Home' Open Road North Shore : OR1116 Contents PART FRENCH, part Japanese and part
South Korean, the new Koleos is very
important for Renault Australia, which is
why Australia is the first market in the
world to launch it.
The SUV comes in three models: Life, Zen
and Intens. They may be strange names,
but let’s not forget the all-new Koleos
wears a French badge, so quirky is part of
the package. Life models are priced from
$29,990, Zen models start at $33,990 and
the AWD-only Intens starts at $43,490.
From all angles, the new Renault is a
good looking SUV, but inside is where the
Koleos shines. Renault says cabin space is
class-leading and there’s certainly good
leg, head and knee room front and rear. The
raised middle seat in the rear is, however,
only good for short journeys.
There are dual rear air vents, dual USB
charging ports (Intens), rear seat nets and
cup holders in the rear centre armrest. The
boot is 458 litres and has a removable
floor. All models have a one-touch folding
rear seat system with handles located
inside the boot to enable the 60/40-split
rear bench seat to be folded. Space grows
to 1690 litres with the rear seats folded.
The powered tailgate on the Intens
model can be opened and closed by waving
a foot beneath the bumper, as long as the
key is within close proximity. The height the
tailgate opens is also customisable if, for
example, you have a low garage roof.
The R-Link 2 system is impressive and
easy to use – you swipe, pinch and tap key
functions just like on a smartphone and the
level of customisation is a real strong point.
You can even change the volume of the
indicators! Oddly there’s no Apple CarPlay
or Android Auto and it’s disappointing
the Life and Zen don’t get the large
touchscreen even as an option.
The vehicle does feature remote engine
start, which allows the driver to heat and
cool the cabin before they get in the car. It
can even be programmed to activate at the
same time each day.
Its 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is
mated to a CVT and sips 8.1L/100km on the
combined cycle. The engine is loud, though,
and combined with the drone of the CVT,
wind noise from the mirrors and road noise,
it makes for quite a noisy cabin.
On winding roads in Coffs Harbour, the
Koleos showed its dynamic strengths. The
steering is well weighted and the SUV felt
confident on a variety of challenging
stretches. The 210mm of ground clearance
also allows for reasonable off-roading.
It adds up to a massive leap forward from
the previous model and, in most areas, the
Koleos scores at the upper end of the class.
If you can live with the noise intrusion then
it’s worth a test drive. – Jaedene Hudson
Pros: Class-leading interior space;
intuitive tech; easy to get in and out of
Cons: Cabin noise; diesel not available yet;
large touchscreen only on Intens model
Cabin noise could be the undoing of this otherwise brilliant new SUV
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder Transmission:
CVT Power: 126kW Torque: 226Nm Fuel
consumption: 8.1L/100km (claimed) ANCAP:
Not yet tested Price: $29,990 (plus ORC)
instruments, but it comes included in the
Driver Assistance Pack, which is worth
having. The infotainment system also
includes Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto support via USB port and VW’s
App Connect system.
While the 132TSi and 140TDi models have
more power and torque, the base variants
also deliver flexible, refined performance,
helped in the front-wheel-drive 110TSi by
the Tiguan’s light weight (for its size). The
110TSi deactivates cylinders two and three
under light loads to save fuel. When you
want more oomph, all four kick in
seamlessly. The 1.4 responds willingly and
is exceptionally refined. That said, the extra
urge of the 132TSi model is noticeable.
The 110TDi pulls with ease from low revs
– albeit with some turbo lag – and is one of
the smoothest, quietest diesels around. On
a highway run, we averaged 5.1L/100km.
VW’s DSG transmissions have in the past
exhibited delays and erratic shifting, but no
such problems were evident in any of the
new Tiguans. Kick-down can be slow in Eco
or Normal modes, but that’s expected.
Dynamics are outstanding, with excellent
control, security and roadholding on rough
surfaces. All-wheel-drive models have an
extended electronic differential lock on
both axles, which helps the Tiguan get
around corners with great poise. They also
have snow and off-road drivetrain modes,
which adjust the traction and stability
control, front/rear torque split and other
parameters for optimum grip on less
adhesive surfaces. It's very effective and
feels almost seamless on a dirt road, where
the Tiguan is safe and secure.
This all means that the VW Tiguan now
tussles with the Subaru Forester and the
Mazda CX-5 for overall best-in-class
honours and can even shape up against
high-end Euro rivals. – Bill McKinnon
Pros: Class-leading safety; refined and
frugal drivetrains; spacious and practical
interior; agile handling
Cons: Firm ride; unintuitive media system;
VW reliability issues
It has just the right
amount of ‘uniqueness’.
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20/10/2016 10:19 am
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