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RPM TV Website | July 6, 2020

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New Koleos could be headed for SA

New Koleos could be headed for SA
Deon Schoeman

If you thought that the recent arrival of the Renault Kadjar signalled the death knell for the French brand’s underrated and mostly unloved Koleos SUV, think again. Renault has unveiled an all-new Koleos at the Beijing Motor Show – and it’s a likely candidate for South African release.

The Koleos is certainly a big step up from the rather frumpy current model. It’s being positioned as part of Renault’s premium vehicle offering, which includes the Espace crossover and Talisman sedan.

According to Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker, the new Koleos is the SUV interpretation of the new, upmarket image created for the flagship Talisman. In fact, they were penned by the same design team, at the same time. Not surprisingly then, it looks smarter and more sophisticated than the smaller and funkier Kadjar, and the even smaller Captur.

It’s also the French marque’s largest SUV yet, and is based on an all-new platform. Total vehicle length comes to 4 670 mm, linked to a wheelbase of 2 710 mm. Rear kneeroom is a class-leading 289 mm, while the boot is configurable and offers 624 litres of cargo space, extendable to more than 1 700 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Renault has made it clear that a lot of emphasis has been placed on the interior execution, which not only promises generous accommodation, but also luxurious finishes and an extensive line-up of active safety and driver assistance systems. Renault’s R-Link 2 infotainment system, complete with seven-inch touchscreen, is standard.

The French auto maker is being cagey about engine or drivetrain details for now, but it has confirmed all-wheel drive will be standard, probably utilising the same intelligent system fitted to 4×4 versions of the Kadjar. With a ride height of 213 mm, the new SUV should be useful in off-road conditions, although a lack of low range will prevent it tackling any real rough stuff. European markets are likely to receive a 4×2 version, too.

As before, the Koleos will be built in Renault’s Busan plant in South Korea, with a second plant in China looking after Chinese production – which is why the newcomer was unveiled in Beijing. Chinese sales only commence next year, but Australia, selected African markets and Latin America will get the Koleos before the end of this year. Our guess is South Africa will be one of those African markets.

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