2017 Renault Koleos goes live at Beijing

  • Renault expands global line-up with new SUV
  • First look at 2016 Beijing International auto show
  • Real all-terrain ability with 213mm ground clearance
koleos 1
TO THE HILLS, TO THE HILLS…:  Large wheels, auto 4×4 and more passenger space – the second-generation 2017 Renault Koleos ust launch at the China auto show. Image: Renault/Newspress

BEIJING, China – The new Koleos launched today (April 25 2016) at the Chinese auto show, automaker Renault claims, delivers a blend of robust SUV cues and the refinement and features associated with large sedans.

“It also,” the automaker says, “completes Renault’s high-end range that now includes a crossover (Espace), a large sedan and estate (Talisman) and now an SUV.”

Renault believes the new Koleos, first launched in South Africa back in 2009 and updated in 2012, and other SUV’s are enjoying “strong growth” in many markets.

2017 Renault Koleos SUV
VERY MUCH THE NEW RENAULT’FACE’: The 2017 Renault Koleos SUV comes with auto headlights and a robustly high ride-height for off-roading. Image: Renault/Newspress

So let’s look more closely at the coming car for which sales will start in the third quarter of 2016 in Australia, Turkey, the Gulf states and some Latin American countries, followed by China at the end of 2016, then Russia and Europe (and likely South Africa) in early 2017.

“The challenge,” Renault told The Corner in a media release, “was to imagine an SUV not only elegant but also modern and dynamic. We didn’t seek to dilute the traditional SUV traits but instead accentuated the segment’s powerful, horizontal lines, muscular haunches and high ground-clearance.”

‘ROBUSTNESS’ EVERYWHERE

Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s senior vice-president for corporate design, explained that the new Koleos was intended to have all the styling cues and capabilities of the segment “and a robustness and a taste for adventure”.

That ‘robustness’ required not only protective door mouldings, large wheels (up to 19″) and aluminium roof bars but also sufficient ground clearance and approach/departure angles – 213mm, 19/26 degrees respectively – and a driver’s seat 15cm higher than that of a sedan.

RANGE OF DRIVING MODES

There are even bracing-grips each side of the cabin’s centre console for when the going adopts some serious angles under the control of the All Mode 4×4-i technology used in Renault Alliance vehicles globally and selected through a facia switch to choose normal front-wheel drive or 4×4 auto which splits torque between axles.

A third mode, 4WD LOCK, invokes equal drive to each wheel – but if you’re not a 4×4 fan, the automaker says, a non-4×4 will also be available.

2017 Renault Koleos SUV
RIDING HIGH: Renault says its 2017 Koleos SUV, to be assembled in Korea and China, uses the same chassis architecture as other of its products. Image: Renault/Newspress

Styling, Renault says, is similar to that of its Talisman, a new large family sedan named as the 2016 Most Beautiful Car of the Year at the Festival Automobile International in Paris, France. The cars were designed in parallel by teams led by one designer, Alexis Martot.

The 2.71m wheelbase under the 4.67mm shell is among the longest in the D segment, which also permits, Renault says, “record-breaking interior space”; wide tail-lights are described as amplifying the car’s 1.84m width.

Light-emitting Pure Vision diode headlights that are, Renault says, are 20% more powerful than halogen equivalents and follow current Renault design. The Koleos carries front AND rear daytime running lights.

The Koleos’ front seats were inspired by those in the Talisman and each has powered six-way adjustment – including lumbar cushions – with two-level heating for squab and backrest or, on warm days, seat ventilation.

The backrest frames are thin but flexible to add to rear legroom – listed as 29cm – and the rear seats also have two-level heating.

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Further back, the car’s boot volume is listed as 624 litres and includes a removable floor which, when in place, is level with the boot lip to create a flat floor when the 60/40-split rear seats are folded to increase cargo volume by another 35 litres.

The glove box is also spacious at 11 litres and the powered boot hatch can be opened by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper.

2017 Renault Koleos SUV
LEATHER AND HIGH TECH: The new 2017 Renault Koleos is certainly high-end in the SUV field with two info screens and terrain braces for front occupants – though why the driver needs one, who knows? Image: Renault/Newspress

The new Koleos’ cabin, being a robust SUV, comes with scratch-resistant materials such as satin-finish chroming for the steering-wheel, gearshifter and air vents. The centre console has a protective film and upholstery is leather.

Overhead sits an opening glass sunroof.

A key feature of the new Koleos’ interior and comfort is R-Link 2, a connected control centre to co-ordinate infotainment, satnav hands-free telephony (Bluetooth), radio and driving aids.

There are two screens: 18cm landscape and 22cm portrait which have the touchscreen facilities of a tablet computer and, for satnav, a choice of regular or 3D. Phone and satnav can be controlled by voice.

There’s also a wide range of displays for driving information.

Emergency driving aids include extra braking pressure, lane-departure, following distance and blind-spot warnings, traffic sign recognition and dozy-driver alert.

Other assistance goodies inclue rear camera, auto high/low-beam headlights and 360-degree proximity alerts with parking assistance..

A 12-speaker Bose audio system has been “tailor-engineered”.for the new Koleos includes 12 high-performance loudspeakers that delivers a rich, clear, balanced surround sound quality.

SHARED CHASSIS, ENGINES

The 2017 Koleos will be assembled at two plants – Busan in South Korea for all markets except China, plus Wuhan for the Chinese market. Each, Renault assures, meets the automaker’s stringent quality standards.

The plants use Alliance CMF-C/D chassis architecture shared by the
Renault Espace, Talisman and Kadjar and Nissan’s X-Trail and Qashqai. The assembly savings, Renault says, have been invested in enhancing customer features.

The car’s powertrains have also been developed within the Alliance. Depending on market, the Koleos will have a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines capable variously 96 to 127kW and driving through either a six-speed manual or X-Tronic auto transmission.

2017 Renault Koleos SUV
CLASSY IN THE CITY, TOO: A large proportion of new-car sales, globally, are SUV’s and the benefits are obvious with space and comfort and, depending on where you live, a drive train that can hanld winter weather and desert conditions. Image: Renault/Newspress
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