The Renault Koleos is a crossover whose roots can be traced back to the worlds of the hatchback, the MPV and 4x4-type vehicle. It successfully blends the best of all three categories to deliver outstanding versatility and driving pleasure on all types of road. In built-up areas, on motorways and on unsealed surfaces, the Koleos chassis conveys a real sense of safety and being in control. The MacPherson-type front suspension is combined with the fully-independent multilink rear suspension seen on the New Nissan X-Trail. This set-up guarantees comfort and directional stability in all situations, while the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos' specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling.
Ground clearance of 188mm and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos' off-road credentials.
Koleos is the first Renault model to feature four-wheel drive from launch. The torque split between the front and rear is automatically calculated as a function of available grip. In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. However, should less grip become available up to 50 per cent of torque is transferred to the rear. This front-rear split is ensured by an electronic coupler and controlled by the latest-generation 'All mode 4x4-i' system developed by Nissan for New X-Trail. This system, which is designed to optimise traction in all road conditions, is not only acclaimed for its efficiency but also contributes to Koleos' exceptional off-road ability.
The same all-wheel drive management system also contributes to the vehicle's active safety performance. The instant it detects even a small amount of oversteer or understeer, it immediately modifies the front-rear torque split, even before a possible intervention from the ESP kicks in. When grip is at a premium, such as on snow, mud, dirt or sand, the driver only has to flick a switch on the dashboard to electronically lock the transmission in 4x4 mode. Alternatively, should the driver so wish, the transmission can also be locked in two-wheel drive mode.
Koleos is equipped with a Hill Start Assist function which can prove a particularly useful asset during everyday motoring. This system is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10 per cent with a view to preventing the vehicle slipping back down the slope. It also does away with the need for the driver to switch rapidly from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal which is inherent in most vehicles.
Similarly, Koleos is equipped with a Hill Descent Control system for even safer off-road motoring. This function is activated via a button mounted on the central fascia and automatically holds the vehicle's speed at a maximum of 4mph on downhill gradients of 10 per cent or more without requiring the brakes to be used. This function works in reverse gear, too.
Koleos' navigation system has a number of specific off-road features, including an altimeter and barometer. The vehicle's angle of inclination, the slope and an altitude graph are equally displayed, while a digital compass takes the stress out of finding the correct heading when there are no signposts about.
Koleos will also be available in two-wheel drive form for those customers who are drawn by its adventurer, crossover looks but who have no call for all-wheel drive transmission.