So, before I start off this review I will admit this is a courtesy car while my own car is in for repairs. We have put about 800km on the clock, with mixed-use driving.
I was pretty excited to get handed the keys to a practically brand new car, so after signing the forms and saying bye to my car for a little bit, I jumped into the 2018 Koleos. My first impressions were pretty good; the dash looks smart, the steering wheel felt nice, the seats comfortable and the doors made a nice thunk when they closed. After pushing the Stop/Start button it was time to set up the infotainment/GPS... and this is where some problems came up. Firstly I had forgotten my cable, so I couldn't use Android Auto. Oops. Anyway, I started pressing buttons on the screen, only to find it slightly confusing. After attempting to connect Bluetooth a few times I gave up - alright, NOVA FM it is. Now it's GPS time!
Well, not really. After getting constant "cannot set a waypoint for current destination" messages, I chose to set the start point manually - but that also failed. Bummer. I guess I'll just use Google Maps on my phone (but not connected to Bluetooth since that failed).
Off I set. Driving the Koleos is pretty "no-thrills". It drives how you'd expect, not that it's a bad thing. It was comfortable and relaxing. My drive home consists of two major 80km/h roads and then inner Melbourne city streets. The Koleos dealt with bumps nicely. All was good, until I came to my first roundabout, which had pedestrian crossings across all four directions. Pulling up, I look to my left to by greeted to a huge mirror and a pillar, so I come to a complete stop to peer over them to make sure it's clear. This became a constant struggle at roundabouts and junctions.
Day 2: This was the day I found the most problems that were frustrating. On start-up the engine made this weird rattle sound - which it has done ever since. Renault said that it's normal. Oh well, it's time for a decent drive. In I hop, plugging in Android Auto - which takes about 1000 attempts but finally works and stops glitching out - and away we go. Listening to my own music, I turn it up a bit to find the sound system actually pretty decent. After driving a while, I eventually come to a stop. Its cold, and I look to the climate control and turn it on. No numbers show up, and the knob keeps turning - so it's not a manual/retro unit?
I pull over to figure out what's going on. It turns out the climate control temperature is displayed on the infotainment unit, and when Android Auto takes up the whole display, it makes the climate temp disappear. Who at Renault thought this was a good idea? Was there no testing? How does something like this slip through? Baffled, I set my temp and turn Android Auto back on (after four attempts).
Continuing my journey, I hit the freeway. "Arrrrrrrrrgh" whines the CVT, getting up to 100km/h, surprising me on how loud it was. After getting to 100km/h the Koleos settled nicely, the engine was quiet, and the seats were nice. It was all good after I found the cruise control located next to the electric parking brake, until I realised the noise coming from the tyres and wind was very loud, to the point I double-checked that all the windows were up. This was a disappointment and drove me insane for the few hours.
The next couple of weeks were all pretty much the same; same problems, same annoyances. Although this car is pretty well spec'ed for the money, I found the issues outweighing the nice features. A surprise was the average consumption of 8 litres per 100 kilometres, which I thought was good for the majority of city driving I did.
Improvement wise, this car really needs better sound insulation, a whole new infotainment unit - one that is easier to use, has the climate control temp on displayed on the dash (not the infotainment system) and doesn't look like a 6 year old designed it. It also maybe needs a revised front parking sensor system, as it goes off when sitting in traffic randomly.
Other than the engine rattle on start, the transmission (which can be sometimes hard to get into gear), and the glitchy infotainment, the car has been pretty solid.
Would I buy one with real money and not just the $2000 excess if I crash it? No.
It is a stylish, well spec'ed mid-sized SUV, but it isn't really that good at anything and there are much better options.