REVIEW by MURRAY HUBBARD
What can we say? It’s a van. The rear barn doors open out to 180 degrees giving easy access to the cargo bay. Also, on the passenger side there is a sliding door giving access to any goods stored just behind the seats.
What we really liked are the floor and side tie hooks in the cargo area. We had to do some gardening work at a friend’s home and loaded the lawn mower, whipper-snipper, plastic rake, blower, etc into the van, tying the lot down so they would not move around. Try that in a Renault Sport 250!
These compact vans are widely used as florist delivery vehicles, general delivery vans for spare parts and more lately mobile coffee shops.
Kangoo comes with two engine and gearbox options. There’s a 1598 cc petrol engine combined with a four-speed automatic on offer and a 1461 cc diesel hooked up to a five-speed manual shifter. Our test car had the diesel/manual combination.
Maximum power from the diesel is 63 kW at 3750 rpm, but torque is significant for the weight of the vehicle at 200 Nm at just 1900 rpm. Renault claim consumption of 5.2 litres per 100 km from the diesel.
Kangoo comes standard with a driver airbag only, reflecting Renault’s belief that the vehicle will usually carry just a driver and cargo in the city/urban environment. The vehicle has four-wheel disc brakes, ABS with EBD and emergency brake assist. Seat belts are fitted with pre-tensioners and load-limiters.
This generation Kangoo also has the benefit of being on a Renault Scenic platform adding to handling and passenger comfort. We also like the inclusion of Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and cruise control with speed limiter – both making the delivery driver’s job that much easier – and safer.
Kangoo has pretty much a standard Renault interior but with additional inclusions to suit the job. We liked the A4-sized storage bin on the dash above the centre console – ideal for job sheets and the like. Next to this is a pens/pencils holder, once again providing a logical place for what the driver needs and uses on a regular basis. There is also a large overhead compartment suitable for more paperwork and a 15-litre glovebox that can swallow two lap-tops.
There is also under-seat storage for valuables and large door pockets. No doubt most drivers would also fit after-market satellite navigation. While you could argue it should be included, with the current price of factory-fitted units compared to after-market SatNav, there is no argument when it comes to cost. The Kangoo has a height adjustable steering wheel, but the seat height adjustment is optional only as are rear parking sensors.
Renault Kangoo has a bright cabin thanks to a large windscreen, quirky but practical handle for the hand brake, power windows and rear view mirrors and an easy to use audio system. The manual gearshift is short-throw and smooth. We really like the engine which exudes torque and pulling away in second gear at low revs is simply not an issue.
We collected the Kangoo from Renault south of Brisbane and as soon as we hit the M1 one issue became apparent. Road noise – and lots of it, despite the rubber mat in the cargo area. The M1 south of Brisbane is without doubt the worst major highway for noise we have ever driven on in any country in any car, but it really showed in the Kangoo. This was our only dislike.
The Kangoo has a tight turning circle at 10.7 metres and parking in tight spots is easy. However, being a van with solid sides, vision down the passenger side can be a little difficult although experienced van drivers would not be worried by it. That vast side also lends itself to free advertising (we fear at some stage a government will want to tax car signage!) – ours had the Red Bull colours.
The diesel engine combined with five-speed manual is urban-friendly, although some drivers may prefer the petrol/auto option. We actually liked the diesel with its grunt. Other than the interior intrusion of road noise the Kangoo laps up highway kilometres at 110 km/h and has plenty in reserve for passing. The Kangoo has sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide and is Europe’s best selling van in this market segment – a title it has held for the past 12 years. A must test-drive for anyone looking at compact delivery van.
Kangoo 1.6-litre petrol 4-speed auto $25,990
Kangoo 1.5-litre diesel 5-speed manual $25,990
Note: These are driveaway prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Renault Kangoo 1.5-litre diesel commercial van)
Capacity: 1.461 litres
Configuration: in line four
Maximum Power: 63 kW @ 3750 rpm
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 1900 rpm
Driven Wheels: front
Manual Transmission: five speed
Automatic Transmission: N/A
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4213 mm
Wheelbase: 2697 mm
Width: 2133 mm (incl. mirrors)
Height: 1844 mm
Turning Circle: 10.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 1277 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Towing Ability: 1050 kg (kg with braked trailer)
Height: 1251 mm
Width: 1141 mm (top) 1219 (bottom)
Between wheel arches: 1218 mm
Load Height: 1130 mm
Load length: 1476 mm
Load length at floor: 1731 mm
Load volume: 3.0 square metres
Payload: 800 kg
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Front Brakes: Disc
Rear Brakes: Disc
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 5.2 L/100km
3 years/ 200,000 km