New Koleos 4×4 joins French car-maker’s line-up this summer.

If you’re shopping for a Freelander-sized off-roader, the list of choices has just grown.

Renault sells one of the broadest choices of models of any maker but, until now, hasn’t had a 4×4. That’ll change with the Koleos, which arrives in showrooms early in July.

Priced between £18,000 and £24,700, Renault describes the Koleos as a cross between an MPV – like its Scenic – and a full-on off-roader.

However, the cheapest ones will drive only from the front wheels: don’t expect much of them when straying into the muck and mud.

Four-wheel-drive models cost from £19,000 and should be capable in the dirt. They share the same running gear as Nissan’s X-trail off-roader and offer that model’s off-roading aids, including one to help when descending steep drops and another to make hill-starts easier.

It also means that the Koleos’s ground clearance is good.

At launch, 2.0-litre diesel engines are offered, producing 150bhp or 170bhp. Emissions figures range from 191 to 221g/km of CO2.

There will be three trim levels – Dynamique, Dynamique S, and Privilege – which echo those of other Renaults.

The company expects the Dynamique S with four-wheel-drive and 150bhp engine to sell the most. At £20,495, Renault says that it is cheaper than rivals such as Honda’s CR-V SE, the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDi SE and the cheapest Land Rover Freelander, the 2.2 TD4 S.

Like its key rivals, it’s a five-seater. The rear seats flip down at the touch of two buttons to extend the load area, while the front passenger seat also folds flat. The tailgate splits, and each bit opens separately.

Euro NCAP test results for the Koleos haven’t yet been announced but, given Renault’s strong safety reputation, they should be good.

Stephen Jury


May 2, 2008

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