Renault’s revised Kangoo is the new model on our long-term test fleet, following its recent
upgrade. Steve Banner gives his first impressions of the French manufacturer’s light van
The revised Renault Kangoo has joined the What Van? fleet. We opted for the ML19 Energy dCi 90 Eco2 Sport version of the van that was facelifted last year under the Phase 2 banner, and which features internal and external styling changes and the addition of some new kit.
Power is supplied by a four-cylinder eight-valve common-rail 1.5-litre turbodiesel generating 90hp at 4000rpm. Top torque of 200Nm bites at 1750rpm and the engine is married to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Gross payload capacity is 600kg, and access to the 3.0m3 cargo area is by means of asymmetric twin rear doors and a sliding nearside door.
The Energy designation means that our Kangoo is equipped with a regenerative braking system that helps recharge the battery when the van decelerates to increase efficiency, recovering energy that would otherwise be lost. The package includes stop-start.
Also fitted is an Eco Mode function. It enables improved fuel economy by up to 10%, says Renault, thanks to the effect it has on engine torque, the accelerator pedal’s mapping and the gear shift indicator. It forms part of the Sport specification, which includes lots of other useful features such as electric windows and mirrors, and Renault’s R-Link multimedia system. R-Link embraces TomTom Live satnav, Bluetooth connectivity and an MP3-compatible radio/CD player.
Our Kangoo also boasts a host of extra-cost options. For an additional £150 the rear doors are glazed and the wider nearside door comes with a heated window and a wash/wipe system. Other options include a ‘girafon’ retractable rear roof flap (£220) and a full-height mesh bulkhead with a section behind the passenger seat that can be swung through 90° and latched into place once the seat has been folded flat. Doing so creates an extension to the load bed for another £225.
Annoyingly, Electronic Stability Control is not installed as standard but is a cost option, adding £350 to the final bill. It is fitted to our demonstrator and admittedly includes Hill Start Assist and Grip Xtend – the latter gives you a bit more purchase on loose surfaces such as sand – but it should be standard on all Kangoos.
The soft, compliant ride allows the van to absorb the shocks imposed on its suspension system by potholes surprisingly well. The van also offers a more precise gear change than we expected and engine noise is well-suppressed. However, the absence of a solid bulkhead means that wind noise and road roar emanating from the rear of the vehicle are intrusive.