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Used car review Renault Koleos 2008-2009

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    Renault introduced the Koleos with two levels of trim, the entry level Dynamique and the better-equipped Privilege, with 4x4 and 4x2 petrol and diesel models. Photo Gallery

Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the used Renault Koleos 08-09: its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when buying it.

Renault was late coming to the SUV scene, but when it did arrive it did so with quite a bang in the form of the Koleos.  Given its association with Nissan and access to the Japanese carmaker's off-road expertise it was inevitable that Renault would build an SUV. It was also a given that when it did it would be a competent off-roader.


The Koleos was something of an international traveler in the auto world being the product of the French-Japanese alliance between Nissan and Renault and built in Korea by Renault Samsung Motors.

While the Koleos was based on the Nissan X-Trail and used the same all-mode 4x4 running gear from the X-Trail it brought a touch of   French flair to the SUV scene.

At first glance you would not have guessed the five-seater Koleos wagon was a close corporate cousin of the X-Trail, it had a fresh, attractive look that clearly set it apart from the more conservative looking Nissan.

Renault introduced the Koleos with two levels of trim, the entry level Dynamique and the better-equipped Privilege, with 4x4 and 4x2 petrol and diesel models.

The petrol engine was a 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit producing 126 kW at 6000 revs and 226 Nm at 4400 revs, while the 2.0-litre turbodiesel   was available in two tune variants depending on the transmission choice.

When linked to the manual gearbox it put out 127 kW and 360 Nm, but was detuned to take care of the auto and put out 110 kW and 4400 Nm in that combination.

Renault cleverly offered the Koleos in two-wheel drive form, in which it was a regular front driver, or four-wheel drive form when it had   Nissan's all-wheel drive 4x4-i system.  With the 4x4 system the Koleos could be driven in two-wheel drive mode, auto or four-wheel drive with a switch.

In auto mode, it ran in front-wheel drive until the system detected wheel slip when it would begin driving the rear wheels as well. The   maximum torque split between front and rear wheels was set at 50 percent.

The transmission choices were a six-speed manual gearbox, a six-speed auto, and a CVT continuously variable transmission.  The cabin was stylish and modern, and quite roomy, although tall occupants would find the rear a little cramped.

The fit and finish was generally of a good standard, and the materials used looked and felt of a decent quality.


Pay $19,000-$31,000 for a Dynamique, or $28,000-$38,000 for a Privilege.


The feedback from the field is that little is troubling Koleos owners   to date, which is a good sign that they are in for a reliable run.  Nissan X-Trail mechanical package isn't giving any indication of   having problems and that should translate across to the Koleos as well.

While the Koleos is unlikely to find its way off the black top it's still a wise move to check underneath for damage that might have been   caused by going bush.

Also make the usual checks for a regular service routine, and crash   repairs to the body.


With standard front, side and head airbags, stability control, and   ABS anti-lock braking the Koleos was well placed to cope with a crash.  ANCAP gave it five out of five stars in its crash testing.


Renault claimed the Koleos would do between 7.2 L/100 km (diesel) and   9.9 L/100 km (petrol).  Carsguide readers report that on average they get 8.2 L/100 km from   the diesel and 10.8 L/100 km from the petrol version.


Dara and her husband Brian were looking at a Nissan X-Trail before   discovering the Koleos. They bought the Renault and say they love   everything about it. It is great to drive, very quiet, the radio and   speakers are excellent, and there is plenty of legroom for six-  footers like Brian.

David says his 2009 diesel manual Koleos has light steering, but a   woeful turning circle, the seats are a bit flat and he would like   more rear legroom. To date, with 40,000 km on the odo, it has been   largely trouble free. His only issue has been blocking of the DPF   filter, which was fixed with a dealer forced regeneration and an ECU   upgrade so it doesn't get blocked again. Dealer servicing isn't   Toyota cheap, but isn't BMW dear either.

Paul Burke's Koleos is his third Renault, and he says he has had no   trouble with any of them. With five alloys, heated electric seats,   choice of leather colour, and a split tailgate shopping is great   particularly for oldies. The 2.5-litre auto cruises well and is so   quiet, the sound system is unbelievable, and it runs on standard fuel.


  • Fresh stylish look
  • Choice of petrol or diesel
  • Proven Nissan mechanicals
  • Roomy cabin


VW TIGUAN 2008-2009: Well engineered, drives like a car, refined and best of all it's built by the Germans. Pay $25,000-$38,000.
SUBARU FORESTER 2008-2009: Larger than its predecessor, with a roomier cabin and larger boot   space, with proven engines, gearboxes and drivetrain, and capable off-road. Pay $19,000-$42,000.
TOYOTA RAV4 2008-2009: No longer the cheeky funster. It's larger, with more passenger room   and a larger boot, has good on-road manners and performance. Pay $20,000-$41,000.


Stylish French wagon with proven Japanese mechanical package makes   for an attractive SUV package. 80/100

Comments on this story

Displaying 2 of 2 comments

  • The petrol engine made by Nissan and the diesel engine is made by Renault. Also the koleos has bigger front disk brakes than X-Trail. The X-Trail has 4 star safety rating while the Koleos has 5 stars. Watch out for the rubber trim on the corners just below the windscreen ,they become brittle (crap Rubber) I was lucky got mine for $5 each or you can go to Renault and pay around $160 each ,such a rip off . still a very nice car/suv mine is a 2008 4wd diesel good buying at $13k

    burt oliver of vic Posted on 02 March 2014 1:49am
  • I have had Koleos from new in 2008 (a demo unit) and it has been an exceptional drive. I get 9.2l/100km in 2x mode around the city. Very roomy as I am over 6' with great rear cargo space. Tows my 7'x4' trailer well and accommodates my 4.5m kayak on top with no difficulty. Only fault detected over the past 4 years was the heat affecting the centre console display, which was replaced under warranty. A quiet and smooth ride for a diesel. Thinking seriously of upgrading to next 2013 Koleos release or a Subaru Forester!

    Craig Harrison of Melbourne Posted on 22 January 2013 6:56pm

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