Renault Koleos Phase 2 arrives in NZ this month

October 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Renault’s new-look Koleos compact crossover arrives in NZ later this month with fresh styling and an updated equipment list.

The Koleos Phase 2 represents the first significant facelift for Renault’s inaugural compact SUV since it was originally launched in late 2008.

The Koleos is an important model in the NZ Renault range since the franchise was reinvigorated early this year. “The mix of models – 2WD and 4WD and both petrol and diesel engines has given the market a value for money choice,” said Stephen Kenchington, General Manager of Renault New Zealand.

The most popular model in NZ has been the 4WD Koleos with CVT transmission and standard leather upholstery and remains available as a free upgrade for $43,990.

Design changes on the Koleos Phase 2 include a revised interior and a new-look front-end that takes styling cues from Renault’s other Korean produced models, the Fluence and Latitude sedans. There’s a more rounded front bumper and all-new bonnet and front quarter panels that wrap around narrower headlights and a more traditional six-sided, three-bar chromed grille.

Inside, the Koleos will feature new seat upholsteries and interior trims, while the dashboard has been revised with a more contemporary instrument panel housing and lighting. Continue reading “Renault Koleos Phase 2 arrives in NZ this month” »

Renault facelifts Koleos SUV for 2012

June 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Renault has just revealed the facelift version of its Koleos SUV for the 2012 model year.

The refreshed Koleos features a thoroughly revised front end with a new chrome grille and slimmer, sportier headlamps. The side mirrors now include LED turn indicators.

In terms of power the Koloes will be built with three engine variants. Two diesel mills, the dCi 150 with a 110kW power output and the dCi 175 which pumps out 129kW.  For petrol fans there is a 125kW TR25 petrol engine that completes the small range. Exactly what Koleos variants will be offered in the NZ market hasn’t been announced.

The Koleos will continue to be built as either a 4×4 all-wheel drive or a 4×2 front drive model. There’s also a new colour on the Koleos palette, Cayenne Orange as pictured. Continue reading “Renault facelifts Koleos SUV for 2012” »

Renault stages bold comeback into NZ market

April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” is how the famous LL Cool J rap lyrics roll and today they ring true for car brand Renault who has unveiled a bold strategy for increasing sales in the NZ market.

After minimal sales in New Zealand last year, Renault is punching off the ropes and expanding its model range with vehicles positioned in very different core market segments. Renault’s offerings will include the new Fluence sedan, Megane Hatch, Megane Coupe-Cabriolet and the Koleos SUV. The new-to-NZ models were unveiled as part of a press event held in Auckland yesterday.

The models have just gone on sale as Renault adopts “Drive the Change” as its brand positioning statement, a phrase to reflect its new direction into the NZ mainstream motoring environment.

“Drive the Change” expresses the fundamental values of the Renault business culture – enthusiastic, innovative and human,” says Renault Cars General Manager, Stephen Kenchington. “Renault is investing proactively for growth with the all-new European styled and engineered Renault Mégane Hatch, the segment-reshaping Fluence Sedan, and stylish and chic glass-roofed Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet and Koleos SUV.”

“For the ultimate in European enthusiast sports machines, Kiwi drivers will be offered the visually exciting, muscled and toned new Mégane RS 250 Cup or Cup Trophée models. These will re-set the benchmark in terms of performance, equipment, attainability, as well as head-turning good looks that really stand out.” Continue reading “Renault stages bold comeback into NZ market” »

Renault to expand line-up in NZ and boost Koleos range

November 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Renault is preparing to expand its range of models on the New Zealand market early in 2011 with the launch of the new Fluence sedan, Megane hatch, Megane Coupe Cabriolet, Megane 250RS Cup and Trophee models and the Koleos SUV.

The enlarged range of Renault’s Koleos should cater for a wide variety of buyers in the compact SUV market.

When the high riding five door arrives here early next year it will be available in 3 models, including two and four wheel drive options.

“Our customers enjoy the versatility of a compact SUV with its command driving position,” said Mark Patterson, the General Manager of Renault Cars New Zealand. “But they don’t always require the off road capabilities that come with an AWD. So to cater for this we will also make available a 2WD option.”

