The most recent recession hit the car industry harder than most and one of the most affected car makers was Renault, which was forced to cut several models from its range in 2010 and 2011, due to poor sales.
Aside from the entire Laguna range and the unfortunately named Wind Roadster, the French brand also dropped the Kangoo and Kangoo Compact Van, Espace, Grand Espace, Modus, Grand Modus and, with less than 2,600 units sold in the UK, the Koleos.
Of course, the move was only temporary with some of those nameplates now back in action and selling well. Now, the Koleos is being resurrected, so what can we expect this time?
SUV capability, saloon elegance
Available from the back-end of the summer, the Koleos will be Renault’s flagship SUV, sitting above the Kadjar and Captur, which have been critical and commercial successes so far.
Revealed initially at the Paris Motor Show in September 2016, the Koleos will be priced between £27,500 and £34,200 and should serve as a worthy rival to the Kia Sorento.
Renault says the reborn Koleos will combine ‘the rugged capability of an SUV with the elegant refinement of a large executive saloon’. It will also boast ‘assured handling, excellent interior comfort and quality’ as well as the usual convenience tech you can expect to find on a top-line SUV.
There will only be two engines to choose from and both are diesel.
The entry-level model will use a 1.6-litre dCi unit, producing 129bhp and 320Nm of torque to reach 62mph from a standstill in 11.4 seconds, while higher tier variants will use a 2.0-litre all-wheel drive dCi with 171bhp, hitting 62mph in 10.7 seconds when linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, or 9.5 seconds with the seven-speed auto.
Shared platform, generous spec
The Koleos will be built on the same platform as other recent Renaults, such as the Kadjar, Mégane, Scénic, Talisman and Espace, as well as the Nissan X-Trail – one of its key competitors.
Size-wise, the Koleos stretches for 4,672mm, standing at 1,678mm tall with a width of 1,843mm. Most importantly, it has a decent ground clearance of 210mm and loads of boot space – 458 litres normally, expanding to 1,690 litres with the back seats down.
Entry-level Dynamique S models ride on 18-inch ‘Agapi’ two-tone alloy wheels and come with an opening panoramic sunroof, part-black leather upholstery with extra tinted rear windows, ambient lighting, temperature-controllable cup holders, automatic dual-zone climate control, a hands-free keycard and automatic lights and wipers, as well as an Arkamys 3D sound system with four 35W speakers, DAB, seven-inch touchscreen and four USB ports, two AUX ports and Bluetooth.
Higher-spec Signature Nav models add 19-inch ‘Galiki’ two-tone alloy wheels, full LED ‘Pure Vision’ headlights, a larger 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen and a powered automatic tailgate.
You can order your Koleos now, with initial deliveries beginning from late summer.