17 July 2017

New Koleos launches in Ireland

Renault Ireland has launched a new generation Koleos large SUV at a starting price of €34,490, writes Brian Byrne.

Targeting the D segment large family car buyer, the Koleos is available in two grades, both with a high level of specification. The Irish distributor took a direct decision not to provide a de-specced entry level version.

Two diesel engines are available, a 130hp 1.6 and a 175hp 2.0, the latter with AWD and available with a CVT automatic transmission.

The new Koleos is only available with five seats, aiming to provide long-distance comfort for four or five people with adequate accommodation for their luggage needs.

The Koleos becomes the flagship in Renault's crossover/SUV models, beyond Captur and Kadjar.

More than 80pc of the units allocated for the remainder of this year, and though Renault Ireland won't reval their thoughts on numbers in a full year, they suggest that supply will be a more relevant issue than sales.

A full range of Renault's driver assist technologies are standard across the range, including advanced emergency braking, blind spot and lane departure warnings. Traffic sign recognition and overspeed prevention as well as hill start assist are also standard.

All versions also have parking sensors front and rear, and rear view camera. Satellite navigation and panoramic roof are also part of the overall package.

Options include a climate pack that features ventilated and heated front seats and heated rear seats. Hands-free parking is available, and a 13-speaker Bose sound system can be ordered.

Road tax ranges from €270 on the 1.6 versions to €570 on the 2.0 automatics.

The first generation Koleos was produced from 2007 until 2015, but only had a short sales life in Ireland and the UK, where the offering ceased in 2011. Built by Renault Samsung in South Korea, the car was on the same platform as the first generation Qashqai.

The latest Koleos is a completely new car, using the Renault CMF-CD architecture which also underpins the latest Nissan X-Trail and Renault Kadjar.

There has been very strong interest in the new Koleos, according to Renault Ireland country manager Paddy Magee, who related the story of one Co Kildare customer who traded up his Captur small SUV for a Koleos 'for his 80th birthday'.

At the Irish press launch for the car, Renault ambassador Rosemary Smith also told of her recent experience driving a Formula One car courtesy of the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team R.S.17.

"I arrived at the Paul Ricard racing circuit in Marseille to find about 50 officials, track marshalls, and Team Renault personnel all there," she recalled. "I remember thinking that there must be somebody special coming to the track that day … until I realised they were there for me."

The video produced about the 79-year-old former rally champion's foray into a Formula One car has already gone viral. It all came about when, in conversation with Paddy Magee about her high-speed racing and rallying career, she mentioned that one of the few sports cars she had never driven was a Formula One car.

That omission in the life of Ireland's legendary 'Fast Lady' has now been rectified. Her lifelong passion for 'driving fast, very fast', continues.