Renault Koleos dCi 4X4
Renault India, have launched Koleos, their well known SUV in the Indian market. Coming with the tag line ‘Power meet Pleasure’ this brute 4X4 SUV is part of the mission of the company to redefine its brand identity and establish itself as one of the reputed car makers here in India. Renault is still struggling to get its brand identity, the launches of Logan and Fluence has not really helped and the company has pinned high hopes to Koleos. We had the good chance to drive the French SUV, Renault Koleos and to find out its true virtues on a very amazing road from Bangalore to the enchanting river Kabini.
Read on to know all about this very new SUV, Renault Koleos for India.
The company Renault has been in the car making business for the last 113 years and that is why their cars well engineered. As for the history of Renault Koleos it was first showcased at the Paris Motor show in 2008.
The Koleos that has come to India is the second generation of the original model, and interestingly India happens to be the first country to get this latest generation Koleos, China would be the next destination for the launch of all new Renault Koleos. The Koleos was designed and engineered jointly by Renault and Nissan (Nissan worldwide is owned by Renault). Currently the Koleos is being manufactured at the Renault- Samsung Motor plant in Korea. However, the Indian Koleos is being manufactured at CKD in Renault-Nissan plant in Chennai.
The meaning of Koleos is a `Creature` in Greek, so the design lives upto its name and looks like a brute creature. Seen from the front the Renault Koleos gives a much better look as compared to earlier Koleos that had a closed and round face. The front of the Koleos gets a triangular grill that’s inverted and this new sporty face of the Koleos has three chrome slats that run horizontal. This new grill looks smart with the big Renault Diamond logo plunked in the center of it.
Now coming to the headlamps, they are huge in size going with the overall dimensions of the Renault Koleos and are projector type twin barrel smoked out with integrated turn lights. Next comes the front bumper, it is large and is a one piece affair with the center grills and rising to the waist height. The fog lamps are round and integrated in the front bumper with a dash of chrome lining over them. In the lower portion of the front bumper, there is a wide air dam that has a rectangular body with a colored design. This well sculpted bumper has nice rounded curves at the right place and along with the chrome grill gives the new Renault Koleos a brute yet elegant face.
The nose of the Koleos is long and mates with the front bumper at a fairly good height. If you are fond of driving in wild terrains, there is a front skid plate on the Koleos that defends the engine under body while off roading or while driving on bad roads. The side profile of the Koleos is marked by the tall and large fenders that house the 17 inch wheels with 225/60 R17 99H specs to be precise.
Interestingly there are BOSE badges on the fenders, and it is noteworthy that Renault Koleos Is the first vehicle in India in this segment to get a BOSE music system (The details be in the Interior section). The Koleos has the two tone finish (Black and Metal) ten spoke alloys that looks classy and go a long way in adding a lot of character to the sides of the Koleos. Large doors with very good glass area help in making the Koleos appear large. The windows on the Koleos get the blacked out effect. The sides of the Koleos get a deep chiseled bulge that runs across the SUV from the front fender to the rear wheel arch. The wing mirrors are auto folding and are electrically adjustable with the LED turn lights integrated in them. The rear window gets a quarter glasses while there is also a second slopping quarter glass on the C Pillar.
The sloping roof line gets the brushed aluminum roof trails. The door handles have sensors placed behind them that can detect the key unit and lock or unlock automatically. The side profile of the Koleos is further enhanced with the sloping rear glass that extends the to the rear bumper. The rear of the Koleos is the profile that we liked the most. The rear bumper is low down specifically to allow the twin opening boot on the Koleos. The rear also gets a skid plate that adds to the rough road package overall. The tail lamps are semi rounded in shape with integrated park and turn lights. The body panel gets some part of the tail lamp while the major half of the light is on the open able tail gate. The rear gets a glossy black body moulding in the center that houses the large Diamond Renault logo and just under it is the KOLEOS monogram that enhances and underlines the name.
The rear tail gate is a 60-40 affair, with the top half opening upwards and the lower half opening down wards. You get large stop reflectors on the bumpers and a low stop lamp mounted in the center of the bumper. You get a rear spoiler with stop lamps and reverse parking sensors as standard on Renault Koleos along with rear wash/wipe and defogger. The Koleos also gets the dCi 4WD badging on the tail gate. The Koleos has a single exhaust while a twin exhaust would have considerably increased its cosmetic appeal. Another thing missing on the exterior equipment list is the option of a Sun/Moon roof. The dimensions Renault Koleos stands at 4520mm in length, 1855mm in width and 1690mm in height give a very rough terrain look to it. The exterior fit and finish is very good with no panel gaps or undue weld marks visible. The Koleos has a very up-market paint finish.
Interiors – Cabin
Enter the Koleos and you spot the BOSE side step garnish in chrome that welcoming you instantly. The dash is a two tone affair, the top made of soft rubber material in black while the lower half in beige hard plastic. The instrument cluster is a three round dial thing with chrome strip on each dial. The RPM on the left has a red line with the 4.3k mark. The Speedo in the center is calibrated till the 240KMPH mark while the extreme right dial houses the fuel gauge and the engine temperature gauge. There is also a multi display that tells the odometer reading, fuel consumption, fuel used, and next service etc readings that can be toggled with the help of the menu. The steering is a three spoke design and is leather wrapped. You have a brush of aluminum on the steering along with the cruise control command buttons on either side. The steering can be adjusted for height and reach (Tilt and Telescopic) and is chunky to grip. Just behind the steering on the right side is the main control for the audio settings and Bluetooth telephony just like the one in the Fluence.
