There’s an awful lot to like about the Renault Koleos. It is, for starters, an awful lot of car.
In the crowded marketplace of crossover SUVs it’s decidedly at the larger end - similar to the Kia Sorrento/Nissan X-Trail in size.
The version I drove down at Joe Mallon Motors in Naas was the bells and whistles one, with a 2 litre engine, matched to an automatic gearbox delivering nice and strong power and torque.
It was large and comfortable and family and driver friendly - all of which you’d pretty much assume you’d get if you stood beside it, saw the bulk of it, and were told it had a 2 litre diesel engine.
It’s all the things you don’t expect that make the Koleos such a treat. There were numerous little things.
This is especially important in an era when car companies are falling over themselves to cram as many gadgets into their cars as possible. Some gadgets, like a car that parks itself, are interesting, but not genuinely useful.
What I liked about the Koleos was that the gadgets were both new to me, and genuinely helpful.
In an era of mass production, you always appreciate somebody who put in any extra thought.
For example - the brakes were very sensitive and effective. That’s a personal preference of mine, and may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it really set the tone for me.
Second, as well as a button for heating the seats, it had a button for cooling the seats which is a really really neat idea at the height of a humid summer.
Third - it had that little warning light (see picture) that tells you when a car is passing in your blindspot on the motorway.
The blindsport warning light. Very clever!
I saw this in the Nissan Micra a few weeks ago and thought it was a genuinely great innovation. Nissan and Renault, of course, are the same company.
There’s a little lever you can pull when you’re putting stuff into the boot that flicks down the back seats - ever so handy if you’re a harrassed parent trying to fit stuff in.
More and more models from across many brands are starting to tell the driver what speedzone they’re in.
It’s a really great idea for those of us who are genuine about not wanting to break the speed limit.
In some brands, the symbol changes colour if you exceed the limit. Either way it’s a great innovation.
On top of all that, there’s qa central console that is essentially like an iPad, and as useful.
You can instruct the phone using voice commands, which is handy, although whether it’ll understand a Kildare accent is another thing!
There is a 1.6 diesel with manual transmission available. Prices go up as far as almost €47,500 for the version I was driving, although the more value models can be had for as little €35,240 - depending on which version you go for.
You can contact Mallon’s on 045-897675, or go to .joemallonmotors.ie