Johannesburg - Renault’s Koleos is back in the SUV game and it looks to be a far more mature product than its somewhat obscure predecessor.

Not only is it more taut and confident in the way it looks, but it’s grown in dimension and it’s now based around the latest Renault-Nissan alliance CMF platform. This means it’s related to the Nissan X-Trail as well as Renault’s own Kadjar, although it is bigger than both. The new Koleos is the longest vehicle in its class in fact, at 4670mm, while its 1843mm width is about on par with the Rav4 and Kuga.

Mechanically it’s more closely related to the X-Trail than the Kadjar, however, with the only local engine option being Nissan’s 2.5-litre normally aspirated petrol engine, rated at 126kW and 233Nm, and mated exclusively to a continuously variable (CVT) transmission with ‘multi-ratio’ programmed steps to make it feel more like a conventional auto under hard acceleration.

The vehicle is available in front-wheel-drive or permanent all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter offering a 4WD Lock mode for low-grip conditions, as per its Nissan cousin.

While we’re on the subject of off-roading, you’ll be pleased to know that the new Koleos has a ground clearance of 210mm, which is among the best in class.

Inside, the dashboard has a vertical design very similar to that in the latest Megane hatchback, and you’ll find most of the latest mod cons, depending on which version you choose.

Two trim grades are offered, with the Expression at the base of the range, but still offering a decent array of standard features. These include dual-zone automatic climate control (with air vents for rear occupants), cruise control, rear parking sensors, a 17.8cm touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 17-inch alloy wheels, ESC stability control and six airbags.

The Dynamique adds leather seats (electrically adjustable upfront), a 22cm capacitive touchscreen with additional ventilation controls, ambient lighting, reverse camera, front and side parking sensors, blind spot warning, tyre pressure monitor and 18-inch alloys.

All versions ship with a five-year/90 000km service plan and five-year/150 000km mechanical warranty.

Here’s what you’ll pay:

2.5 CVT Expression 4x2 R399 900
2.5 CVT Dynamique 4x2 R439 900
2.5 CVT Dynamique 4x4 R479 900

IOL Motoring