Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2024: Best Small Van
With more space, the ability to carry greater payloads and an economical range of engines, the latest Renault Kangoo is head and shoulders above the small van competition...
Priced from £21,150 (excl VAT) Fuel economy 50.4- 53.3mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions 139-147g/km Load space 3.3-4.3m3 Payload 850-987kg Power 94–114bhp Torque 192-199lb ft
They say that if at first you don’t succeed, you should try and try again, and that may well be a mantra that resulted in the latest Renault Kangoo. While previous versions have been distinctly average, making them also-rans in the small van sector, the latest incarnation sits proudly at the top of the class, taking our Best Small Van prize for the second consecutive year.
Like with the previous Kangoo, Renault had some help. The latest version was again co-developed with Mercedes alongside the latest Citan, and it seems the partnership has been rather more fruitful than before, with both vehicles being a significant improvement on what went before, and the resulting Renault topping the class in a number of areas.
First of all, it’s a considerably bigger van than before, which equates to not only more passenger space ahead of the bulkhead, but also more cargo space behind it.
The standard Kangoo has 3.3m3 of load capacity, rising to 4.3m3 in the long-wheelbase version, and those are some of the most generous figures in the entire small van sector. Its versatility is aided yet further by handy touches such as Renault’s Easy Inside Rack, which allows you to store ladders and other long items below the roof but above the rest of your loadspace.
The passenger compartment is an appealing environment, too, with pleasant materials, upmarket rotary air-con controls and – if you go for the higher-spec Advance trim – an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Kangoo is one of the best small vans to drive, too. You’ll find that rivals like the Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Caddy – two more vehicles that were developed alongside one another – are a little sharper in the bends, but the Kangoo counters this with more pliant and more comfortable ride, along with superior refinement, so wherever your next job happens to be, you’ll arrive for it much fresher.
Like many small vans, the Kangoo is offered with all-electric drive, but it’s the 1.5-litre diesels – with either 94bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox or 113bhp and a seven-speed automatic – that we think will suit most purposes, because these offer impressive affordability and value-for-money.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here