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First facelift for Renault Koleos

Sleeker SUV: New-look 2012 Koleos goes on sale here late this year.

Renault applies a new front-end and more refinement to its compact Koleos crossover

24 Jun 2011

RENAULT has revealed a new-look Koleos that will bring a range of design upgrades to the French brand’s compact crossover in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year.

Revealed globally this week before production begins in Korea for markets including Australia, the 2012 Koleos represents the first significant facelift for Renault’s inaugural compact SUV since it was released here in September 2008.

Despite the addition of more standard equipment last May, the introduction of a new entry-level variant priced at $28,490 plus on-road costs last August and a free scheduled servicing offer during the first quarter of this year, Koleos sales remain down almost 38 per cent in a market segment that is up nearly five per cent so far in 2011.

Renault hopes that will change with a major midlife makeover that brings a revised interior and a new-look front-end that takes styling cues from Renault’s new Latitude flagship sedan, which along with the mid-size Fluence sedan is also produced at the Renault Samsung Motors plant in Busan, South Korea.

Gone are the oversized headlights and twin-nostril grille of the original Koleos, replaced by a more rounded front bumper and all-new bonnet and front quarter sheetmetal that wraps around narrower headlights and a more traditional six-sided, three-bar chromed grille.

35 center imageRedesigned door mirrors now house LED turn signals, but there are no changes to the high-riding Renault wagon’s rear-end, which continues to differentiate the Koleos from the compact SUV pack with a steeply raked rear windscreen.

There are no wholesale changes inside but by year’s end the Koleos will feature new seat upholsteries and interior trims, while the dashboard has been revised with a more contemporary instrument panel housing and lighting.

Full Australian model details will not be revealed until closer to launch, but the upgraded Koleos should continue to be available with a 2.5-litre petrol engine in front-wheel drive and Nissan-developed AWD configurations, as well as a flagship AWD-only 2.0-litre diesel variant.

Offered only in flagship Dynamique automatic guise, the latter currently tops the Koleos range at $39,990 plus on-road costs here, while the most affordable Koleos is the 2.5 Expression 2WD manual priced at $29,990 drive-away.

In Europe, diesel engine updates have resulted in lower consumption and CO2 emissions figures for 2WD versions powered by Renault’s dCi 150 (now rated at 148g/km) and dCi 175 (166g/km) engines.

It is not clear whether the Koleos will be available with the revised model’s new ‘Cayenne Orange’ hero paint colour in Australia, where all examples already come standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes, emergency brake assist, seatbelt pre-tensioners and a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, plus class-leading front head room and knee room.

In contrast with its Australian sales performance, European sales of the Koleos – the first Renault-Nissan Alliance model to be designed by Renault, based on Nissan (X-Trail/Dualis) underpinnings and produced in Korea - soared by 65 per cent to April this year.

However, the Koleos is sold in 40 countries on five continents and last year more than 70 per cent of sales were in markets outside Europe, including China and Latin America.

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