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The next-generation of Renault’s SUV staple has been outted ahead of its formal debut.


IMAGES of the new-generation of a sports utility that’s vital to Renault NZ’s volume-lifting aspiration here have leaked.

Unsanctioned photos - one shown below - giving a full view of the next generation of the Koleos surfaced online, care of a Chinese motoring publication, just hours after Renault put out a first-look preview video that gave just a hint of what is coming. As response, the factory then presented the single official image, at right.

Comparison with the existing car shows Renault hasn’t taken too many cues from a model that has been in production for eight years and undergone three major updates, the most recent introduced less than a year ago.

Aside from looking to be slightly larger – though not enough to break out of the medium sector - the new model also has a stronger styling association with other current Renault product.

Renault’s new family face, with the c-shaped LED headlights merging with the broad wing-like chrome grille and a long wide body has been adopted and the subtly muscular haunches are reminiscent of the latest Megane. Overseas’ commentators have also taken note of the long new tail-light design, citing that it is also featuring on the Talisman, another recent product.

Renault New Zealand boss Tom Griffiths did not respond to our invitation for comment, but he has previously suggested the new Koleos will be here in the second half of the year to give the marque its best shot yet in the fastest-growing SUV scene segment.

The Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Tucson/Kia Sportage are obvious competitors, but so too are the two Nissans – Qashqai and X-Trail – with which the Koleos shares some DNA, notably the Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF CD platform.

More formal images of the car are likely to be released on Monday, when it is displayed at the Beijing motor show.

Why there? Because this model is to be built in China, though that version, called Maxthon, is purely a domestic market item.

New Zealand will see the Koleos in its European market configuration – though supply will continue from South Korea, with partner brand Samsung again building it.

Despite reports suggesting it will be offered with seven seats, the Koleos replacement is not expected to offer a third row from launch.

Does this mean Renault here might look to re-introduce the Scenic?