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.