Renault Koleos test. French liaison

Like the previous model of the French crossover, the new Renault Koleos is built on the same platform as the Nissan X-Trail, and, like the previous model, the new product loses to its half-brother in sales in Russia. Thus, according to AUTOSTAT, over 6 months of last year 11 Nissan X-Trail were bought in Russia and only 225 Renault Koleos cars found their buyer. In my opinion, the reason for such a modest demand for a modern and interesting Koleos crossover lies in the perception of the Renault brand in the domestic market. With the departure of such models as Clio, Megane, Scenic and Laguna, the French brand became associated only with the budget Logan, Duster and Kaptur. Since last year, the situation with the image has been slightly corrected by the Renault Arkana model, but since it still plays in the lower price segment, this did not really save the situation. Just where Logan for the maximum price of 340 rubles, with which the brand is very closely associated with buyers, and Renault Koleos, the only expensive model in the current line of the company, which in the maximum configuration costs 840 million. It’s like in the smartphone market: if the conventional Alcatel, which has gone completely to the lower price segment with an average check of 000 rubles, suddenly releases a modern flagship for 2.5 rubles, someone, of course, will buy it, but there will be only a few of them, the majority will go to the brand specifically for cheap devices. So it is with Renault: selling thousands of budget cars, it is very difficult for them to sell even a good car, but in the middle price segment.

In terms of body design, I will not say that there are any revelations and innovations here, but the Renault Koleos crossover looks interesting and quite relevant. And if we compare it with the Nissan X-Trail, then in the current generation the gain is for Renault, since the Japanese counterpart began to differ little from the cheaper and more compact Qashqai. Interestingly, the Koleos looks larger than it actually is, and even feels like a larger car when driving, even though it’s a typical mid-size crossover. If you find fault, then I miss some sophistication and impetuosity in the appearance of the new Koleos, everything is calm and harmonious here. It can be seen that the manufacturer is aimed at an older audience that is not looking for new trends in auto design, but prefers modern and calm solutions in the spirit of the times.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

To make the car appear larger, the manufacturer installed a wide radiator grille with a large company logo and extended LED daytime running lights downward. Not to say that the look turned out to be brutal, but it gave the crossover solidity and visually increased its dimensions. The headlights in Koleos are all-LED, including the Pure Vision low and high beam, they provide good illumination, but in the garage, too much purple edging at the top of the light beam is striking, it does not stand out so much from competitors. Yes, the rear lights are also LED Edge Lights.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

On the interior of the new Renault Koleos, I got a double impression. On the one hand, everything seems to be beautiful and neat, on the other, there is not enough zoning in the front of the cabin, and I would even remove some of the design elements. For example, a decorative plastic insert with a wood-like pattern on the dashboard looks scanty and alien, and when you look at the large climate control knobs with a convex black insert, you constantly get the feeling that the screen with the temperature display has broken inside them. And the glossy frame around the screen of the media system only collects dust and dirt, matte plastic would look more appropriate there. But in general, all these shortcomings are more of nitpicking. Yes, the French could have done better, but what happened, not to say that it was bad, just could have paid more attention to details.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

There are no questions about the materials. The plastic in front of your eyes is mostly soft and pleasant to the touch, and, for example, the visor of the dashboard, handles on the center console and armrests are generally covered with leather. The seats in our case are also leather, the material is not too rough, but also not very soft, although tactilely pleasant. There is a choice of black, brown or light gray interior, only the color of the seats and armrests changes. To create a more pleasant atmosphere in the cabin, the French installed contour lighting, which also changes the background lighting of the dashboard, however, there are only five colors to choose from. And as an option, a large panoramic roof with a sunroof is available, which makes the interior lighter, but it costs relatively little – 39 rubles.

