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Renault Koleos 2.0 dCi 4WD 2012 review

Renault has been circling the wagons since re-entering the market back in 2001, looking for a way in. It's had limited success with some models, but must be wondering what it needs to crack the Aussie market? 

The Koleos for example has been a big success overseas but has failed to fire here. We can't understand why because it's got everything going for it.

VALUE

Prices for Koleos start from $29,990 driveaway for the two-wheel drive petrol model. The 4x4 diesel is offered in the one Dynamique grade, which is middle of the range, priced from $40,990.

WHAT YOU GET

Pretty much everything. Leather, dual climate and satellite navigation are standard with this model. Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, rear parking sensors, cruise with speed limiter, auto lights and wipers, 140W sound system are also standard.

Exclusive to the Renault Koleos Dynamique is an innovative child-minder mirror which allows the driver to easily view the rear seat occupants.

TECHNOLOGY

You get a choice of 2.5 petrol or 2.0-litre diesel four cylinder engines. The diesel kicks out 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque from a low 2000 revs, compared with the petrol engine's 126kW/226Nm. It's hooked up to a six-speed auto that allows the driver to change gears manually if desired.

The benefits of diesel in the compact SUV segment are not quite as apparent. They cost significantly more (in this case $3000) and don't offer nearly as much savings at the pump, but diesel is still our preferred option.

The big difference is the diesel's high torque output because it's the difference between relaxed and frenetic driving.  V8s for example produce plenty of torque and that's why driving a V8 is so effortless.

With almost 100Nm more torque delivered at much lower revs, it means you don't have to push the diesel as hard to achieve the same result.

DRIVING

The diesel suffers from a bit of turbo lag but not enough to be annoying. Generally it's a very smooth and remarkably fuel efficient engine, with a biggish fuel tank that's going to take you a long way. The unfamiliar controls posed an intial problem and some  getting used to. For instance it took much longer than it should have to pair our mobile phone, basically because the procedure is completely different.

FUEL ECONOMY

Compared with the original Koleos, the diesel engine offers an 8.5 per cent reduction in fuel economy and emits 9.5 per cent less CO2. Claimed fuel economy is 7.6 litres/100km (equivalent petrol model is 9.5). We've been getting an impressive 6.6 litres/100km from the 65 litre tank.

SAFETY

Renault has been one of the front runners in making their vehicles as safe as possible and the Koleos benefits from a full array of passive and active safety systems, with a five-star Euro crash rating. Also comes with a full size alloy spare.

Pricing guides

$10,990
Based on 21 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,866
Highest Price
$14,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Bose SE (4x2) 2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $7,200 – 11,220 2012 Renault Koleos 2012 Bose SE (4x2) Pricing and Specs
Bose SE (4x4) 2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $9,100 – 13,640 2012 Renault Koleos 2012 Bose SE (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Dynamique (4x2) 2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $5,866 – 13,470 2012 Renault Koleos 2012 Dynamique (4x2) Pricing and Specs
Dynamique (4x4) 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $9,200 – 13,860 2012 Renault Koleos 2012 Dynamique (4x4) Pricing and Specs