Can the updated Koleos match up to its rivals in the premium SUV segment? Let's find out
King of the premium SUV segment, the Fortuner, hasn’t found its match yet to compete on the sales charts and is having a dream run for Toyota. Honda’s new CR-V has, admittedly by the company itself, surpassed their expectations for a petrol SUV in our diesel obsessed country. But with Renault’s updated Koleos, they’ve found a match for power, price and crucially now, choice of variants. Can the Koleos hold its own in this spec comparison?
Engines and variants
With the update, Renault has added a 4x2 manual and a 4x4 manual to the SUV in addition to the existing 4x4 automatic. It is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that now develops 23PS more at 173PS. This though is available only in the 4x4 Koleos. The 4x2 Koleos continues to develop the old 150PS output. The 4x2 develops 320Nm of torque and the 4x4s dish out 360Nm. Toyota’s Fortuner gets only one output option – 171PS from its larger 3.0-litre turbo-diesel. It is also available in 2WD and 4WD options but the automatic comes mated only to the 2WD version. This helps keep the prices down as clubbed with the 4x4 it would have been more expensive. It’s got two torque figures though – 343Nm for the manuals and 360Nm for the automatic. The CR-V is the only petrol SUV in this comparison. It’s the only one with two engine options – a 2.0-litre petrol that’s only available as a 2WD mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed automatic and a 2.4-litre petrol with 4WD only that comes with a 5-speed automatic. The former doles out 156PS of power and 190Nm of torque and the latter has a healthier output of 190PS and 226Nm.
The Fortuner gets a full time 4x4 system that constantly supplies power to all four wheels. It’s also got a dedicated low-range transfer case that can help you do some serious off-roading. The Koleos and CR-V supply power to all wheels only when required, depending on driving conditions. In normal conditions, they work as front wheel drive soft-roaders that can handle gravel and slush at best.
For the features, let’s take the base and the top-end variants into consideration. The Koleos 4x2 comes with keyless entry and push button start/stop, rain sensing wipers, dusk sensing headlights, cruise control, audio system with USB, aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity. On the safety front, it gets ABS with EBD and driver and passenger airbags. Clearly proving it’s a base variant are the manual seat height adjustments and fabric seats. The 4x4 top-end Koleos automatic gets a lot more kit. In addition to the base variant, it comes with different alloy wheel designs, a sweet sounding Bose entertainment system, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Hill-Start Assist (HSA), Hill-Descent Control (HDC), six airbags (front, front-side and curtain), driver and passenger electric seat height adjustment and leather upholstery. Besides a touch-screen for the entertainment system, there’s not much more you can ask for in the Koleos.
The Fortuner doesn’t compromise on features depending on variant. It does though on safety equipment. While all the variants come equipped with ABS, only the 4x4 MT Fortuner gets EBD and Brake Assist. It is also the only variant to get the vehicle stability control system. Power adjustable driver’s seat, leather seats, a touch-screen entertainment system, keyless entry and rear camera are all standard across variants. Cruise control is available only on the 2WD automatic. But it doesn’t get the hill assists as in the Koleos or the dusk sensing headlamps and rain sensing wipers or even the extra set of airbags. The Fortuner is the only SUV though in this comparison that gets a third row bench, a crucial advantage over the others.
The base variant of Honda’s CR-V gets leather upholstery, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat to its competitors six, six airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, ABS with EBD, an audio system and cruise control. It is clearly the best kitted base variant in this comparison. The top-end CR-V gets a sunroof, paddle shifters, touch screen entertainment system, HSA and projector headlights.
A major driving force for SUV buyers is its size. Since it has the space to accommodate that third row, the Fortuner is the biggest of the lot. It is 4.7 metres long, 1.84 metres wide and stands at 1.85 metres. It’s also got the longest wheelbase at 2.75 metres. Coming in second is the CR-V. It is 4.54 metres long, 1.82 metres wide, just 1.68 metres in height and has a 2.62 metre wheelbase. The Koleos has a similar length to the CR-V at 4.52 metres, it is marginally the widest of the lot at 1.85 metres and is 1.7 metres in height. It’s got a longer wheelbase than the CR-V at 2.69 metres and as a result finds middle-ground between its competitors.
Here’s a table of the ex-showroom Delhi prices for comparison –
Rs 21.29 lakh
Rs 21.81 lakh
Rs 20.25 lakh
Rs 22.80 lakh
Rs 21.25 lakh
Rs 23.97 lakh
Rs 23.06 lakh
Rs 24.97 lakh
Rs 24.36 lakh
The CR-V is a petrol SUV and that’s a major weigh-in while making a buying decision. Once you have moved past that, let’s see how the three stack up –
If you are looking for an entry-level 4x2 variant among the three, the base CR-V on paper is the best bet as it is Rs 1 lakh cheaper and comes with a lot of features. If you want a 4x2 automatic, the fight is between the Fortuner and the CR-V. Here you have to decide between the efficiency of a diesel and third row seat for the car-like dynamics of the CR-V. Between the 4x4 manuals, the Fortuner has a dedicated low range transfer case and as a result is the better off-roader. The CR-V and the Koleos are soft-roaders. Among the 4x4 automatics, you don’t get one in a Fortuner any more, so you are left with the Koleos and the CR-V. The two are about Rs 60,000 apart and are pretty much the same on paper besides the engines so choosing one boils down to the amount of kilometres you clock.