A WHILE back, Renault launched the second-generation Koleos, built on the Renault-Nissan Common Module Family modular platform.
The platform is aimed at reducing manufacturing costs by sharing the assembly of five compatible vehicle architecture - the engine bay, cockpit, front underbody, rear underbody and electrical or electronic.
Recently, Groupe Renault announced it sold 3.76 million vehicles globally last year. It was a 8.5 per cent increase compared to 3.47 million units in 2016.
In the Asia-Pacific region alone, sales rose 17 per cent to 195,869 units last year from 167,403 units in 2016.
The Renault Koleos contributed to 66 per cent of sales in China with 43,400 units sold last year.
TC Euro Cars Sdn Bhd, the sole franchise holder of Renault cars in Malaysia, launched the more versatile four-wheel drive (4WD) variant of the Koleos in July last year.
We had the privilege to test the 4WD Koleos.
Just like the two-wheel drive (2WD) variant, the 4WD Koleos is powered by a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a six-speed X-Tronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) engine.It produces 170hp at 6,000rpm with 226Nm of torque at 4,400rpm.
Renault claims that the Koleos can sprint from zero to 100kph in 9.88 seconds, with a top speed of 192kph.
The 4WD Renault Koleos measures at 4,672mm in length, 1,843mm in width, 1,678mm in height, and weighs about 1,611kg. It has 542 litres of boot space and 60 litres of fuel capacity.
It is equipped with its trademark C-shaped daytime running lights, the attractive rear LED taillights that extends inwards to the Renault emblem, 18-inch wheels, sharks fin antenna, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera, electronic parking brake, seven-inch colour instrument cluster, powered adjusted driver seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control air-conditioning system, rear air-con vents, rear USB charging ports, 8.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and eight-speaker Arkamys 3D sound system.
Equipment changes to the 4WD include power tailgate with hands-free operation system, and an additional new Marron Red colour option.
It also features the All-Mode 4x4-i technology, which permanently monitors the grip levels to ensure optimal traction for more dynamic performance, greater stability and enhanced safety.
As for the safety aspects, the Koleos is fitted with six airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system, emergency brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency warning lights activated under heavy braking, hill start assist, auto-door lock while driving, automatic “walk away” door-locking function, blind spot warning and Isofix points.
The 4WD Renault Koleos is priced at RM201,800 without insurance, but inclusive of the six per cent Goods and Services Tax.
It has a five-year unlimited-mileage manufacturer’s warranty, as well as one-year RENCARE roadside assistance membership.
The 4WD Renault Koleos has a modern and futuristic design with a stylish, spacious and comfortable interior.
Its 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine is eager to accelerate. It has no issues overtaking on steep uphill roads with a full load of passengers. The six-speed X-Tronic CVT shifts smoothly and instantaneously.
The 4WD Renault Koleos feels like a saloon car in the corners. Rough roads and uneven tarmac is not a problem for the well-designed suspension.
The Koleos has generous headroom, shoulder room, knee room and leg room for all occupants. With 542 litres of boot space, it can easily fit in a few golf bags with spaces left for some shopping bags.
In terms of noise, Renault’s engineers has done an impressive job at isolating the engine, tyre and wind noise from the cabin during low-speed driving. However, the engine noise is noticeable when the engine is revving at high RPM.
The 8.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is simple, user friendly and easy to operate.
We drove the 4WD Renault Koleos for more than 800km. It recorded between 5.3 and 6.2 litres per 100km while cruising on the highway below legal speed limit. On a combination of city and highway driving, it consumed about 8.1 to 9.8 litres per 100km. After some aggressive uphill acceleration, the odometer showed that it used 10.4 to 12.8 litres per 100km.
Quite fuel economical, given that it is a 2.5-litre engine.
There are a few features that stands out against its competitors, such as the air vent cup holder that helps to keep the drinks cold and the blind spot indicator to enhance its safety when it comes to overtaking or switching lanes.
The 4WD Koleos still has some room for improvement, though. We find that the blindspot indicator’s orange blinking warning is quite difficult to see during the day.
It may also be a good idea if the Koleos comes equipped with systems like the lane watch, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise controls to further enhance safety during long-distance driving.