The Koleos is a very good looking SUV, on paper and in the flesh! Boasting all the gadgets, a seven-inch touchscreen, sat-nav, reversing camera, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors, heated front seats and soooo much more including a five-year warranty and all at an amazing price!
But… is all this too good to be true? We have got to find out if this new SUV is as good a BabyDrive as it promises to be!!
We drove both the Koleos Zen 4×2 and the top-spec Koleos Intens 4×4 model. It was interesting to have the experience of the two and to see how they compare.
We will start with my favourite BabyDrive feature… You can adjust the volume of nearly everything that makes a noise!! The voice control, parking sensors, indicators, keypress, warnings, sat-nav, phone call and ring, and the audio. I found this amazing and very BabyDrive friendly to be able to tailor the bells and alarms to suit your baby’s sensitivity and your nerves!
My second favourite BabyDrive feature was the interior lights in the back. They are small so they do not distract the driver when they are on at night, they are positioned above the rear doors so you can turn them on and off easily when installing a child into their seat and the best bit… they can be turned on and off from the driver's seat by a conveniently positioned switch near the glasses case in the ceiling! Brilliant for driving at night and being able to turn the light on in the back for little ones and then turn them off once they have fallen asleep.
Also if I am traveling home and it is getting near to bed time and I definitely DON’T want her to fall asleep in the car as even a 5minute nap in the car means bed time is all over!!!! I lean back and pop the light on so it’s not dark and try to keep her awake!! Along with screaming/singing at the top of my voice!!!
It is also useful when there are lights situated above the doors where the handles are usually positioned. These are good for when putting baby into their child seats when visibility is poor, so you do not have to reach across them to a light situated in the ceiling centrally etc.
Another thing the Koleos does really well is space; the legroom in the Koleos is fantastic! There is quite good boot space too, and I could get my big Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle pram and three shopping bags in the boot. There are little wells on either side in the boot too which are perfect for wet shoes or muddy or sandy clothes etc.
In the cab, you can have a rear-facing child seat installed without it interfering with the legroom of the passenger seated in front. My husband is 184cm and there was plenty of leg room for him to sit comfortably.
There is plenty of storage space in the cab too with generous door pockets, cup holders, glove box etc.
Three child seats fitted across the back seats, although we did have trouble with the ISOFix not working on one side of both cars. Something we have highlighted to Renault and they seem to have sorted on other Koleos models we have driven since, but still well worth double-checking if you are looking to buy one.
In the top-spec Intens there are cooling vents in the central cup holders that you can flick open or closed. This is a nice little feature, especially if you really can’t wait for your caffeine fix in the morning after another sleepless night!! I loved it as it was a great way of cooling black tea down quickly to a drinkable temperature!!
The lower spec Zen model comes with faux leather heated seats and the Intens with leather both heated and cooled seats. Ironically the faux leather seats of the Zen are so hot and sweaty to sit on you really do not need them to be heated!! If you wanted to cool any seats it would definitely be those rather than the real leather in the Intens!
The Intens comes with air-con vents in the back also and USB charging points for smartphones.
As I’ve said the Koleos looks great! Both on the outside and inside! The interior is fresh, stylish and modern.
The Koleos was good in many ways BUT unfortunately, it disappointed in more! Most noted was how it was to drive, the Koleos made a loud ‘mooing’ noise up hills as if the engine just wasn’t good enough, and that was with an empty car just me and Tulsi. Imagine with a whole family and their stuff onboard! The Koleos would slow down as if working out its gearing and then suddenly accelerate. Very frustrating for me, disturbing for little passengers onboard and not what you would expect from a brand new vehicle.
Most of the usual central console controls had been moved into the touchscreen, and I found this really annoying as the touch screen would take a few presses to accurately select what you wanted. With something like the air-con, it takes too much concentration away from driving to adjust it.
The media screen in the Intens is portrait and when you are using the reversing camera it divides 50/50 with the rear sensor imagery, making both too small to be of any use.
This is a similar problem with the sat-nav and sound systems; everything is within categories or lists that you just do not know where to look for them.
Although the windows in the Koleos are nice and deep, letting lots of light in, I found visibility poor as the driver because of the size and positioning of the wing mirrors. They were just so deep that with the pillars you could not see for a large probably 30cm area to your front right, which was especially bad when turning right out of junctions.
Also the visibility for forward-facing passengers in the back, they had to lean forward of the rear pillars to see out of the side windows because of the alignment of the rear door pillars and the seats. This also affects the space you have to post your baby into their chair from the outside of the car.
The driver's seat was not particularly comfortable in either models. The backrests pivoted at my lower back sticking into me if I reclined from bolt upright. To add to this in the Intens I could not lower the seat as much as I could in the Zen and the seat base was hard, both of which I presume are caused by the additional cooling system.