The Renault Kangoo is an efficient urban delivery vehicle, and comes in standard and long-wheelbase forms, plus as a five-seat crew van
The Renault Kangoo is one of Europe’s top sellers in the compact van class, and the Phase II range aims to maintain this popularity. In the UK, the Kangoo is sold in Debut, Core and Sport specs, and in standard van and Maxi van body lengths only, with the Compact model no longer available here due to slow sales. Still, buyers choosing the Maxi chassis have the option of a crew van, with a folding second row of seats boosting versatility. Plus, standard and Maxi models can be specified with fold-flat front passenger seats, incorporating a folding bulkhead, to extend load-carrying areas beside the driver and make the most of the dimensions. Renault builds the latest Kangoo alongside the Mercedes Citan, although the two vans have unique looks and drive very differently. The Mercedes is more expensive, but is better equipped, with electronic stability control as standard. Disappointingly, this essential safety feature remains an option on most of the Kangoo line-up, and can’t be specified at all on the entry-level Kangoo Debut.
MPG and Running Costs
Renault offers its 1.5 dCi diesel engine in three states of tune in the Kangoo. The 75bhp and 90bhp versions are fitted with a five-speed manual transmission, while the 110bhp Sport model gets a six-speed box. Also available is a 105bhp petrol engine, only in Core spec, complete with an automatic transmission. Not surprisingly, the diesels are the most efficient options, promising 55-60mpg fuel consumption and emitting between 123g/km and 130g/km of CO2. These figures are on a par with the Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo, and are better than the Volkswagen Caddy and Ford Connect can manage. It helps that all versions of the Kangoo are now available with stop-start technology, as well as an Eco button that reduces engine torque to boost mpg by up to 10 per cent. Service intervals are set at an impressive 25,000 miles or two years on all diesel models, although the Kangoo Debut needs an oil change every 18,000 miles – that’s the same as the petrol Kangoo. Renault has also taken the lead in the electric LCV market: it offers the standard Kangoo, the Maxi and the crew van in battery-powered ZE form, with zero emissions.
Load Space and Practicality
The standard Kangoo van has a load volume of 3.0 cubic metres, which is enough space for a single Europallet, while the Maxi can squeeze two pallets in its 4.0 cubic metre cargo space. But a set of fold-flat front passenger seats can be specified to increase these volumes to 3.5 and 4.6 cubic metres respectively. The Maxi crew van offers a 2.4 cubic metre load volume when fitted with a multi-position bulkhead. This grows to 3.6 cubic metres with the rear seats folded. The shorter van can carry up to 650kg, although a £150 optional increased payload pack can be specified to take this up to 800kg. The Kangoo Maxi carries 800kg as standard, and the crew van has a 740kg capacity. But while these figures put the Kangoo in line with competitors like the Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo, the Ford Transit Connect offers a 905kg payload, plus you get a full one-tonne payload in the Fiat Doblo Cargo and Vauxhall Combo. Further holding the Kangoo back is the fact that there’s no high-roof option – short and long-wheelbase versions of the Doblo Cargo offer two roof heights, which take load volumes up to 5.0 cubic metres. Tubular bulkheads are standard on both Kangoo vans, while there’s the option of full-steel bulkheads and a swivelling bulkhead for the folding front seat. The Kangoo crew van is available with fixed-steel bulkheads and a multi-position bulkhead. The braked trailer towing capacity stands at 1,050kg for standard Kangoo and Kangoo Maxi vans, plus both body lengths are offered with a range of roof bars and roof racks, capable of carrying up to 100kg. Buyers can also specify load area ply-lining kits, supplied and fitted by Renault, for £185 on the standard van, £200 on the Maxi and £187.50 on the crew van. Other options include rear window protection grilles and rear parking sensors, which can be added for £100 and £230 respectively.
Reliability and Safety
ESP remains an option on the Kangoo, and isn’t even available as an extra on the entry-level Kangoo Debut. This is disappointing, especially when Mercedes offers the safety kit as standard on the Citan, which is built alongside the Renault. Ford and VW include ESP on the Transit Connect and Caddy, too. Renault customers who want ESP can expect to pay £200 to add it to a Kangoo Maxi, while it’s a £350 option on the standard Kangoo van. Still, those who order ESC get Renault’s Grip Xtend system and hill start assist bundled in. Grip Xtend controls the front brakes individually on loose ground to provide additional traction in slippery conditions. While it’s not intended as an all-wheel-drive system – like that on the Kangoo Trekka 4x4 passenger model Renault used to sell – Grip Xtend will provide extra traction, much like the Peugeot Partner’s ATV Grip Control system. The set-up doesn’t bring additional ride height or grippier tyres, unlike Peugeot’s ATV, or the similar offering on the Citroen Berlingo, although a £150 Site Pack can be specified that adds heavy-duty wheels and tyres, raised suspension and underbody protection to the Kangoo.
Driving and Performance
When it was launched in 2013, the Phase II Kangoo brought updated styling inside and out, as well as a quieter, more comfortable driving experience. And even the basic 75bhp 1.5 dCi diesel engine doesn’t feel underpowered, although the 90bhp version provides the best balance of power and fuel consumption, and is the most popular choice as a result. The 110bhp 1.5 dCi serves up 240Nm of torque, for strong pulling power, although it’s only available in Sport versions of the standard van and in Core and Sport-spec Kangoo Maxi models. This higher-powered diesel is the best choice for drivers covering long distances, as it’s hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox, which makes for a quieter, more relaxed experience at cruising speeds.
Cab and Interior
All versions of the Kangoo are available with an auxiliary input for MP3 players, plus Bluetooth hands-free connectivity – even the low-cost Debut van. The cab also provides plenty of storage space, while a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver’s footrest make it easy to get comfortable. Go for one of the popular Core models, and electric windows and door mirrors, plus a trip computer, are included as standard, as are disc brakes front and rear. Range-topping Sport models stand out with extra trim on the bodywork, plus 15-inch alloy wheels and front foglights. Inside, these versions also benefit from electric folding door mirrors, a one-touch electric driver’s window and air-conditioning. Plus, Renault’s R-Link Multimedia system adds a premium feel to the Kangoo Sport – it comprises a central touchscreen, on to which drivers can download a range of apps from Renault to suit their needs, and incorporates sat-nav, with a three-month subscription to TomTom live services. This can be specified as an option on Core models, as can a £350 Tech Pack comprising rear parking sensors, cruise control and front foglights. Auto headlights and wipers are a £100 option on Sport models.
|Maxi crew van||1,844mm||1,829mm||4,666mm|
(Widths are body width without mirrors. With mirrors: 2,138mm)
Load area dimensions
|Maxi crew van||1,154mm||1,145mm||1,008mm||1.3m3|
(Widths are maximum, width between wheel arches is 1,045mm)
- Power: 75bhp – 110bhp
- Weight (GVW): 1,936kg – 2,200kg
- Payload: 650kg – 800kg
- Loading height (approx, unladen) : 563-609mm