10th January 2018

It seems the SUV has taken over from the hatchback, as the nation’s preferred car choice. With 2017 awash with new models and arrivals in this sector, what does a newcomer have to do to be successful?

Our latest arrival was the all-new Renault Koleos. A 7 seat SUV, born from the Nissan X-Trial and sharing many of its components. The X-Trail is widely seen as the benchmark in this sector and therefore not a bad place to start, but the Koleos is simply not a carbon copy of the X-Trail, with Renault badges. Renault have set out to create a car that thrives on its own merits.

Our test car was the 2.0dci Signature Nav AWD Auto and first impressions were excellent. We unanimously liked the German styling, that the car recognises when the key is close by locking and unlocking the car according to your proximity. You can even open the tailgate with a swift waggle of the foot under the rear bumper, very handy when you have your hands full!

The interior is spacious, with a centre touchscreen for most of the vehicle functions and the all-important smart phone App. Both models are incredibly well equipped with; front and rear parking sensors, a rear camera and panoramic sunroof. In addition to a wealth of safety features including blind spot warning, lane departure warning and emergency brake assist - all as standard.

So far so good, but the real test for this car would be away from the car park.

The Koleos comes as standard with 7 seats, which were all filled on our first journey with five adults and two teens heading out to lunch. As an occasional ‘bus’ it is more than adequate, entry to the rear is easy and the teens looked relatively comfortable for the short journey. Although I wouldn’t recommend a long journey 7 up with any SUV of this size.

Next up was a trip to London with the Koleos swallowing three people, our exhibition stands and television screens. The car returned a respectable 39mpg and is a very comfortable cruiser over longer journeys.

The Koleos is billed as true off-roader and we’d have to agree, with switchable 4WD and a lock feature should things get sticky. It easily handled our trip to a friend’s farm, grassy headlands and woodland track.   

The sector is very crowded with some stiff competition, but we think the Koleos deserves consideration and stands shoulder to shoulder with it’s peers. It’s probably one of the best-looking SUV’s and whilst the interior feel isn’t quite on par with Volvo or the Germans, neither is the price tag.

The Nissan X-Trail foundations of this car have been developed into a capable alternative, full of French style and flair, with all the attributes to succeed and the added bonus for Vehicle Partnership Scheme Members who can make amazing savings when buying through TysonCooper.

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