There are no questions about getting into the driver’s seat, there are enough adjustments, and you find a comfortable position quickly enough. The chairs are electrically adjustable, their set is basic, but there is an electrically adjustable lumbar support, however, in the same plane. The profile of the seats is good, plus they are quite stiff, there is a pronounced lateral support, but there is not enough adjustable knee cushion. With a height of 187 cm, I quite freely settle for myself, of the shortcomings, I note only a floor that is too high, which practically removed the central tunnel, so that three people will sit in the back normally, but tall people will have their knees higher than their ears. It is possible to put two children in armchairs without any problems, but there is not very much space between them. The Isofix mounts are buried too deep in the cushions, so you have to pant a little with the installation, which is also complicated by the marks that are shifted relative to the mounts themselves. Yes, the doors completely cover the thresholds, so you won’t get dirty when boarding / disembarking in bad weather.

The trunk is not to say that it is huge, but in general it is quite decent 538 liters, and if it were not for the full-size spare wheel under the floor, then it could have been further increased. The competitor and fellow Nissan X-Trail has a little more – 550 liters. You can increase the volume of the luggage compartment by folding the backs of the rear sofa separately, but a perfectly flat floor will not work, the backs form a small slide. The cover of the luggage compartment is removable, it is fixed when closing is not very successful, and often warps it. In older trim levels, there is an electric tailgate, it’s a pity, without the option to close the entire car.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

Climate control in the car is dual-zone, only air ducts are provided for the rear passengers. The system works quite correctly, but it is not very convenient to operate it, so, as I said above, there is not enough built-in indication on the temperature control knobs, it is present only in the lower corners of the media system screen. And to enable / disable synchronization, air conditioning and some other options, it is generally suggested to go into a separate menu, which is made in the form of a curtain, and you need to control the settings from the touch screen. It seems to me that it was more logical to put these options on physical buttons, since controlling them from the screen is not the fastest and most convenient task, especially on the go. But the manufacturer put the three-level heating and ventilation of the seats on the console, and thanks for that. The steering wheel heating button is on the left in the blind spot and is too low, not the most convenient location. Seat heating and ventilation work well, but the steering wheel is heated only on the sides, staying cool from above and below. A heated rear sofa is also available as an option in one of three packages.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

Well, now let’s move on to the most interesting thing for us – the media system. Renault Koleos has an 8.7 ”touchscreen display in vertical orientation, similar to Volvo cars or, if you prefer, Tesla. The screen is average in quality and with a low resolution, but quite responsive, and the protective glass has an oleophobic coating. R-LINK acts as the operating system in Koleos, which is rather strange, since the manufacturer has another Easy Link development installed in Arkana. It’s just that most manufacturers are trying to unify solutions so as not to spend extra money on development, for example, Mercedes-Benz strongly cuts MBUX in the initial trim levels, and BMW puts the last generation of its OS in lower versions. In the case of Renault, we see ideologically similar, but still different systems, which is a little out of the way of the rules established by the market.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

The R-LINK home screen has several desktops that you can place widgets on. In my opinion, the most optimal option looks like “Navigation + Player”, but here who already likes what better. There is a light and dark menu design mode, as well as a Day / Night mode with automatic switching. You can enter the main menu by clicking the corresponding item, but you are invited to open the application in use through small icons at the top of the screen. You yourself understand that trying to get into a small icon on the go is not the easiest thing and, most importantly, unsafe. No, you can, of course, go to the desired sections through the main menu, but this requires extra clicks. R-LINK does not work too fast, there are some slowdowns that the manufacturer tried to hide with animation, but in general everything is not bad.

The navigation system is quite simple with not the most relevant maps and simple drawing, but at some moments it can come in handy. In addition, only basic navigation is integrated into the system and provides route guidance on a virtual dashboard. If you need the most current maps and traffic jams, then services that work in Android Auto or Apple CarPlay will come to the rescue, R-LINK supports both systems. But there is no support for Yandex.Auto, it was left only in Easy Link.

