The 4x4 Koleos has proven to be proficient on both road and turf, and we’ve almost become used to the CVT gearbox. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The 4x4 Koleos has proven to be proficient on both road and turf, and we’ve almost become used to the CVT gearbox. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

Moderate and sensible in nearly every metric, despite initial clashes with some of its foibles like the rubber-band acceleration of its CVT gearbox, the high fuel consumption and a lack of a powered tailgate, our long-term test Renault Koleos SUV is dutifully growing on me as life with it continues.

Even the engine has loosened up nicely after 10,000km, better urge from the 2.5l naturally-aspirated lump now being realized. And there has been no fault whatsoever reported by its on-board engine management.

In June, hardly three months after the Koleos Dynamique arrived at Motor News for a long-term test, Renault SA announced some specification changes to the range topping Dynamique grade.

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The enhancements address two of our gripes, one being the doing away with the foot-operated parking brake. I’ve always questioned the bizarre logic behind this feature – gory imaginations of a leg sheared off by the protruding lever in the case of a smash always fill my mind.

Either way, in one 2019 winter fell-swoop Renault enhanced and corrected the car as it now also comes with a hands-free power tailgate operated via the remote key or waving your foot underneath the rear bumper.

However, because I’ve become somewhat of a guru when it comes to the car, I can ask why the tail gate can’t open or close all on its own without requiring a key or a leg up? The Koleos already has a brilliant self-locking feature. Come to a halt, kill the engine, exit and the vehicle’s sensors detect the nearness of its electronic key card and locks up automatically as you walk away past the perimeter frequency, preventing the need to haul out the key to remotely lock. Brilliant feature this.

An electrically powered hatch is a new feature that will ease access to the roomy boot. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
An electrically powered hatch is a new feature that will ease access to the roomy boot. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

As I’m now fully accustomed to the monotonous CVT transmission, this has allowed time to reflect on some of Renault’s victories outside of the satisfactory off-road prowess that we tested in the last update.

I’m getting pleasantly fond of the array of digital features that can be accessed inside on its pretty sizeable, tablet style, 22cm capacitive touch screen central command. Standard fitment functions such as parking sensors, reversing camera, infotainment system, navigation, air conditioning and the mobile phone mirroring facility are operated from within the digital hub and have become less complex to use with time. However, there are still a few idiosyncrasies, like the need to press a return button whenever you need to access a completely different feature. This is the penalty you pay for the minimisation of button clutter in the cabin.

The digital outlay can be adjusted for different display styles and the mood lighting can reflect green, red, blue, somewhat orangey beige and purple. I wonder what mood goes with the latter colour.

In the end, the Koleos digital hub serves its purpose of expediency at a touch to tailor the car to an owner’s preferences. The latest enhancements announced will certainly fortify the ease of use when living with the Koleos Dynamique. It’s unfortunate that we can’t retrofit that powered tailgate to our test car.