The still comprehensively equipped 2WD Koleos will be competitively priced with a 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol engine and Continuously Variable Transmission.

There will be two four wheel drive models available. The same petrol motor as in the 2WD is mated to a 4WD CVT gearbox, while a two litre diesel will come with a six speed automatic transmission.

“Renault has the compact SUV market covered with this range,” said Mr Patterson. “Whether the preference is diesel or petrol both 4WDs offer the ability to take their occupants to any kind of recreational destination in New Zealand.”

All three models come standard with a safety package that includes six air bags, ESP and ABS brakes.

Standard features across the range include air conditioning, a four speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, 7 function trip computer, electric mirrors and windows, 17 inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

The 2WD model also has the option of integrated satellite navigation and front fog lights.

Both 4WD models add hill descent and start assist control, dual climate control air conditioning, integrated satellite navigation, automatic park control, a central console, 6 speaker sound system, blinds on the rear side door windows, roof rails, front fog lights, automatic wipers and headlights, heated door mirrors, rear parking aid and iPod USB connectivity.

Optional extras include Xenon headlights, 18 inch alloy wheels and a sunroof.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Renault Koleos.

Renault Koleos

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Renault Koleos moderate off-road driving

Renault Koleos moderate off-road driving

Renault Koleos 2008 Review

November 22nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


At this time of year schools across the country begin to quieten down for the end of the year: students take off on exam leave, teachers celebrate, etc. It isn’t just schools that are slowing down after a busy term, car manufacturers are also busy doing their homework and preparing for a tough period ahead. Renault is using this time to launch the Koleos, its first offering in the very competitive crossover category, and one student who has arrived late in the school year. SUV and crossover vehicles have thrived in the past few years and most car makers have been busy enrolling new or upgraded models in this class. Only now with the school term ending and global sales for larger vehicles down, Renault shows up at the school gates with its new French exchange student, the Koleos.

At first glance the Koleos looks understated in appearance and inconsistent with the flamboyant design that defines many French vehicles. On closer inspection the Koleos has some exotic touches, and love it or hate it you can’t accuse it of being boring. Inheriting the Renault family face, the Koleos has pushed back headlights and a dipping nose adorned with a dominating silver badge. The Koleos adopts a roundness that is highlighted by aluminium roof rails and a tapered back end with wrap-around rear lights. It is unusual in appearance and makes refreshingly little attempt to fit in with its peers.

The interior blends style and practicality well and is a potential selling point for those who value internal aesthetics.  A variety of interior equipment levels are available, the tested model had the Dynamique pack which smartly matches charcoal cloth and plastics to chrome effect trimming. There is symmetry throughout the cabin and a simple, easily read instrument cluster makes life easy. However, the centre control console wasn’t very intuitive to use and I found myself having to look down regularly while driving. This was helped by good steering wheel controls and a high set info display mid-dashboard. There are a great range of storage options available, including large door bins, deep centre binnacle and a chilled glove box. More discreet storage is available in a draw under the passenger seat and two underfloor storage lockers in the rear, perfect for hiding contraband from nosy teachers.

Fold down the rear seats and the Koleos provides a totally flat bed with a 1,380 litre storage capacity.  The rear seats have a 60/40 split a useful ski-flap, and with the passenger seat folded down items up to 260cm in length can be carried. The rear tailgate is split-opening and the bottom part of the hatch can perform as a useful platform or just as a seat for hanging out at lunchtime.

The Koleos may be new but it already has one friend in class and that’s the Nissan X-Trail, which shares the same platform and diesel motor. This power plant is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder which produces 110kW of go and a useful 320Nm of torque. Claimed combined fuel consumption is 8.3 litres/100 km. The Koleos trundles along to 100kph in 10 seconds which isn’t bad considering its 1713kg weight. But the acceleration never feels rapid, and the throttle response can be as slow as a Friday afternoon maths lesson. However, once it’s up to speed the Koleos is a competent cruiser.

