Renault's new nose for Koleos

Penned by the French, engineered in Japan, and built in Korea, the Renault Koleos has been an unusual compact SUV candidate since its launch in 2008.

For 2011, the Koleos gets a new face, adopting a chrome multi-slat grille similar to that used in the Fluence and Latitude. Inside, new trim colours and plastics are expected to improve fit and finish. Renault hopes a mid-life re-style will keep the four-year-old SUV fresh among a raft of newer competitors, however the engineering changes are limited.

An upgraded version of the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine will move outputs from the current 110kW/320Nm to a more substantial 127kW/380Nm. The Nissan-developed 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine will be retained, as will the choice between front-drive or (also Nissan-developed) multi-mode four-wheel drive variants.

Despite Renault slashing the price of Koleos – the entry-level Expression 4x2 is $28K – sales have fallen to just 223 units for the first five months of this year compared with 4170 X-Trails, the SUV on which it’s based.

With Renault’s push to sell 3000 cars by year’s end, expect more equipment and lower prices across the Koleos range when the facelifted model launches here in October.

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