When Mercedes-Benz chose the Kangoo as its partner for its new small van – the Mercedes-Benz Citan – few eyebrows were raised amongst those in the know as it is certainly a sensible partner for any manufacturer looking to make in-roads into a new market.
The last revision of the Kangoo was in 2008, and as such, changes to the new vehicle are minor in comparison. Product lifecycles regularly stretch as far as ten years in the LCV world, but in order to attract customers in the passenger car market, where the Kangoo competes with smaller MPVs, those looks need to be refreshed more regularly.
As a result, this new vehicle has been labelled Phase II by Renault, giving the Kangoo van a minor facelift, some new tech and revised engine line-up.
The basics, however, remain largely unchanged. Regular and Maxi panel van models are still available – the Compact version, removed in early 2012, remains absent from the model list – offering load volumes of 3m3 and 4m3 respectively. Maximum payloads range from 650kg to 800kg, with regular vans standardised at 650kg capacity with the option to increase their carrying potential to 800kg.
Prices start at £13,000 for a Core trim dCi 75, making the Kangoo just under £1,000 cheaper than an equivalent Mercedes-Benz Citan. Our test model will set you back £14,800 – second only in cost to the dCi 110 – for which you get a more powerful engine, and the Sport trim that includes the R-Link system with integrated TomTom satellite navigation.
Yet it is still considerably cheaper than Mercedes and Volkswagen vans with similar specification levels, and that is where the Kangoo will always compete. It’s not a budget offering, nor is it quite regarded in the same light as the sector’s heavyweights, but it is practical and affordable, two of the most vital requirements for a best-selling van.