Saturday 01 November 2008
Top speed 114 mph 0-60mph 10 seconds
Consumption 39.2 mpg
CO2 emissions 221g/km
Best for fashion misfits
Also worth considering? Land Rover Freelander, Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage
Have you ever arrived at a party just as everyone else is leaving? Renault must feel a little like that with their new Koleos. The French marques seemed to be in denial about the SUV boom when it was at its craziest. Makes that you might have thought totally incompatible with off-roading – Porsche being the most prominent – suddenly found themselves able to stretch their "brand equity" to make a quick profit from these easy-to-build, usually high-mark-up products. There was even talk of an SUV Smart car. Everyone was trying to gatecrash the party. All were allowed in and left to the punch bowl. It got pretty wild. The French, however, were absent.
Now though, the party's over. SUV sales are way down. We're sobering up. But hang on. There's the doorbell. It's Renault. They've brought a bottle. Let's open it. Hmmnnn. It's not a very satisfying brew, the Koleos. Given that Renault had to graft the "family" Renault look on to an SUV body it could easily have been hideously ugly, down there with the Peugeot 4007, which shoves a too-big version of Peugeot's "pathetic shark" face on the front of a Mitsubishi Outlander; it looks like the designers drank too many snakebites before they got started. The Koleos is actually quite a neat number, though that is where the appeal of this party animal ends. It is, underneath, a Nissan X-Trail, which apparently endows it with excellent off-road performance, but it really isn't much good on road. It feels even slower than it is, it's noisy at speed and, even by the standards of the class, isn't very refined. Worst of all is the attempt at a sort of iDrive system, as found on BMWs. This is where the car's designers decide to put a big knob in between the front seats which you twirl and press to operate the air conditioning, sat nav, radio/CD player and so on. It's supposed to be a rational way of dealing with these multiple demands, but it doesn't even work very well in the premium German brands that have tried it. In the Koleos it is simply impossible to use, as you keep having to look down and back to see where the knob is pointing. It is a truly awful system, the worst of all worlds, and would itself disqualify the Koleos from any sensible driver's list, even if it were otherwise perfect, which it is not.
So, Renault have arrived unfashionably late at the SUV party. Should they have bothered? Not in that outfit, dear.
Next week: Cadillac CTS
Life & Style blogs
Britain's kitchens so filthy that they present a health risk, says new research
Fashion Revolution Day: wear your clothes inside out and ask #whomademyclothes to support worker welfare
The world's first edible garden of cake
How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...