What Car? says...
There’s a good reason why the Renault Kangoo is one of the best-selling vans in Europe: it combines everyday practicality with cost effective ownership.
The Kangoo works to a tried and tested formula that its makers have honed since it first went on sale in 1997, and now the latest generation Kangoo is every inch a proper light commercial vehicle.
It is, however, still based upon the Kangoo model launched in 2008, and while Renault like to call the newest version a Phase II model, it is still essentially a van that is over 10 years old.
The latest Euro-6 engines are much fresher, though, and the 1.5-litre dCi unit is available in three different outputs of 75bhp, 89bhp and 108bhp. If you’re looking for an alternative fuelled vehicle, there is also the option of an all-electric Renault Kangoo ZE van that uses a 60bhp electric motor.
Buyers can get the Kangoo as a standard-length van or as a Maxi long-wheelbase van, the latter of which also has the option of an a second row of seats to make a crew van.
Unlike the Mercedes-Benz Citan, which shares the Renault Kangoo platform, there is no compact version of the Kangoo available in the UK.
Two trim level options are available on the Kangoo: Business and Business+.
There’s also the option of a Power Traction model which gets a mechanical limited slip differential, underbody protection and increase ground clearance. Together with mud and snow tyres, it makes for a more rugged, off-roading Kangoo van.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
If you’re expecting a sleek and refined driving experience from the Renault Kangoo then be warned: the little French van is nowhere near the level of sophistication found in newer models.
While the steering is pleasingly light and responsive, the whole package does now feel a little rough around the edges when compared to a Volkswagen Caddy or Ford Transit Connect.
Of the three diesel engines, our recommendation would be the 108bhp option. Lower-powered Kangoo vans come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the highest-powered model gets a six-speed transmission which helps with fuel economy and reduces engine revs and noise at motorway speeds.
If you’re after an automatic, there is the option of a six-speed dual-clutch. It’s a pleasant gearbox that has swift and smooth changes. It also feels well matched to the rest of the van although it is only available on the 89bhp and 108bhp engines.