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.
A new engine does enter the range, with the dCi 110 replacing the dCi 105, and joining dCi 75 and dCi 90 models. All new engines feature EGR technology, and have been equipped with a new low inertia variable geometry turbo.
New injector nozzles have also been installed in order to better regulate the flow of fuel to the engine, and as a result, fuel consumption has improved, with the best performing engines achieving 61.4mpg. That EU duty cycle combined fuel figure is further improved in new Energy models – available on dCi 70 and 90 power units only – that receive Stop/Start technology.
Since the Compact was dropped from the range, the Kangoo comes in just two load variants; the 3m³ standard Kangoo and the 4m³ Kangoo Maxi. A left side loading door comes as standard on the shorter wheelbase, while the Maxi benefits from side loading doors at either side.
All versions feature a full bulkhead as standard, while there are 6 and 8 anchorage points on the standard and Maxi versions respectively.
|Model (mm)||Wheelbase (mm)||Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Height (mm)||Loadspace Length (mm)||Loadspace Width (mm)||Loadspace Height (mm)||Volume (m3)||Payload (kg)|
On the inside the cab has been slightly adjusted, creating 88mm more space, while the driver’s seat is now height adjustable and a footrest has been added. Comfort has certainly been improved, and while you’d struggle to notice the added elbow-room, the simple height adjustability helps drivers of all sizes mould to the van.
Multi-function steering wheel controls, for use with audio and Bluetooth functions, provide access to the new R-Link system (standard on the higher specification Sport trim and an option on Core models).
On The Road
The engine performs as expected, our dCi 90 test vehicle more than delivered on its economy performance whilst proving to be a quiet and refined powertrain. Noise is noticeably improved particularly at idling, thanks to greater sound deadening.
Crucially, our test vehicle came with a wire-bulkhead that meant that road-roar from the loadspace added considerably to the cabin decibels, so whilst noise has reduced, the Kangoo is still no church when it comes to peace and quiet.
Front discs and rear drums are accompanied with standard ABS and ABD, while a new ESC system that allows Hill Start Assist to feature for the first time. Central locking, deadlocking and Renault’s own RAID (Renault Anti-Intruder Device) are features aimed at crime prevention.
Cost of Ownership
The Kangoo is backed by Renault’s notable four year, 100,000 mile warranty and service intervals are set at every 25,000 miles or two years. As previously mentioned the 61.4mpg quoted on the official combined cycle is one of the best in class and is unlikely to leave a sizeable dent in the wallet.
Van sales are available at 153 of the Renault dealership nationwide, while servicing is available at a further 79.
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.