Nissan X-Trail 2019 review: ST-L N-Sport
Nissan's X-Trail ST-L N-Sport has been given a tough-guy makeover, but does that make it any less suitable for family duties? We put it to the test to find out.
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Renault's Koleos is a bit of an oddity. It doesn't really fit in the current Renault ouevre but the French giant really needed a mid-size SUV. Luckily for Renault, it had a ready-made platform to borrow from partner brand Nissan.
|Renault Koleos 2019: Life (4x2)|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
|Price from||No recent listings|
The Life kicks off the Koleos range at a reasonable $30,990 (plus on-road costs). It rolls off the boat from South Korea (yup) with 17-inch alloys, an eight-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, central locking, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, auto headlights and wipers, cloth trim, power windows, heated and powered rear vision mirrors and a space-saver spare.
The R-Link multimedia system runs on a 7.0-inch touchscreen that is occasionally maddening but mostly easy to use. The graphics are a bit on the old side, but Apple CarPlay/Android Auto knock the edges off that faux pas, as well as making up for a lack of sat nav.
I really like the Koleos' front end - straight down the road, LED daytime running lights forming that big set of parentheses around the grille. I like it. Strong, confident, Renault. The rest. Not so much.
Obviously it's not bad but the more I see it, the more X-Trail I see. Which is okay, but that's the problem. It's not a Renault in that sense and so is compromised - it looks like two different cars. That may not matter to you - and that is perfectly fine - but it left me a little disappointed at first, and it still does.
The cabin is a bit more Renault. I'm quite taken with its cloth trim and the French feel of the dash design is no doubt most welcome to both Renault fans and newcomers to the brand. It's not always something the company gets right. It's well built, too, which isn't always a French quality.
The Koleos' interior space is pretty good for the segment. Rear legroom is generous but, as always, middle seat passengers will want to be on the small side.
Front and rear passengers score a pair of cupholders each and they're in the Japanese rather than French tradition, which means they actually hold, you know, cups and even keeps them upright in corners. Each of the doors will hold a bottle, too.
Boot space is competitive for the class, starting at 458 litres and jumping to 1690L with the seats down.
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder drives the front wheels in the Life model through a depressingly mediocre CVT from Nissan. This version and the Zen above it are FWD, the Intens flagship is FWD or AWD, depending on your preference, and you can get a diesel in the top spec only.
The petrol engine produces 126kW and 226Nm, propelling the relatively light (1552kg in this spec) Koleos to 100km/h in 9.5 seconds.
The official combined figure for a front-wheel drive Koleos is 8.1L/100km. My week with the big Renault gave me an indicated 11.3L/100km, which is par for the course in my experience. The slightly heavier all-wheel drive is listed at 8.3L/100km but the gap between official and real life is bigger.
There are two ISOFIX points and three top-tether restraints.
ANCAP finally got to the Koleos in October 2018 and awarded it a five-star safety rating.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
Renault offers a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty and up to four years' roadside assist. Service costs are capped for the first three years and service intervals are an impressive 12 months/30,000km.
Pricing for the first three services is capped at $349.
The Life's front-wheel drive chassis is perfectly adequate. If you're hoping for an injection of French fun, you're out of luck. While most other Renaults, even the largely ignored Captur, are a bit of fun to drive, the Koleos errs more to the American side of things. And that includes one of my least favourite car features of all time, the foot-operated parking brake.
As I've noted before, the Life's tyres aren't really all that good and could do with a bit more grip on wet roads. Even with the slow-witted CVT, the fronts will spin up out of a roundabout with almost no provocation.
The ride, however, is pretty good, but with none of the taut, ready-for-action feel I like in other Renaults. It's also really quiet when you're underway, making it an easy place to be. The seats are comfortable, too.
Unsurprisingly, that's pretty much the same way I describe the X-Trail when people ask. Rides well, quiet, dud transmission but does the job if you're not looking for a rocket. Although I do think the Koleos has the better interior by a decent margin.
Despite its flaws, I'm personally very fond of the Koleos - that doesn't mean you will be, obviously. I like the way it goes about its business and it's a Renault for people who aren't looking for something peculiar to the segment. In other words, it ain't no Avantime.
And that's okay - Renault could probably do with a sensible car in an important segment and the Koleos meets all the criteria for sensible. It's well-priced, the ownership proposition is a good one and it doesn't do anything whacky. Apart from wearing a Renault badge, with Japanese underguts and being built in South Korea, obviously.
|Formula Edition||2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$25,600 – 33,880||2019 Renault Koleos 2019 Formula Edition Pricing and Specs|
|Intens (4x4)||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||No recent listings||2019 Renault Koleos 2019 Intens (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Intens S-Edition (4X2)||2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO||No recent listings||2019 Renault Koleos 2019 Intens S-Edition (4X2) Pricing and Specs|
|Intens S-Edition X-Tronic(4X2)||2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$31,600 – 41,360||2019 Renault Koleos 2019 Intens S-Edition X-Tronic(4X2) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||7|
|Engine & trans||7|