Left-field SUV offers top notch safety and plenty of goodies, but CVT so loud it will give any girl a proper fright.
Renault’s updated Koleos arrived locally in the middle of last year, but with Covid-19 bringing the world to a halt, test cars were not available. But here we are now in the middle of 2021, and can you believe it? Covid-19 is still with us, but at least I can now tell you about my recent test drive in the Koleos.
Off the bat, the Renault Koleos is always going to be the left field choice. That’s not to say that it does not offer a full house of specification, or class leading space that you would want from an SUV. It’s just that it comes in at over half a million rand at R514 900 and this means it has serious competition from Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Ford etc.
Being the Dynamique top-of-the-range model, in 4×2, you well taken care of with a proper plush interior, all the gadgets you can think of, comfy electrically adjustable seats, and that already mentioned space for the kids, the shopping and hubby’s mountain bike if need be.
What is also cool is that being a Renault means that you have the best-in-class technology and safety on board. A comprehensive suite of driver-assistance systems, including Blind Spot Warning and 360 Park Assist also feature, as do LED Pure Vision headlamps.
You get their R-Link 2 Sat Nav and Multimedia system too, and as expected this is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the onscreen smartphone replication is now vertical for ease of reading, with a full-screen Apple CarPlay display, and the system features a voice recognition system activated from the steering wheel to manage sat nav, phone calls, apps, e-mails and radio.
This is not the AWD drive version but the 4X2, which means the front wheels only do the driving, and you might not be able to go up the side of mountains with it, but be serious, how many of these cars are ever driven seriously off-road? At best they trundle around the odd game reserve or park on the grass outside school or something.
The Koleos offers only one engine choice and that is a 2.5-litre petrol, and it makes 126 kW of power and 233 Nm of torque, which is mostly okay for running around the suburbs. But I nearly died of fright when I set the cruise control out on the highway, and the car shot the revs up to max and they stayed there until the selected speed was obtained. I honestly thought I had broken it or something. This cannot be normal.
So, I didn’t break it, and peace of mind is guaranteed with a five year/150 000 km mechanical warranty; plus, a five year/90 000 km service plan, and a six-year anticorrosion warranty, and that is good.
But on a side note, the Koleos complains every time you ask it work hard like this or if you just want to overtake in a hurry. I didn’t like this aspect of the car at all. I asked my husband what was up, and he explained that this is how the CVT works, and its exactly why he hates them.