Future uncertain for Renault Australia’s top seller

The Renault Koleos is the brand’s best-selling vehicle in Australia, but it may not be long for this world

“[The] Koleos continues as is, product run this and next year and after that we don’t know,” said Renault Australia boss Glen Sealey.

A direct replacement for the Korean-built mid-sized SUV hasn’t been spied. It’s already been discontinued in most European markets, with the void at the top end of Renault’s SUV line-up there set to be filled by the next-generation Espace which has shed the last vestiges of people mover styling.

Renault Australia hasn’t confirmed the Espace, though it has said it “could work well”. It has also said it still wants to have something to offer mid-sized SUV buyers.

Camera IconSupplied Credit: CarExpert

“That medium SUV segment for us is a big segment, so we want to stay there,” said Mr Sealey.

Renault sold 2552 Koleos SUVs in Australia last year, up 31.8 per cent year-over-year.

That put it ahead of the Master (1615) and Trafic (1449) vans, as well as the Arkana (1398) and Captur (1207) SUVs in its own range.

Buoyed by strong supply, the Koleos also outsold rivals like the Ford Escape (2179), Peugeot 3008 (722), Skoda Karoq (979) and SsangYong Korando (520). It also came close to pipping the Volkswagen Tiguan (2658).

But the Nissan X-Trail with which it shared its underpinnings has been replaced with a new model that shares much with the Mitsubishi Outlander, and both of these rival SUVs from fellow Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance brands offer some form of electrification.

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Camera IconSupplied Credit: CarExpert

Renault, in contrast, continues to offer just a single naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine locally, even as electrified powertrains have been rolled out to other Renaults like the Captur in Europe.

The Koleos is also one of the older vehicles in its segment, having been launched in 2016.

An electrified, Korean-built Renault SUV is coming soon, however.

Renault Korea Motors says it’ll launch an all-new line-up of hybrid models in the D-segment (medium-to-large segment) “based on the latest Geely-Volvo technologies for both local and export markets starting 2024”.

It currently produces the Koleos and smaller Arkana for markets like Australia, and will soon begin producing Geely-based models following the Chinese automaker’s acquisition of a third of Renault Korea Motors last year.

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Camera IconLynk & Co 05 Credit: CarExpert
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Camera IconGeely Tugella Credit: CarExpert

The company has teased what appears to be a mid-sized coupe crossover ahead of its 2024 introduction and will offer hybrid powertrains. A more conventional, wagon-shaped version of this would be a natural replacement for the Koleos.

“This vehicle will be designed, developed & produced in South Korea,” said Renault Korea Motors of the new crossover.

“It will carry the brand’s ambitions through a breakthrough, modern and attractive style that will then be extended to the entire range.”

It’s also promising “premium features” and “industry-leading technology”, touting the availability of new connectivity or sales services every six months.

This could point to Renault using the CMA platform, which underpins models like the Volvo XC40 as well as various Geely- and Lynk & Co-branded vehicles such as the Geely Tugella and Lynk & Co 05 mid-sized coupe SUVs.

MORE: Everything Renault Koleos

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