The first test drive of the new Renault Koleos: how the Frenchman “mutated”?

Large capacious crossover for sane money. Also beautiful. Are there any other trump cards for the “Frenchman”? The first full test drive of the new Koleos gave the answer.

The favorite equation

A fabulous transformation of Cinderella into a princess. Frogs – in the princess. Caterpillars – in a butterfly. What is in nature, what is in literature, that in folk art there are enough examples of cardinal reincarnation, which amazes everyone around. I do not want to offend the previous Koleos , but … The crossover with absolutely transparent appearance with a new generation has turned into a spectacular handsome man, from whom it’s not so easy to turn away.

I’m sure there will be enough people who will make a choice in favor of the fresh “Koleos” exclusively for external data. The new “renascious” handwriting in the design, which was the beginning of the Talisman sedan and the Espace minivan, is certainly good, although it sends back to the Germans its sharp, unfamiliar lines for the French. Some intricate running lights are worth it. For two days of test drive did not hear a single bad opinion about the exterior of the new Koleos. Rare unanimity among the “spectators”.

Maybe it’s just a banal camouflage, and apart from the “plastic surgery” with the car they did nothing? Oh no! Koleos, along with the change of image, also “mutated”. In a good way, it grew in size. Now it is a full member of the D-segment among the crossovers. Although Renault is built on one modular “trolley” with Nissan X-Trail and shares with it the technical stuffing – from power units to the all-wheel drive system, – the size of the “relatives” is a bit different. “The Frenchman” is bigger and slightly more spacious – three inches taller and holds 41 liters more load. The feet of the rear passengers here are also slightly more relaxed. Sometimes a few centimeters play a noticeable role, which visually is not felt at all.

But about the design and dimensions, everything was clear after the first short test drive. Now, on the eve of the start of sales, when we know the prices, an equation has developed that is so popular in Russia. Beautiful + large = affordable.

Yes, yes, affordable. Look – there is a new Koleos from 1 699 000 rubles. That is, at the level of compact crossovers of mass brands that are smaller in size. And it already two-liter petrol cars with all leading wheels. X-Trail is cheaper, but, unlike the Japanese, the “Koleos” front-wheel drive, mechanics and a junior diesel engine for 130 forces in Russia will not.

And I can not call Renault “empty”. In the basic version, many functions necessary for a modern car are available: cruise control, climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, rear view camera. All cars are prepared for Russia as befits. From the plant in South Korea they go to us with an enlarged reservoir of washer, protection of the crankcase and wheel arches. And, of course, Koleos did not deceive by remote launch, which has already become a trademark of the brand in our country – all models can boast a convenient winter function. Even Logan .

Not a word about premium

In general, we already know enough to justify the sale of “Koleos” in Russia. Although the appetite comes with eating, and you want a great pleasant metamorphosis. Are there any?

As if Renault did not repeat the word “premium” in relation to the flagship crossover, it does not have particularly noble features. It’s clear, if you compare with the same Kaptur, – heaven and earth. At the moment Koleos – the only true Renault in Russia, such as it is known at home in France. But it does not make it more premium.

Neither in the decoration, nor in equipping signs of high fashion I do not see. Although wait – that’s on the front panel a narrow, slightly awkward, as if not from this world, an insert under a tree. I think you will decide for yourself whether it is appropriate to look in this interior.

Well, okay, there’s a cool Bose sound. But it would be useful to take care of other important things. For example, too short a driver’s seat cushion, which I paid attention to during the first test, on long trips makes itself felt. Uncomfortable! And the lumbar support would be well regulated in height … I’m not talking about the “Duster” buttons that moved here unchanged.

But in general the buttons in “Koleos” became much smaller. The reason for this is the 8.7-inch tablet of R-LINK 2 multimedia system on the center console. The main character of the interior! The menu is clear – I quickly adapt to the management of all functions. The information on the display is concentrated really much – up to air quality (see photo). After each trip, the driver’s skills are also highlighted. Naturally, the multimedia is closely friends with smartphones. That would be better picture quality and response quickly … Which is important with this control scheme. In the conditions of shortage of analog buttons somehow it is not very pleasant when on the screen the screen reacts not with the first touch.

The fashion display seems to have gone all the power. Otherwise, the new Koleos can hardly be called an advanced car. I will say more – the electronics crossover is even a little behind. About leaving the band only warns, but does not tax. Assistant when descending from the mountain – no. Automatically before the obstacle does not brake. Cruise control is not adaptive. True, Renault promises that later in the current generation, everything will be. So I can already predict the announcement of the future restyling: “Koleos has grown wiser”. In the meantime, everything is in the hands of the driver.


It would seem that Koleos will not present trumps on the go. But I was wrong. Silence and comfort – unexpectedly the main impressions of several hours behind the wheel of the crossover. Particularly pleased soundproofing. Aerodynamic noise begins to be felt only after 100 km / h, the engine to 2000 revolutions (and we had a diesel engine!) Can not be heard at all. That would be from the wheels of even less mournful “songs” – and then it could be compared with premium cars.

With the suspension, too, not everything is definitely great. It is necessary to check on our rough roads. On the one hand, I did not achieve any breakdowns, and small chunks and paving stones chassis swallow completely imperceptibly. On the other hand, unpleasant jolts are well felt on large pits. In general, the impression is very smooth.

On petrol engines, I can not say anything new, unfortunately, I can not. Because of the Russian versions on the test was available only 177-hp two-liter diesel with the X-Tronic variator. It will go on sale only in September.

“Light” on a heavy “Koleos”, even this tyagovity motor, of course, will not allow. But the high torque at medium revs will not give an excuse to sweat that in the city, that on the track. All our cars have a variator. In the case of a diesel engine, it is not a V-belt, but a V-pinch transmission. On the idea, we must feel the imitation of the classic machine and gearshift, but … In the Kaptur variator works more “stepwise”, and here the tricks of the continuously variable transmission are not always familiar and logical. Can and “raise”, and twitch.

But when I looked at the figures of the on-board computer, the observations themselves seemed to me cavils. The meaning of the variator is economy! And now I got 7.5 liters per hundred with a ragged ride – not bad for a crossover, right? Although it was a front-wheel drive version. Koleos with a full drive was tested only in conditions of easy impassability.

Here, the crossover feels good. Forcibly lock the clutch, the moment “iron” is distributed 50 to 50 between the axes. Koleos is confidently crawling. With diagonal hanging copes quickly and without hesitation. On deep depressions and ruts I do not particularly worry. Angles of entry and exit (19 and 26 degrees, respectively) and clearance of 21 cm – good geometric data for the crossover.

Finally I sit down in 130-strong diesel Koleos on the mechanic. The ideal European option. Sorry, we do not understand such a car. Or understand? Maybe it was worth bringing diesel crossover on the “handle” and thereby even more to bring down the starting price in Russia – from 1.7 million rubles. In the province, where the principle “a lot for little” was built almost to the cult, could appreciate.

Alexey Dmitriev, photo of the author and Renault

Characteristics of Renault Koleos

2.0 DCI

Dimensions (length / width / height), cm

467.2 / 184.3 / 167.3

Wheelbase, cm


The equipped weight, kg


Luggage space, l



4-cylinder, turbodiesel, 1995 cm³

Power, l. from. / rev / min.


Torque, Nm / rev / min.



variable speed drive

Drive unit


Acceleration to 100 km / h, with


Maximum speed, km / h


Combined fuel consumption, l / 100 km