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Renault Koleos closer

Four months away: Koleos shares its foundations with Nissan's X-Trail.

Renault confirms a September on-sale for Koleos, complete with petrol and diesel power

16 May 2008

RENAULT has revealed the production-ready version its small Koleos crossover, the French brand’s first compact SUV, which goes on sale in Europe in June and, earlier than expected, in Australia in September.

The Toyota RAV4 rival made its Australian debut in concept guise at this year’s Melbourne motor show in March – as it did globally at the Paris motor show in 2006 – where Renault said it would not arrive until next year.

But the company has now announced the Koleos is less than four months away from hitting Australian dealerships, complete with petrol and diesel power.

35 center imageRenault’s sister company Nissan earlier this month announced that its second-generation X-Trail, whose part-time all-wheel drive platform the Koleos shares, will be available with diesel power from late July, and also revealed it is investigating the possibility of a diesel Dualis, which also shares the new X-Trail’s underpinnings.

If that occurs, the Koleos will bring to three the number of diesel-powered compact SUVs to be offered by the Renault-Nissan Alliance brands.

While Nissan’s X-Trail hails from Japan and its Dualis stablemate is manufactured in the UK, Renault’s Koleos was designed by the Renault Samsung Motors Design Centre in South Korea and will be built at the joint-venture company’s Busan plant. A Samsung version will also be produced for Korean consumption.

It’s not yet clear where the Koleos will be positioned relative to Nissan’s 2.5-litre X-Trail (which is priced from $31,990, while the X-Trail diesel will start at $36,990) and the 2.0-litre Dualis (which opens $3000 lower at $28,990), but Renault says it will offer a unique level of safety and comfort, plus “excellent value for money”.

Unique features include a 'clamshell'-type tailgate that’s said to assist cargo area access, an air-chilled glovebox, an array of storage compartments, front seatback-mounted folding tables for rear passengers and the ‘easy estate' seating system that enables the 60/40-split rear bench seat to be folded flat from the boot at the flip of a lever.

But at its heart is the choice of either Renault’s latest-generation 2.0 dCi Euro4 emissions-compliant diesel, coupled to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, or a 2.5-litre petrol four, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Electronic stability control will be standard on all Koleos variants, as well as twin front, side and curtain airbags and “big brakes” that are claimed to bring the model to a standstill from 100kmh in 42 metres - one of the shortest stopping distances to be found in the SUV/crossover segment. Renault says the Koleos is expected to perform “extremely well” in Euro NCAP crash testing.

“The new Koleos is the first true product of the Renault-Nissan global alliance,” said Renault Australia managing director, Rudi Koenig. “The Koleos is the result of a unique blend of global engineering, design and manufacturing resources.” The last Renault model to offer 4WD was the RX4, a higher-riding version of the original Scenic mini people-mover sold here between 2001 and 2004.

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