The Renault Koleos.
The Renault Koleos.

Head to head comparison: Renault Koleos v Peugeot 3008

RENAULT KOLEOS INTENS AWD

$48,490 on-road 18/25 pts

VALUE 4 stars

Renault Koleos Intens: All-wheel drive adds $590.
Renault Koleos Intens: All-wheel drive adds $590.

The Koleos versions that match the 3008 range from $35,990-$48,990 (unlike Peugeot, Renault still imports the base variant and it can be had for $29,990 on the road). Service intervals are 12 months/30,000km and the first three visits total $897. Toss in a five-year/unlimited km warranty and the Renault has something going for it. The top-spec Intens adds all-wheel drive for just $590.

DESIGN 3.5 stars

The Koleos is more than 200mm longer than the 3008 and marginally wider and higher. It's one of the few mid-size SUVs in which rear seat passengers can stretch their legs. Headroom is good, despite the intrusion of the standard panoramic sunroof. The Koleos Intens has a great 8.7-inch tablet-style infotainment screen but the rest of the interior doesn't threaten the Renault, especially the quality of the plastics.

ENGINE 3 stars

Koleos cockpit: Spacious, with tablet-style infotainment screen.
Koleos cockpit: Spacious, with tablet-style infotainment screen.

A naturally aspirated 2.5-litre sends 126kW/226Nm to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission. Without a turbo, this engine needs to rev to do its best work, so trying to match the 9.5-second claim for the 0-100km/h split is met with nine seconds of moaning as the transmission holds on to 4500rpm. Combined claim is 8.1L/100km; city is 10.7L.

SAFETY 4 stars

The Intens includes the key active safety gear you'd expect at this price, from auto emergency braking to blind-spot and lane-departure warning and sensors around the car to help detect obstacles you haven't seen. That's good but they're an option on the mid-spec Zen version and can't be had on the base Life.

DRIVING 3.5 stars

Ride like a Renault: The Koleos sits flatter through corners than the 3008.
Ride like a Renault: The Koleos sits flatter through corners than the 3008.

The Koleos is mid-pack for dynamics. The around-town ride can be jittery over repeated small bumps, a trait less obvious out of town as the pace increases. Equally obvious is the multi-link rear suspension, which helps the SUV sit flatter through the corners than the Peugeot, if at the expense of boot space.

PEUGEOT 3008 GT LINE

$47,900 on-road 20/25 pts

VALUE 3.5 stars

Peugeot 3008: Warranty and servicing costs dampen the value equation.
Peugeot 3008: Warranty and servicing costs dampen the value equation.

Last year's starting price for the base Active was $41,200. Servicing costs hammer the Peugeot. Intervals are reasonable at 12 months/20,000km but the first three trips cost $1787, almost double the Renault. The three-year/100,000km warranty is also below par, given some makers - Renault included - have or are moving to at least five years of factory backing.

DESIGN 4 stars

The 3008 sits at the pointy end of the mid-size SUV fashion stakes. The "claw mark" tail-lights grab attention. The look is even better inside. All models use a high-mounted 12.3-inch digital display to keep the driver's focus close to the road. An eight-inch touchscreen handles infotainment and the cabin has a classy, less-is-more look, capped off by switchgear with a quality feel. The good looks are augmented by good storage.

ENGINE 4 stars

3008: Classy cabin with high-mounted screen and quality switchgear.
3008: Classy cabin with high-mounted screen and quality switchgear.

The 1.6-litre turbo uses a six-speed automatic to deliver 121kW/240Nm to the front wheels. The torque peaks from just 1400rpm, making take-offs more than acceptable. Peugeot quotes 7.0L/100km, rising to 9.8L in city duties.

SAFETY 4.5 stars

The GT Line has all the active bells and whistles: autonomous emergency braking and semi-autonomous driving (thanks to adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition and active lane-keeping assist), along with blind-spot detection and surround-view camera. AEB can't be had on the Active and is an option on the Allure. For a brand looking to rebuild its reputation as a premium mainstream player, that won't cut it.

DRIVING 4 stars

Sweet steerer: The 3008 changes lanes or direction with little fuss.
Sweet steerer: The 3008 changes lanes or direction with little fuss.

This is a sweet-riding SUV for urban and highway use. The rear end can be a touch jiggly on pockmarked back roads; in the city you are hard-pressed to notice. What you will notice is how well the 3008 responds to steering inputs. It will change direction or switch into another lane with little fuss and little input on the small steering wheel.

 

VERDICT

The 3008 is the 2017 European Car of the Year and wins here on the same basis - the more upmarket materials and better urban ride and handling make it a smarter buy, despite the expensive service costs and stingy warranty.



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