The Renault Koleos is renowned for being a lot tougher than it looks. It figures - the first generation basically disguised its Nissan X-Trail underpinnings under soft French styling.
Now Renault has updated the Koleos and the good news is that those tough underpinnings have not gone anywhere. But does its new face look any tougher? The jury's still out on that one.
While the basic shape and rear end remain as they were, the biggest styling change is a redesigned front end with slimmer headlights, bigger grille and slightly more muscular front bumper with sculpted recesses for the fog lights.
Inside the Koleos receives a more modern-looking instrument panel and a selection of new trim materials and upholstery, with leather trim being standard.
As before, the cabin features 70 litres worth of oddment stowage space and the boot area is accessed via a clamshell-type split opening tailgate.
Renault has also realigned the range, with the Dynamique trim level being the only one on offer. This will suit those who like their SUVs luxurious, with standard kit including integrated navigation, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control among other amenities.
The engine range has been slimmed down to just one unit, this being the Nissan-sourced 2.5-litre petrol engine and it can be had in three guises - 4x2 and 4x4 manual and 4x4 CVT.
The 16-valve four-cylinder engine puts out 126kW at 6000rpm and 226Nm at 4400rpm.
While it doesn't have the low-range gearing or diff lock necessary for extreme off-roading, its 206mm ground clearance and permanent all-wheel drive system with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control should keep it marching forth on milder trails.
2.5 Dynamique 4x2 - R289 900
2.5 Dynamique 4x4 - R314 900
2.5 Dynamique 4x4 CVT - R339 900
This includes a five-year/100 000km service plan and five-year/150 000km warranty, with round-the-clock roadside assistance.