Out the school gates and onto the road, it rides smoothly, and sucks up any bumps and dips in the road easily.  The sound of the diesel motor is always present but the cabin is very well secluded from road noise.  The handling is not very agile but it isn’t the fat kid in gym class either and body roll is well contained.  Steering could offer more feedback, but it responds keenly to driver input. Twists and turns see the Koleos staying fairly flat and there is good grip for powering out of corners. The 6-speed auto transmission (that has a manual change option) works the gears well, but frequently changes to draw the most from its motor.

Off road and on to the rugby field the X-Trail underpinnings give the Koleos enough skill to make the A-team. Kitted with Nissan’s ‘All mode I” hardware the Koleos has the potential to transfer up to 50% of the driving power to the rear if required.  This is made possible by an electromagnetic clutch in the rear diff. Under normal driving conditions it operates as front wheel drive, but change the Koleos into 4WD and it is brainy enough to do the calculations and guarantee good traction.

As that final school bell rings and yearly report cards are handed out the Koleos isn’t top of the class. It achieves well despite its late entry, but is roundly beaten by the X-Trail, upon which it’s based. It is the type of vehicle that will always be an acquired taste and this may prevent it from having as many friends as other crossover models. At a couple of grand more than the X-Trail it’s going to win friends that want a European badge, but the compromises over the X-Trail’s interior functionality (read the review here) will be too much for some. Regardless, the Koleos offers an affordable mix of European flair and Japanese reliability and that combination is always worth a second look.

For the full specifications of the Renault Koleos click through to the next page

Price: from $37,990

What we like:

  • It’s different
  • Sharp interior styling
  • Off road capable

What we don’t like:

  • Uncommunicative steering
  • Throttle response

Renault Koleos (2008) – Specifications


Capacity (cc) 1995
Bore x stroke (mm) 84X90
No. of cylinders / valves 4/16
Compression ratio 15.7:1
Maximum power (kw) 110
Maximum power (rpm) 4000
Maximum torque (Nm) 320
Maximum torque (rpm) 2000
Fuel type Diesel
Injection type Electronic Multi-point Direct Common rail + watercooled turbocharger
Anti-pollution system Three-way catalytic converter Oxidation catalyser with particle filter
Emissions standard Euro4

Chassis and Drive

Transmission 4X4 six-speed automatic
Front suspension MacPherson type
Rear suspension Multilink
Front and rear driven wheels with auto-adaptive transmission Yes
4×4 ALL MODE-i with ESP transmission Yes
Front/rear anti-roll-bar diameter (mm) 23/19.1
Ground clearance 188
All-terrain: approach/ramp breakover/departure angle (º) 27/21/31

Fuel Consumption and Emissions

Fuel tank (litres) 65
Urban – litres/100km 10.5
Extra urban – litres/100km 7
Combined cycle – litres/100km 8.3
C02 (g/km) 221

Weights (kg)

Tare mass 1713
Gross vehicle mass 2300
Unbraked trailer 750
Braked trailer 1350

Dimensons (mm)

Wheelbase 2,690
Overall length 4,520
Overall width (exterior mirrors folded/with exterior mirrors) 1,865/2,120
Height (with/without roof rails) 1,695/1,710
Front track 1,545
Rear track 1,550
Boot capacity (to top of rear seatback) 450 (dm3)

Words, Adam Mamo photography, Darren Cottingham

Renault Koleos crossover launched in NZ

October 9th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Renault Koleos fq

Renault’s first crossover 4WD, the Koleos is being launched in New Zealand this week as a diesel engined, 6 speed automatic 4WD model at $44,990 and a 2WD petrol version for $37,990 targeted at people who like crossover styling, versatility and the higher driving position, but do not need 4WD capability.

The 4WD two litre diesel comes with a six speed automatic gearbox, in which the ratios can also be selected manually coupled to the 4WD transmission which automatically switches from 2WD to 4WD when any loss of traction is detected. The 2.5 litre petrol 2WD model comes with a CVT gearbox, which also has six distinct ratios which can be selected manually.

