2008 Renault Koleos, that is what happens when you take Nissan’s R&D and combine it with Renault’s current exterior and interior design language.
The little car-based crossover SUV is not just controversial or, say, innovative-looking (especially, if you consider that the Koleos concept car was first presented to the public about two years ago).
It is just plain ugly.
In fact, it looks like the vehicle was designed back in the 1990s, but then heavily refreshed to look bearably for the XXI century. However, designers actually never managed to hide that archaic roof line that does little to enhance the Coleos‘ aerodynamics, but makes it look more like that ugly Pontiac Vibe hatch and also makes it harder for tall people loading cargo without hitting their heads on the rear door.
Renault will probably target the new car against recently unveiled Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 crossovers based on 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
Regrettably, the crossover shares its platform with considerably smaller (especially, when you get inside the car) Nissan Xtrail, so it will rather have to compete against cheaper Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Set to be unveiled at the upcoming Motor Show in Geneva, the car will be available with either two- or all-wheel-drive, where the system will transfer up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels if it detects slippage. The car will be motivated by a 175 hp 2.5-liter four-banger mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gear box.
Some markets will also see the Koleos equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine with common-rail injection system and a water-cooled variable-geometry turbo.
Available in two flavors, producing 150 hp and 175 hp of power respectively, the oil-burner will save you a couple of pennies on fuel but will also decrease the vehicle’s ground clearance from its normal 206 mm to less appealing 188 mm, significantly reducing its off-road capabilities.
The price is yet to be announced but it’s more or less clear that for the money you’ll get a compact crossover SUV with questionable dynamics, and rather mediocre fuel economy.
Girls will love it, though.
See also: JDM 2008 Toyota Vanguard SUV