Renault Koleos Zen review: a different universe to the first-gen Koleos

Renault Koleos Zen: hands-on review

Posted: 9 July 2019 4:10 pm
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A different universe to the first-generation Renault Koleos

In the market for a European SUV but aren't willing to part with an arm in order to afford one? The Renault Koleos range starts at a competitive $30,990.

The Koleos shares the underpinnings of the Nissan X-Trail, as a result this French SUV is built in South Korea and then shipped to Australia. But Renault has ensured that it has left its unmistakable design language all over the Koleos.

We tested a Zen trim Koleos which starts at $35,490 and after optioning the metallic paint for $880 and side steps for $791, the total for the test car came to $37,161.

Looks

On the outside, the Koleos looks quintessentially European. It's rather dapper and elegantly penned. When I picked this up, I could just imagine it cruising through Sydney's eastern suburbs without looking out of place.

While there is a bit less to talk about at the back, it still has a sophisticated form and appears to be from a different universe to the first-generation Koleos.

Styling is very much a matter of opinion though, so let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Renault Koleos Zen parked

Engine

The Koleos' heart is a 2.5-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-pot petrol engine that produces 126kW and 226Nm of torque.

Power is routed to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The combination is pretty good and while it gets up to speed fairly well given its moderate output, you can sense it protesting the entire way.

Renault claims an average fuel consumption of 8.1L per 100kms and during our time, we found that to be fairly accurate. While we saw a slightly higher 8.4L per 100kms, we're sure if Sydney weren't so full of other pesky drivers trying to go places, we would have achieved that number.

What's it like inside the Renault Koleos Zen?

You get vegan leather seats and most touchpoints are appointed in soft-touch material. It doesn't share that super premium feeling interior that you would expect from a European SUV, but at the same time, it doesn't share the price tag either.

The Zen model features a seven-inch R-Link 2 infotainment system which can be fiddly to operate at times and on occasion has a mind of its own, jumping back to the home screen. But the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring helps to smooth this over.

A 3D Arkamys eight-speaker sound system delivers crisp, punchy audio quality.

Renault installs two USB ports in the centre console bin, though there are none in the back, so you may need to invest in some longer charging cables for the kids, or get them a book.

There are some oddities you would expect from a Renault such as the cruise control buttons living in between the two front seats.

Back-seat passengers benefit from plenty of space. With the driver's seat adjusted for my six-foot frame, there was ample room between my knees and the seatback – I could stretch out. They will also enjoy directional air conditioning vents to keep cool, as well as two cup holders and a decent amount of door storage.

Renault Koleos Interior: Zen model

Safety technology

The Koleos comes with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard, along with blind spot monitoring with collision warning, surround parking sensors, a reversing camera and tyre pressure monitors.

Thankfully we didn't have to use the AEB or collision warning system, though you won't hit anything when parking as the sensors are, well, sensitive. In tight car parks where I normally get the occasional beep, the Koleos tended to go off its tree.

While the beeps and continuous ring can get irksome, it does ensure you're alert and won't hit anything.

How is the Renault Koleos on the road?

The ride is pretty pliable and the suspension set-up does a good job of sorting out rougher roads. We did notice that with sharper jolts, the vehicle does seem to jump off track.

Steering is on the lighter side and generally, I am not a fan on this, but on this particular car, it works. Don't ask me why, it just seems to suit it.

The faux leather seats are comfortable and we didn't have any problems sitting in them for extended periods.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I get paranoid about electronic handbrakes. I lock, unlock and check any given vehicle at least three times before I feel comfortable enough to leave it anywhere. I didn't have any such problem with the Koleos Zen, which flicks the handbrake on the second you shift into park.

Ownership

When purchasing a Koleos you will get a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty as well as capped price servicing for the first three services. These will set you back $349 each with maintenance intervals of 12 months or 30,000kms, whichever occurs first.

If you choose to have your vehicle serviced within the Renault network you'll be eligible for up to four years' roadside assist.

Is the 4x2 Renault Koleos Zen practical?

With the rear seats in place, there are 458 litres of storage space available. With the rear seats folded down, you have access to 1,690 litres.

Surprisingly, there is a full spare wheel too, which is a bit like striking gold these days. It's a great inclusion.

The Koleos also has a two-tonne braked towing capacity.

Renault Koleos Boot space 2019

The verdict

While the ride and performance may not be that of other European SUVs, you do get stylish looks and a nice interior. At $35,490, only you know if that matters.

I'd suggest heading to a dealership and testing it out. Pay attention to the infotainment system, the rest of the car you can get used to. Also, sit in the back, you'll be surprised with the space.

Compare some options to finance a Renault Koleos Zen

Data updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
Plenti Car Loan
From
4.89%
(fixed)
5.44%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From
4.67%
(fixed)
5.22%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99%
(fixed)
5.34%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
3.85%
(fixed)
4.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

MoneyForJam Car Loan
From
3.25%
(fixed)
5.82%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.25% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow between $5,000 and $120,000 with loan terms up to 7 years to finance a new or used car. Get access to more than 40 providers.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.25% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow between $5,000 and $120,000 with loan terms up to 7 years to finance a new or used car. Get access to more than 40 providers.
NRMA New Car Loan
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From
4.74%
(fixed)
5.01%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

RACV New Car Loans
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From
6.99%
(fixed)
7.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
OurMoneyMarket Car Loan
From
5.35%
(fixed)
5.65%
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79%
(fixed)
7.16%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From
5.99%
(fixed)
7.26%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
3.85%
(fixed)
4.05%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.85% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.85% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From
6.99%
(fixed)
6.99%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From
3.95%
(fixed)
5.1%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.49%
(fixed)
7.19%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From
5.75%
(variable)
6.47%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Data updated regularly
Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost plus you will get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catches our eye due to some unique perks like a price-beat guarantee, where it'll beat any current comparable comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of its price-beat guarantee.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value. Plus earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up by 2 May 2021, you can earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums plus you can get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply. Additionally, their Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to their standard comprehensive cover.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
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