She has arrived! Please welcome the newest addition to our family (temporarily, alas) – a brand new, baby blue Renault Koleos, delivered by gentlemanly car dealer, Glenn.
Parked perkly and brightly in our driveway, the first thing I said when I saw her was “Ooh – she’s gorgeous!” and I guess that’s a good sign. Colour – gorgeous. Styling – gorgeous. Shape – gorgeous. Shine on Duco – gorgeous. At the risk of sounding stereotypically female when it comes to automotive requirements – some very important points on my aesthetics checklist were pretty quickly ticked.
I checked out the interior and flicked all the knobs and buttons to see what was different from other cars. I made it a priority to check out the flip-up trays behind the driver and passenger seats, and pull the kids’ window shades up and down repeatedly, like someone intent on being annoying would do. They slide right down into the door frame and are very cool. The kids also loved them – they clambered inside the car when they got home from school, keen to get our new baby as grubby as quickly as possible, with me standing on the outside, screaming in – “Get your shoes off the seats!”
You know that new car thing? The smell, the look, the unbelievable spotlessness? Well, you don’t want it gone too soon.
So, we three checked out the car for quite a while in our driveway, then, suddenly, a ten tonne meterage of work descended upon me (along with 10 hours of solid rain) so I didn’t get a chance to do much more with our new baby on Day One of temporary ownership.
Today, Day Two, I finally got to drive our new baby and my goodness, she’s a zippy little mover. The trips I made were only short and I had windscreen wipers flailing around when I really wanted the radio on, but other than that – first impressions are good.
I have a month to suss her out more completely but I can say straight up that I love the compactness of the car and the absolutely best thing (other than how she looks) is how easy she is to handle. I can turn and take corners like a hot knife through butter, even though the car is relatively high off the ground. The steering wheel is a little smaller and more sporty than other cars, so perhaps this helps. And you just feel zippier when you have a small wheel in your hands.
I also like how easy things are to operate. I like the sound of the radio (don’t ask me for stereophonic specifics – it just sounds good) and I especially love the ‘pip pop’ sound of the indicator – very European. Speaking of European, the indicator is situated on the left hand side and I therefore feel like I’m in France every time I swipe it on (or send the windscreen wipers flailing).
Incidentally, the windscreen wipers are like spatulas in a bowl full of cake batter – they swipe spotlessly. I love the split opening at the rear of the car – the top bit flips up and the bottom flips down – priceless for adding a little extra space to the back of the car when packing and unpacking bits. I remember sitting on the flipdown back of our panel wagon as a kid and the car dealer assured me this smaller edition flip-down could still take my weight (some 50kg heavier than when I was a kid, that’s for sure).
I most especially love those window shades and those brilliant flip-up tray tables for the kids (genius!) and also the fact that I can lay the back seats down with a flick of two switches and there is not a skerrick of agonising dragging, pushing and grunting involved.
What don’t I like, so far? The fact that there’s no LCD display on the dash and radio – it’s LED, and while it’s not irritating, it just feels a little dated – like a digital watch.
I’m also not sure about the park brake situation (there isn’t one – it’s automatic and comes on when you put the car in ‘P’). I’m sure I’ll get used to it but it’s a little unnerving pressing the accelerator to take off and expecting the park brake to just ‘release’. The car does have anti roll mechanisms to take care of any nervousness, so I’ll give it a chance.
The car is also keyless and while I don’t mind this, again it’s something I have to get used to. The car has a flat, rectangular door-locker and unlocker – and you simply insert this into a slot in the dash, then push the ‘start’ and ‘stop’ button. Not bad. Just unusual.
My only other negative, at this stage, is the sound of the engine in low gears – it’s a little buzzy but this disappears very quickly once you’re past the take-off stage.
Yes, I know I’m being picky, but I told you I would suss this baby out, and that’s what I’m doing.
Now that the Koleos is in our family’s hot little motoring hands, we are readying ourselves for a road trip in which we’ll take the car to Sydney for the upcoming October long weekend, stopping off at country towns along the way. We’ll have a theme for this trip which I’ll tell you about in the next Koleos post – very exciting.
No better way to become familiar with a new car than to take her on the road, that’s what I say.
So, until then – happy motoring! I know I’ll be doing lots and lots of it.
The Renault Koleos is priced from around AU$34,985* drive away. To book a test drive visit the website http://renault.com.au/book-a-test-drive/
If you’re in the market for a new car, just print off a copy of this page, take it to your local Renault dealer and you’ll receive a $500 voucher to Myer, Baby Co., or Anaconda upon purchase of a new Renault Koleos.