On the center console you have the BOSE display that is in a semi dome with brushed aluminum inserts on it. When you start the audio player the display boldly reads out Audio by BOSE along with the time displayed on the left and the outside temperature on the right. Under the AC vents you have the two zone climate control. The CD player is just below the climate control and its controls just under it. You have the 2WD/4WD toggle button along with the Cruise control and speed limiter button and the engine start-stop button under the audio control.
Under these buttons is the smart card holder where you can lock in the Renault Koleos Smart Card. The Auto gear shifter has a good feel when gripped and is shaped well; it also has an aluminum garnish with the in cabin look. You get the usual automatic shifts along with the tip-tronic shift. The seats get all leather beige upholstery. The driver’s seat has an automated adjust for height, reach and tilt while the front passenger’s seat has manual adjust. The seats are comfortable and large in size. They offer good support and the driver gets a good view of the road ahead. There is also manual lumbar support adjust available on the front seats. The front passenger seat back rest can be folded fully in the front so that the rear passenger can stretch his legs. The rear seats get the 60-49 splits and a foldable center arm rest. The rear seats are also large in size and the back rest can be set to two settings to get the best inclination level for a comfortable drive.
The rear passengers get the AC vents mounted in the door pillars, a fan blower speed control is also available. The rear seats get three adjustable head rests. The rear seats can be folded fully to extend the boot area. There is loads of space available everywhere in the Koleos with more than enough leg room, head room and knee room. There are many bottle holders and storage bins spread across the cabin. A foldable tray can be deployed just behind the front two seats that can be used as a laptop stand etc. There is 450liters of boot area on the Koleos that van be increased to 1380 liters with the rear seats fully folded when needed. The twin opening boot lid is also very convenient to load and unload luggage.
Renault has a tie-up with BOSE across the globe and the Renault Koleos became the first vehicle in India in the sub 30lakh segment to get the acclaimed music system. This is a 300Watt system has eight BOSE speakers around the cabin to play audio at a premium sound quality. We played some music at the maximum audio level or the full blast but the sound was crisp and clear which is never the case with other audio systems.
The BOSE system also has an integrated telephone Bluetooth system that is intelligent as well. For example if you receive a call when you are driving the voice activated by the system answers the call initially and says that the driver can’t answer the call as he is driving, and if still the caller holds on then the call is transferred to the driver. Sound acoustics are of best level played from the BOSE system. You also get an USB and AUX port neatly tucked away in the center storage compartment. The Renault Koleos has well furnished interiors made of good quality materials with simplistic yet functional dash. Switches and knobs are made of good stuff and have a nice click feel to them. The comfort level is high with large shaped seats offers good support. The BOSE music system on the Koleos with its unmatched audio quality just stands out over the other things in here.
Engine – Drive – Suspension
The Renault Koleos is powered by a 2.0liter CRDI 4 cylinder Diesel engine. This 1995cc engine also powers the Nissan X-Trail but in a different state of tune. This M9R 855 engine as it is codenamed makes 150PS of 4000 rpm and generates in turn 320 Nm of healthy torque figures at as low as 2000 rpm. The 2.0 liter engine is mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox that also has a tip-tronic shift capability. This engine was developed by Renault and is shared among its lineup of vehicles including the Nissan.
The Renault Koleos has a very silent cabin even with the engine running at high speeds. At idle it is very difficult to identify if it is petrol or diesel variant. Shift to D mode and the 2.3 ton heavy brute SUV surges ahead in a sane manner. The speed builds up at the 2.1 RPM and that’s when the auto gear shifts happen. Power delivery is good on this engine. There is some hesitation during the 1st to 2nd gear shift but once over this the Koleos comes to its true colors. The Koleos feels very spirited and lively at low and high speeds. Maneuvering the Renault Koleos at any speeds and traffic condition is a breeze. The steering has a nice weighted feel to it and feels crisp at all speeds. The Koleos as with all Renaults has a wonderful suspension set up. The front is Mac Pherson while the rear has the multi arm tyre set up. The suspension has been tweaked up to suit the Indian bad road conditions and we could understand its utility during our drive on some broken hard village roads on the way to the Kabini River. For the more power hungry drivers the Koleos has the tip-tronic mode to keep them busy. Stability is good at all speeds and there is not much body roll felt. The Koleos shines in the suspension and handling department and we did some off road driving as well just to get our doubts clarified and the Koleos impressed us in all departments. With the ground clearance of the Koleos at 206mm the SUV does not touch the XXL sized bumps or pot holes when driven over. The rough road package works well on the Koleos and helps it conquer the toughest of terrain and bad roads aided with the automatic 4 Wheel Drive mode it gets the best of traction possible, you also have an option of driving in the 2WD mode and the 4X4 Lock mode.
Renault claims fuel efficiency of 13.7KMPL in the Auto 4x4 mode which should be much better when in the 4X2 mode. Overall the Renault Koleos is a big winner in the handling and the engine department. The Koleos has a very competent and refined 2.0Liter Diesel engine which is one of the best from Renault stable currently.
The Renault Koleos comes with ABS with Brake Assist and EBD. The Renault Koleos has rear parking sensors. Six airbags are standard and so is the anti pinch auto up/down power windows on all windows. Rain sensing wipers and light sensing head lamps is also a part of the Koleos package.
Renault is on a juncture where it wants to put behind the failures in Indian car market and reinvent its branding for India. The Fluence was the first installment and now with the Renault Koleos, it wants to get into the Luxury SUV segment. The Koleos is a very competent product with a very rugged engine that is efficient as well. The Koleos looks brute on the outside and comfortable while refined on the inside. The BOSE music system is the icing on the cake which no other SUV player can match at present. Strong handling and a very comfortable ride quality is its USP. With the Koleos priced at Rs. 22.99 Lakhs Ex Delhi it seems like the competition just getting hotter in the Luxury SUV segment. The competitors better watch out.