“The Koleos 4WD diesel is priced competitively against its rivals,” said Wallis Dumper of Motorcorp Distributors, the importer of Renault.

“We’ve got a car with a six speed auto, a five star Euro NCAP safety rating and it’s got great European sporty styling rather than the traditional boxy design of many of our competitors.”

Mr Dumper said any shifts in the value of our currency could make future pricing a challenge, particularly for the Koleos 2WD. “We will have to re-evaluate things in 2009,” he said.

The Koleos is built by Renault Samsung Motors (an 81 percent owned subsidiary of Renault) at Pusan in Korea for all world markets.

Koleos’ trim level includes 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/60 R17 tyres, cruise control, speed limiter, dual zone climate air conditioning, roof rails, front fog lamps, Renault Hands Free Card and automatic headlights and wipers.

Its design, with short overhangs and good ground clearance assists in driving on uneven surfaces. Uphill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control systems are standard on the 4WD model.

The MacPherson-type front suspension and fully independent multi-link rear suspension combine to deliver directional stability. The rear dampers are mounted at an angle to free up as much space as possible between the wheel arches.

Koleos is the first Renault model to be equipped with four-wheel drive from launch. In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. If a reduction in grip is sensed, torque is instantly diverted to the rear. In extreme conditions up to 50 per cent of torque can be transferred to the back wheels. When pulling away from standstill, the engine delivers torque to all four wheels to ensure prompt and secure performance, regardless of the amount of grip available.

Koleos’ active safety is founded on robust and detail-engineered chassis and large brakes (320mm ventilated front discs, 292mm rear discs) that can bring the car to a halt from 100 km/h in just 42 metres. In emergency braking situations, Koleos has  ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) and ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with under steer control.

Standard equipment on all Koleos models includes front airbags that automatically adapt to the build of driver and front passenger, plus side and full-length curtain airbags. The front seatbelts have pretensioners, while front and outer rear seatbelts benefit from load limiters. Isofix child seat anchors are provided on the outer rear seats.

Koleos has a 150,000km/three-year new vehicle warranty, together with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and a three-year warranty against paint defects.

Renault Koleos gets five stars in crash test

September 2nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


Renault’s Koleos sports utility vehicle, which will be available in New Zealand before the end of the year is the tenth Renault model to obtain the maximum score of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.

Koleos is the tenth Renault model to obtain the maximum five-star score in adult protection. It scored 33 out of 37 in adult protection tests, earning five stars. It obtained 4 out of 5 stars in child protection and 2 out of 4 in pedestrian protection.

Koleos benefits from Renault’s longstanding work in real-life accident analysis. In terms of passive safety, its body structure features programmed crumple zones at the front and back. The cabin was designed as a real survival cell for passengers in the event of an accident.

Renault Koleos also boasts a comprehensive range of equipment for passenger protection, including six airbags, seatbelts with force limiters in the front and rear side seats and pretensioners in the front seats, along with Isofix anchor points for attaching child seats in the rear side seats – all fairly standard now for cars in its class.

The headrests have a carefully worked ergonomic design that offers maximum protection against whiplash in the event of rear impact.

Interestingly, Koleos’ four-wheel drive system was developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance and first featured on the new Nissan X-Trail. It comes with electronic stability control.

Other EuroNCAP results for Renault models are:
·    Laguna II 5 stars (2001 and 2003), first car ever to obtain this score

·    Vel Satis 5 stars (2002 and 2005)

·    Megane II 5 stars (2002), first medium segment vehicle to obtain 5 stars

·    Espace IV 5 stars (2003)

·    Scenic II 5 stars (2003), first compact MPV to obtain 5 stars

·    Modus 5 stars (2004), first 5-star vehicle in its category

·    Megane II Coupe Cabriolet 5 stars (2004), first 5-star vehicle in its category

·    Clio III 5 stars (2005)

·    New Laguna 5 stars (2007)

·    Koleos 5 stars (2008)

Two 5-star rated Koleos models will be launched in the New Zealand late October — the 4×4 diesel and the 4×2 petrol.  Pricing will be announced closer to release date.