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Renault_Kangoo_review
The Phase II Kangoo looks sharp, and it’s well protected from scuffs and scrapes too

What is it?

It’s Business Vans‘ winning choice for Best Small Trades Van in our 2014 Business Van of the Year Awards – which was all the more impressive as our judges said this sector was the most difficult to decide.

Renault’s Kangoo, introduced in 2008, underwent a major upgrade – Phase II – last year with a series of styling, technical and equipment changes.

Kangoo Phase II introduced new front-end styling, improvements in cab quality, new equipment, plus a revised engine line up.

The dCi 110 engine is added to the range, in addition to Energy versions of the dCi 75 and dCi 90 units, with Stop&Start.

 

Renault_Kangoo_review
The loadspace is accessed through asymmetric rear doors, and there’s room for a pallet in both the Van and Maxi versions

Two main versions

The Kangoo Van Compact has been deleted from the UK model range so there are two main versions – the Renault Kangoo Van, and the Kangoo Van Maxi which has a longer wheelbase and also comes as a crew van with seats in the back.

The range is categorised in two gross vehicle weights: ML19 (650kg) for Kangoo Van; and LL 21 (800kg) for Kangoo Maxi. Kangoo Van’s payload capacity can be increased to 800kg as an option.

There are seven versions of the Van, with two payload choices: 650kg (ML19) and 800kg (LL21).

There are also six versions of Kangoo Van Maxi, powered by either the dCi 90 or new dCi 110 diesel engine. Load volume is 4cu m (up to 4.6cu m with optional folded passenger seat) with payload at 800kg.

The five-seat Crew Van has a carrying capacity of up to 3.4cu m with a 740kg payload. Versatility is increased owing to a its multi-positional grille bulkhead and 0.2cu m extra loadspace.

 

 

Renault_Kangoo_review
Comfortable, bright and well equipped, particularly if you go for the Sport 

And two specs

Both the Van and the Van Maxi have a new two-grade equipment specification – Core and Sport.

All models are equipped with a driver’s airbag, ABS with EBD, plus a twin 20W speaker audio system with Bluetooth, AUX and USB port for iPod connection. Sport models also get Renault’s R-Link system which allows the radio, iPods, USB connections, Bluetooth and sat nav to be controlled remotely – this is a £810 option on Core spec models.

The new Kangoo has a more sophisticated ESC stability control package which incorporates Hill Start Assist and Grip Xtend – an intelligent traction control system that delivers improved grip on loose and slippery surfaces.

We’ve driven the Maxi LL21 Energy dCi 90 Sport, Maxi LL21 dCi 110 Crew Van Sport, and the battery-powered Kangoo SE – but we’ll keep that for a separate report.

 

Renault_Kangoo_review
The roof flap is another feature that makes loading easier, and is great for carrying oversized items

What’s hot?

  • The new front end looks stylish, purposeful and modern.
  • The cabin is well appointed and very comfortable. It’s bright and airy and the large windscreen ensures good visibility. Storage is well up to par.
  • Kangoo Van has a load volume of 3cu m with asymmetrically split rear doors and a sliding side door. Six tie-down rings are provided.
  • There’s the option of a combination of a swivelling bulkhead and folding passenger seat to allow longer items to be carried, as well as a nifty optional roof flap to make life easier when carrying oversized items, such as ladders or pipes.

    Renault_Kangoo_review
    Side door access too
  • In the five-seat Maxi LL21 Crew Van the additional row of three seats split-fold 60:40, providing a versatile balance between passenger accommodation and load space. Rear legroom is impressive. Access to the seating is via unglazed sliding doors on both sides.
  • With all seats in place, load volume is 1.1cu m (up to seat height) and load length 1.3m; load length increases to 2.2m with the rear bench folded.
  • The Crew Van’s maximum payload is 740kg and, in common with the standard Kangoo Van, it has space to carry a Euro pallet.
  • Kangoo’s controls are well formulated and simple to use. The sat nav especially is a doddle to operate.
  • The instrumentation’s also good – the dials are especially well designed.
  • Both the dCi 90 and dCi 110 units are lively engines with decent power outputs and smooth torque delivery.
  • The dCi 90 is equipped with a five-speed box and generates 200Nm of torque. The dCi 110 engine, mated with a six-speed manual transmission, has 240Nm of torque.
  • Sport models also have an Eco Mode function that’s activated by a dash-mounted button. According to Renault this gives a 10% reduction fuel consumption by steadying acceleration and lowering engine torque. In Eco Mode the gearshift indicator is activated earlier.
  • The Sport’s  R-Link system for remote control of the infotainment system –  radio, iPods, USBs, Bluetooth and satnav.
  • Options on Core and Sport models include ESC stability control package, incorporating Hill Start Assist and Grip Xtend – an intelligent traction control system that delivers improved grip on loose and slippery surfaces, rear parking sensors and cruise control.
  • An engine speed limiter, which can be programmed for 56 mph, 62 mph or 68 mph, is available as an option.
  • All new Kangoo vans are offered with a four-year/100,000-mile warranty, four years’ roadside cover and the option of four years’ scheduled servicing.

 

What’s not?

  • The lack of a high-roof model might be a drawback for some operators.
  • Though comfortable, the cab is rather dull.

 

Renault_Kangoo_review
Well worth our Best Small Trades Van Award

Business Vans Verdict

With Phase II, Renault has made an excellent job of updating the Kangoo.

It’s comfortable, simple to drive, easy to load and offers reasonable running costs. No wonder it was our Best Small Trades Van 2014.

 

What you need to know

Renault Kangoo Maxi LL21 Energy dCi 90 Sport

On the road price ex VAT (as tested):£19,890
Load length:1862mm
Load width (max):1219mm
Load height (max):1129mm
Load capacity:4m3
Payload:800kg
GVW:1950kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked:1050kg/715kg
Engine:2.0-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel
Power/Torque:90hp/200Nm
Economy (combined):60.1mpg
CO2 emissions:123g/km

 

Maxi LL21 dCi 110 Crew Van Sport

On the road price ex VAT (as tested):£21,270
Load length (rear seats in place/folded):1300/2200mm
Load width (max):1219mm
Load height (max):1129mm
Load capacity:4m3
Payload:740kg
GVW:2220kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked:1050kg/750kg
Engine:2.0-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel
Power/Torque:110hp/240Nm
Economy (combined):60.1mpg
CO2 emissions:123g/km

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