Renault Kangoo van long-term test: report 4

The Kangoo has always stood for value in the small van sector, but does the latest version also offer car-like comfort and refinement? Our photographer is living with one to find out...

Renault Kangoo rear door

The car Renault Kangoo Advance Panel Van ML19 dCi 115 Run by Max Edleston, photographer

Why it's here The Kangoo is our reigning champion in the small van market, but how will it fare as a photographer’s apprentice?

Needs to Have space for all our snapper’s photography gear, be comfortable on big journeys, and function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 10,956 List price £26,785 Target Price £26,785 Price as tested £29,735 Test economy 49.9 mpg Official fuel economy 50.4mpg

8 June 2023 – Mobile mover

You may remember a scene from the sitcom Friends, where two characters, Chandler and Ross, are attempting to move a sofa into their apartment. On trying to move the sofa, they discover it won’t go around the corners of the stairwell, resulting in each commanding the other to ‘pivot’ to make the furniture move. Why is this relevant? Well, it’s a similar situation in my Renault Kangoo.

You see, while the sliding doors on either side of my van allow for decent access into the rear load bay for smaller items, the actual openings aren’t as wide as they are on some small van rivals – including the Citroën Berlingo I ran previously. That means loading longer items requires me to pivot to get them inside. It’s like playing a life-sized version of Tetris.

Max loading Renault Kangoo rear

The benefit of those doors, though, is that they make cleaning the interior of the Kangoo easy, because I can sweep from one side and out the other. And if I happen to be cleaning up after a shoot once the sun has set, I can keep working because the Kangoo has a small light in its rear load bay, meaning I can leave my head torch at home.

Elsewhere, I love the Kangoo’s rear doors. Like most other small vans, these aren’t equal in size – there’s a larger one which gives me access to most of the load bay, and a smaller one if I need to open the full space. That smaller door has a side benefit of giving me somewhere to shoot from if I’m doing car-to-car tracking – a common practice among us What Car? photographers. Not having to open up the full rear of the van increases my safety, while also giving me a good view. 

Speaking of safety, I usually use the lashing hooks in a van’s load bay to tether my harness to while shooting out of the back, and while there are enough in the Kangoo to hold me securely in place, there aren’t quite as many options as in my old Berlingo – if you were strapping down equipment rather than photographers, that might impact practicality.

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