In-depth reviews

Renault Koleos SUV (2017-2020)

“The stylish Renault Koleos offers lots of useful equipment, a comfortable interior and competitive running costs”

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Pros

  • Lots of standard kit
  • Stylish interior
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • High starting price
  • Strictly a five-seater
  • Questions over reliability

The Renault Koleos SUV has arrived to quench the demands of customers looking for something bigger than the popular Renault Kadjar. The Koleos is a direct rival to the Skoda Kodiaq and also has a tough job on its hands, with other talented rivals like the Kia Sorento, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail all vying for your attention.

Comparisons with the X-Trail are of particular interest, because (and the sharp-eyed may already have noticed a similarity) the Koleos is based on the Nissan, just like the Kadjar is based on the Qashqai. Don’t worry, though – unlike some lazy rebadging exercises of years gone by, this is a thorough reworking.

Unique styling, specifications and trim ensure there’s plenty to choose between the Nissan and Renault, and a large interior and 565-litre boot help separate the Koleos from the Kadjar in Renault showrooms. Curiously, however, Renault has been so keen to concentrate on extra passenger space and range-topping comfort that no seven-seat option is available, which seems an odd move given rivals like the Kodiaq, Sorento and Santa Fe offer them. Sales staff will point you in the direction of the Renault Grand Scenic MPV instead, but in a market shifting towards SUVs, this seems like a missed opportunity.

There are four versions of Koleos to choose from, if you consider the diesel engine and the choice between front or four-wheel drive and two trim levels. As part of a reshuffle to simplify the range, the automatic X-Tronic gearbox was made standard in October 2018, with the manual no longer available. The smaller 1.6-litre dCi engine with 129bhp was also discontinued.

More reviews

With 175bhp, the 2.0-litre diesel is quite a bit more powerful and comes with front or four-wheel drive. Fuel economy is 44.1-45.6mpg, while the Koleos emits 163g/km (front-wheel drive) or 168g/km (four-wheel drive) of CO2. Performance isn’t class-leading, but 0-62mph in around 10 seconds isn't too bad for a large SUV. The CVT automatic is also one of the best we’ve tested, keeping progress smooth and unflustered.

Hefty and direct steering adds to your confidence and the Koleos’ suspension offers a good compromise between neat handling and comfort on faster roads. The bodywork stays fairly level, unless provoked by carrying lots of speed into a tight corner, and most imperfections in the road are dealt with. It’s quiet, too, with only a bit of a tyre noise interrupting the calm inside. It’s not quite as impressive at lower speeds, with more bumps jolting the cabin around town.

Sitting at the top of Renault’s range, the Koleos is well kitted out from the off, with the Iconic trim getting part-leather upholstery, climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 19-inch alloy wheels. There are only two trim levels and the GT Line model switches to a portrait infotainment display measuring 8.7 inches, as well as adding full leather upholstery, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof and a powered tailgate.

The Koleos received a five-star rating when tested by independent crash safety experts Euro NCAP – it offered strong impact protection for adults and children alike and was rated well for its driver assistance technology. Autonomous emergency braking is standard, as is a blind-spot warning system and traffic-sign recognition with over-speed prevention.

Although its reliability has yet to be proven, with loads of interior space, a long list of standard equipment and enjoyable driving manners, the Koleos is an appealing choice of family SUV.

Most Popular

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained
Cat D cars, Cat C & insurance write-offs: complete guide
Tips and advice
23 Jun 2021

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained

Best cheap cars
Dacia Duster SUV
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap cars

Best hybrid cars
Toyota Corolla Trek
Best cars
8 Jun 2021

Best hybrid cars

Ford SYNC 4 explained
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford
23 Jun 2021

Ford SYNC 4 explained

Best used cars
Vauxhall Astra
Family cars
14 Jun 2021

Best used cars

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Best new car deals 2021
Ford Kuga Titanium
Deals
24 Jun 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
2020 Ford Puma - front tracking
Ford Focus hatchback
4 Jun 2021

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

New Polestar 3 SUV teased
2022 Polestar 3 teaser
Polestar
16 Jun 2021

New Polestar 3 SUV teased

Towing with an electric car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid - what you need to know
Towing with an electric car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid
Tips and advice
21 Jun 2021

Towing with an electric car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid - what you need to know

Dartford Crossing toll changes and Dart Charge
Dartford Crossing
Tips and advice
8 Jun 2021

Dartford Crossing toll changes and Dart Charge

Best used cars under £5,000
Best used cars for £5,000 header
Tips and advice
23 Jun 2021

Best used cars under £5,000

Cheapest electric cars
Renault Twizy
Electric cars
14 Jun 2021

Cheapest electric cars

More on Koleos

Show me:
2020 Renault Koleos SUV prices and specifications revealed
Renault Koleos facelift - front 3/4 driving
Renault Koleos SUV
16 Sep 2019

2020 Renault Koleos SUV prices and specifications revealed

Renault’s flagship SUV gets two new diesel engines, extra tech and styling tweaks
Renault Koleos SUV (2008-2010)
Renault Koleos SUV
15 Jul 2013

Renault Koleos SUV (2008-2010)

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks