The next-generation Renault Koleos medium SUV — or whatever nameplate it ends up wearing — will grow significantly over the current model, enough to accommodate a seven-seat derivative and thereby carve out a significantly bigger piece of a lucrative market.
Furthermore, the 2016 Koleos —which is ready to go but won’t be revealed globally until next year — will once again be made in South Korea at a Renault-Samsung plant, making its importation to Australia in 2017 more economically viable.
Sourcing cars from there as opposed to Europe reduces travel costs and lead-times, and potentially plays in better with our currency flows.
The replacement for the current Koleos, which is getting long-in-the-tooth now (and is pictured in the story), will be built on the specific Renault Nissan Alliance Common Family Module (CFM) architecture that also underpins the new Nissan X-Trail, plus other models from both Renault and Nissan.
Not a whole lot else is known about the new Koleos, though we'd be surprised it its cabin didn't somewhat take after the stylish new Megane, pictured above, given that car pinches bits from the Renault Espace and Talisman.
The company told CarAdvice this week that the next Koleos will be about 150mm longer, thereby shifting it up a notch and into the D-segment where it belongs. This gives it greater differentiation from the Qashqai-based Renault Kadjar not sold in Australia.
As we know, Renault Australia has ruled out the Kadjar, despite the boom locally in SUVs, because it wants to avoid complexity. It has long felt the Captur and Koleos were sufficient, the latter in part largely because of the growing awareness of the nameplate.
But Renault globally has not, in fact, confirmed the Koleos’ badge will continue. Renault executive vice president Jerome Stoll told us in Frankfurt this week that a name retention was not assured, though added that “launching new names is very easy on powerpoint [as opposed to reality]”.
The Koleos was launched in Australia in 2008, received an update in 2011 and then another running change recently. It offers, like some but not all rivals, only five seats.
So far this year, Renault Australia has sold 1149 Koleos SUVs, up 22 per cent. It is the brand’s second best-seller behind Clio.