Renault Koleos Automatic - Design Review
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Design Review of Renault Koleos Automatic
Last Updated at 11:24 am, May 20, 2013Rating :
Renault’s first crossover for India has a distinctive styling and a bulbous shape that sets it apart from its boxy competitors.
When the news of the Renault Koleos coming to India first broke out, I was quite disappointed. Why, you ask? Well, if you had seen the Koleos that was being sold in the global market back in 2011, you wouldn’t have asked me this question. It looked outright hideous! I liked its bulbous shape – and that gets carried over to the new model we have here – but the face it had and that split-grille, made the last Koleos look like a Sandero that had gone on a heavy burger diet and gained some mega calories. The new one though, looks smart – and we Indians were the first to see and feel it before Renault showed it to any other market in the world. By launching the new Koleos in India first, Renault has made it clear that they are very serious about the Indian market and that they are here to stay. And if that is not enough – then look at the sort of features that the Koleos packs for the money – it won’t leave any room for complaint. But more on that in the User Experience Review of this crossover; for now, let’s begin with the design.
Thankfully, the new Koleos retains the bulbous shape of its predecessor and that is a good thing, because the Koleos looks different amongst the boxy SUVs and crossovers in its segment – including its cousin, the Nissan X-trail. Some may say that it looks too much like the erstwhile Hyundai Tucson; but look at that face and you’ll realise that the Koleos looks more sophisticated and upmarket. There is a lot of chrome on the front fascia that helps this cause – the hexagonal grille, the slats, the Renault emblem and the fog-lamps brows – they all shine with dollops of chrome plating. The headlights have a shape similar to those of the Renault Fluence, however these have a lot more detailing on them. The Indian Koleos misses out on headlamp washers that you get on the global model though. The skid plate below the front bumper gives the otherwise sophisticated face of the Koleos a rough-rider stance.
The side profile of the Koleos isn’t the best angle to look at this crossover from. To begin with, the Tucson-resemblance is enhanced from this angle, thanks to jelly-bean shape. Then there is the long frontal overhang and the pointy nose which makes the Koleos look like a wannabe Porsche Cayenne. A flatter bumper area could have made the side profile look more muscular – for the wheel-arches don’t exactly lend the Koleos any muscle. Thankfully though, the wheel-wells look well fed with the 225/60-R17 tyres that sit on the 17-inch rims. There is an optional 18-inch wheel and tyre set available too but that could slightly compromise ride quality.
The tailgate of the Koleos gives this crossover further distinction in its category, since it is one of the few crossovers that have a horizontal taillight assembly. Add to it the raked, hunchback windshield and the aluminium-finish scuff plate at the bottom and you have a tailgate that looks very muscular as compared to the rest of the car. The boot lid is the party-piece here and opens like a clamshell – much similar to what you find on a Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The boot lid also gets the familiar dCi / AWD badging, but more on that later.
Overall, the bean shaped design does make it appear a tad small as compared to the big and brawny competitors that it has. However, the Koleos looks fresh, distinctive and sophisticated in the slew of boxy SUVs and crossovers that infest its segment.
First Published on 06:51 pm, March 21, 2012