As mentioned above, climate control is configured from the system, as well as the operation of the contour lighting and the choice of themes for the virtual dashboard. For the latter, four design options are available, so everyone will choose something for themselves. The only thing related to the virtual dashboard is that in all design options, additional options and tips are available there only in the form of thumbnails in the upper right corner, and this is with a large screen (approximately 7-8 “). It’s strange that the manufacturer didn’t make the navigation tips larger so that they could be seen, and not this tiny arrow, and it’s not very convenient to read the call data at this size. I would say that the virtual dashboard in Koleos is more for show and a tribute to fashion, the French did not reveal its capabilities at all, leaving only a change of themes from the visible advantages.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

Connecting devices via Bluetooth to the system is satisfactory, everything goes smoothly, the connection remains stable, and the speakerphone works well. The only moment I encountered was that during the first synchronization with the iPhone, for some reason, the contacts and the call list did not load, although everything went away with the Galaxy S20 at once, but after a couple of days, data from the iPhone suddenly appeared by itself, miracles. Simultaneous connection of two devices, the Koleos system does not support, which one connected to the car faster, that one will work. From the inconvenient moments, I note that the call lists and the phone book are accessible only from the main screen of the media system, you cannot work with them from the virtual dashboard.

The car has four USB-A connectors, two in the front and two in the rear. The front USB ports are not located in the most successful way, they are located in the niche of the front armrest, so you have to either leave the device there, or pull the wire and try to reach the niche in the lower part of the central panel. Both USBs on the front are basic, so it doesn’t matter which one you connect to to connect to your media system. Modern gadgets are charged from the on-board network of the car quite quickly, so you can replenish the charge during a short trip.

The test car had nearly a complete set of driver assistants available for the Koleos, lacking only lane control that comes in the package along with automatic high beam switching. And so we had a blind spot tracking system with audible and visual warnings in the far edge of the mirrors, normal cruise control and speed limiter, as well as parking sensors in a circle. Parktronic sensors are also activated when driving at low speeds and when you are standing, informing about obstacles nearby and nearby passing cars, and with good sound information, so you immediately understand where exactly the obstacle is. There is also a rear-view camera with markings, but not of the best quality, moreover, it is located in such a way that moisture gets on it even in the rain and the picture becomes cloudy. Novice drivers and not only will be helped by the automatic parking system, which can park perpendicularly, parallel and at an angle. Of the useful options, the car has tire pressure sensors with the ability to visually display the pressure in each wheel.

Renault Koleos test. French liaison

In Russia, Renault Koleos is presented with two engines, a 2.5-liter gasoline with a capacity of 171 hp. and a 2.0-liter diesel engine with 177 hp. In both cases, the X-Tronic variator is installed. We had a diesel car, and in conjunction with the variator, it left only positive impressions, excellent pickup from the bottom, smooth, not jerky operation of the box, always understandable, only with a slight delay in response to gas. There is enough engine both in the city and on the highway, and in the latter case, there is a margin of power, so you go confidently to overtake, and you don’t need to wait too much until the box starts going down virtual gears, it does it quite quickly. In driving, the Koleos feels like a large SUV, you make turns a little slower, although there are no special rolls, and the car enters the turn precisely, but some wobbling in the steering wheel inherent in large cars confuses. On the other hand, the buyer of this crossover, most likely, will not be reckless, but will calmly and measuredly move along the roads, and in this mode the car leaves only pleasant impressions. In addition, the Koleos is a fairly quiet and soft car, the only thing that he does not like is medium-sized potholes with sharp edges, which are clearly given in the cabin, but he passes large irregularities with decorum and delicacy. As an SUV, Koleos is not bad, the ground clearance of 208 mm and an intelligent all-wheel drive system allow you to drive on light off-road, and in winter you can safely storm the skidded roads. The diesel consumption in the combined cycle averaged 7.7 liters, which is slightly, but differs from the manufacturer’s declared 5.8 liters per 100 km.

Renault Koleos test. French liaisonRenault Koleos test. French liaison

The new Renault Koleos in our market costs from 1 rubles for the simplest configuration, while the maximum version with a diesel engine and all packages is already in the region of 699 million rubles. Koleos has a lot of competitors, this is the co-platform Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Skoda Kodiaq, so you will think a hundred times what to choose. Of the advantages of Koleos – not the greatest prevalence of the car, so if you want not like everyone else, then you can safely choose it.


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