Today in Beijing, we mark the world premiere of the all-new, flagship SUV Renault KOLEOS” said Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “KOLEOS has been completely re-engineered with powerful styling, unique features and full SUV capability.”

The new KOLEOS boasts a powerful stance, with muscular exterior lines that set it apart from rivals, and it provides a refined, comfortable interior with class-leading cabin space, including 289mm of rear knee room for occupants. Featured tailored by market include a heated steering wheel and easy defrosting for cold climates and a cabin air filter that cuts pollen, dust and unpleasant odours.

A protective interior
The new KOLEOS offers an elevated driving position with excellent visibility. Compared to a traditional sedan, the new KOLEOS’ driving position is 150mm higher than traditional sedans, a reassuring feature that is highly prized by SUV buyers. Hand grips on either side of the centre console echo the world of off-road motoring while imbuing the interior with a sporty feel. 

Flagship SUV
Best in class, user-friendly 4x4 technology features all mode 4x4-i technology, an all-wheel drive system that makes it easy to switch back and forth between 2WD, 4WD AUTO and 4WD LOCK modes. The new KOLEOS 4x4 transmission also guarantees enhanced safety and stability by neutralising understeer and oversteer and by optimising grip in difficult conditions. The new KOLEOS also delivers all-terrain ability, with ground clearance of 213mm.

Connected on-board experience
A key feature of the new KOLEOS interior and travelling comfort is R-Link 2, a connected, personalisable experience. This system serves as a connected control centre to coordinate functions like BOSE audio, infotainment, navigation, hands-free telephony, radio and driver aids.

2017 Renault Koleos High Resolution Exterior
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Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Depending on the market, the new KOLEOS comes with a large array of driver assistance capabilities and options, all of which can be controlled via the R-LINK 2 tablet.

To reassure: Active Emergency Braking System.
To alert: Lane departure warning, safe distance warning, traffic sign recognition with excess speed warning, blind spot warning, tiredness detection.
To assist: rear view camera, automatic high/low beam, headlights, front, rear and side parking sensors, and easy park assist.

New KOLEOS completes Renault’s high-end range that now includes the Espace crossover, the Talisman large saloon car and Talisman Estate station wagon. It also completes the design renaissance of the Renault range. New KOLEOS is instantly recognisable as a top-of-the-range Renault, thanks notably to its front-end design that incorporates a prominent Renault logo set at the centre of a broad chrome grille.

New KOLEOS will be produced at two plants – Busan in South Korea for all markets except China, plus Wuhan, China for the Chinese market. Both facilities meet Renault’s stringent manufacturing quality standards and currently produce vehicles built on the CMF-C/D architecture for brands belonging to Groupe Renault.

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