NOT many people will remember the original Koleos - Renault's first venture into the then fledgling SUV market back in 2007.
Faced with some stiff competition, its muddled, unattractive styling singularly failed to capture the imagination of the car buying public and it had disappeared from showrooms barely three years later.
Since then, however, Renault has very much got its crossover act together and we've seen the successful arrivals of the Captur and Kadjar.
This renewed confidence finally saw the Koleos re-emerge last year as not only the brand's flagship SUV but the halo model for its entire range.
Familiar Renault design cues are taken from the likes of the Megane and Scenic but bold, muscular touches are added along with some pretty imposing dimensions to create a commanding road presence.The contrast with its ill-fated predecessor couldn't be more stark.
Sculpted character lines, an abundance of chrome trim and some eye-catching exterior details add a premium feel which is carried on in the plush, well-appointed interior.
Three trim levels are available with the familiar Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav having been joined in January by a new range-topping Initiale Paris grade.
Power comes from a choice of two diesel engines - a 1.6-litre paired with a six-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive or a 2.0-litre with either the manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.
The 175ps 2.0-litre unit is the most powerful diesel in the Renault range and will shift this hefty motor from 0-62mph in less than ten seconds and on to a top speed of 125mph. With 380Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm it also offers plenty of low-end pull.
Paired with the X-tronic automatic gearbox, a more sophisticated and versatile version of a continuously variable transmission, it offers smooth and relaxed progress which very much reflects the overall character of the Koleos.
Steering is accurate and responsive and the body well-controlled for the car's size, with minimal roll in bends, while the suspension manages to iron out most bumps in the road effectively.
Thanks to Renault's partnership with Nissan, four-wheel drive versions also offer some decent off-road chops, with the intelligent 4x4 system being the same as the one used in the Japanese car maker's X-Trail.
It offers drivers three selectable modes: front-wheel drive (2WD) for normal driving, auto 4WD or 4WD lock for travelling off-road or in conditions where grip is at a premium, for example on snow, mud, dirt or sand.
Unlike some of its rivals, Renault consciously decided that the Koleos would not come with seven seats - shunning the option of a brace in the boot which could be flipped up for occasional use.
This may be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers but without the need to squeeze the extra seats in, Renault has been able to maximise cabin space and the Koleos is a very roomy and comfortable vehicle to travel in.
There is a real quality feel to the interior, with tactile, soft touch materials in abundance, ambient lighting and ample personal storage space.
Mid-range Signature Nav trim boasts leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, an automatic tailgate with hands-free function and an impressive 8.7-inch portrait style touchscreen infotainment system incorporating navigation, digital radio, Bluetooth and voice control.
Knee room in the back is among the best in class, with rear passengers also benefiting from dual air vents, dual USB charging points, a central armrest with cupholders and privacy glass.
The boot, at 458-litres, is also an accommodating size and can be extended to 1,690-litres by folding the 60/40 split rear seats down via the easy one-touch mechanism.