The original Kangoo was launched in 1998 and was available with a single body length in the UK. Enter the second generation and it’s all change, including a shorter model range called the Compact. Kangoo Compact is a stylish, cheeky-looking van which goes head-to-head with the Citroën Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper.
There are three engines to choose from; a petrol 1.6-litre capable of 87hp and two 1.5-litre common rail diesels. One produces maximum power of 68hp and develops 160Nm of peak torque at 1,700rpm while the other manages 86hp and 200Nm at 1,750rpm. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard. Renault quotes CO2 emission figures of below 140g/km for both diesels.
Kangoo remains front-wheel drive with MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a torsion beam axle arrangement at the back. Power steering is standard on all models and is electric rather than hydraulic and it endows the Compact with a kerb-to-kerb turning circle of 9.7m.
Shorter than its predecessor by 206mm the Compact has an overall length of 3,829mm, 1,094mm of which is the load area floor. There are four load-tie points provided — rising to six for + models —and load capacity is quoted as 2.3m3 with a gross payload of 500kg. It may be small, but it can carry a fair bit. Access to the load area is via twin asymmetrical side-hinged rear doors.
The cab has been designed with work in mind. There’s ample space, the gearstick is dash-mounted and storage space is ample including a full-width parcel shelf above the windscreen and 15-litre glovebox. One oddity is the L-shaped handbrake. Standard specification is high with ABS and central locking included.
Oil changes at 12,000 miles (diesels) are too frequent, but the standard warranty is three-years/100,00 miles.
Renault has done a great job with the reworked Kangoo and we are already fans of the space-efficient Compact.