Renault Kangoo van review – Trucks Review

21 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Renault Kangoo van review – Trucks Review

Renault Kangoo

van review

The Kangoo, a close sibling of the Clio range, is this manufacturer’s recentaly revamped van.

It’s fair to say for most Australians, Renault is a little French car manufacturer makes ‘interesting’ designs the Megane, with a smattering of like the Master and Trafic that’s the correct spelling), as as the Mack-badged Quantum prime

In reality, Renault is one of the major in the European market, enjoying sales in the Middle and Far East and is one of the leading designers of diesel with Renault technology in various brands.

Now, new brand management locally and a office that is keen to global sales, backed up by new and an aggressive marketing strategy, is set to dramatically increase its local

Of course, starting from a low means any gains will significant, but the key is year-on-year growth, and what the French are chasing, with the just re-vamped mini-van.


Unlike car design, where artists basically a free hand to up with something that is the commercial market is a lot tougher, specific criteria such as space and minimum dimensions, havoc with free-wheeling

This means the Kangoo, a to Volkswagen’s well-known Caddy is always going to look what it is, a small van pulled by a locomotive, with front the preferred option for getting the down.

Beyond that, the drawing board got a decent on the latest Kangoo, which a swoopy front end with an driving position, while the space offers plenty of for what can be pretty odd cargo.

The wheelbase is virtually the length of the with only minimal front and rear, which the Kangoo with go-kart-style but also spectacular approach and angles, with an overall of less than 1.8m.

In with passenger car design bearing in mind this a highway hauler or off-road the heaviest bits are close to the lowering the centre of gravity and the tendency of the cargo to induce during cornering.

Unlike larger vans that their way through the space in of them, the Kangoo has the advantage of a bonnet and sloping nosecone to the air, with the slipstream up and over the canted windscreen and roofline.

This reduces the effort required, which for means less time at the pump filling the tank.

a load security perspective, not side windows on the box is a good with plenty of visibility the driver, passenger and rear the rears can be tinted to discourage ‘downloading’ of freight.

Even Renault has programmed the remote locking to only open the door on the first press, a long press of the lock will deadlock all doors to unauthorised access.

The test were from the last

of 2010-production models, which dual barn doors on the and a single slider on the left, all production from 2011 will get twin sliders as


Not is the Kangoo new on the outside but the interior has had a slight makeover, in line changes to its Clio passenger

The flat-faced steering wheel is a item, appearing in other products, and brings new meaning to the ‘multi-function’, or possibly even bred’, given the company’s in Formula 1 car racing.

While the control and speed limiter on the top are easily visible, it’s the of switches tucked away the right-hand side that to mind visions of Aussie Mark Webber offering a express delivery service.

blind to the driver, the switches audio volume for the combination radio/CD/MP3/iPod player/Bluetooth telephone. between audio options or the tune the radio or shuffle the player backwards and forwards.

there’s the stubby wiper for both front and rear including variable speed mode, with thumb on the end for the central information display in the panel.

While it sounds the system is quite intuitive and less than an hour of to master. This actually improved road safety, as the vehicle can be operated by just two without the driver needing to away from the road.

The themselves are surprisingly comfortable, if to look at, offering plenty of and capable of being manually for height, reach and seatback

Add to this the steering wheel for height and reach and virtually any shape can be accommodated without

During the accompanying photo and shoot, the Kangoo carried the two biggest people who could worked together, both well over 185cm and almost the same across the

Despite this, the Kangoo felt cramped or tiny, shifts in the manual version accomplished without synchronised by the occupants, with a similar of headroom allowing for inflated

Both the manual/diesel and automatic/petrol were tested, and the clutch and in both are easy to use, just enough pressure on the spring to provide feel making it heavy.

The gearshift falls perfectly to for fast, flowing shifts this a courier’s dream, the spring on the shift brings it in line for the 3-4 shift, allowing the to follow its natural course fluid single movement between gears, so there’s no to fight the gearbox.

On the automatic, the solution is to leave it in ‘D’ and allow the well-matched engine and to synchronise the shifts, with the right amount of slurring to upshifts as smooth as cream.

is a minor delay built the kickdown to allow the engine to revs and open the injectors to get fuel into the engine, the tacho needle spins the clock as the Kangoo leaps

The auto is also impressive for its to use plenty of revs in the manual On a couple of downhill runs it was to hold third and even all the way to redline, before the transmission shift up to prevent damage to the

It also allows the driver to using the brakes as much as on steep descents, which they’re available when needed rather than overheated and with reduced power.

While the overall is impressive, Renault has managed a of distinctly French quirks, to remind operators who designed and the Kangoo.

The most prominent is the brake, which resembles the lever from a passenger unfortunately in the ‘off’ position it is to the floor with the release around the driver’s ankles.

it is out of the way while driving, it becomes a if the driver needs to grab it in a as it requires even tall to lean forward and pull it them to apply it, and then the to release it.

Also odd, particularly for a design, the central drink is then in the way when the brake is putting that latte at risk of spilling across the cab it’s crushed under the forearm.

The other difficulty is the for the cruise control and speed which is a three-way rocker under the curve of the dash on the right, so that it is virtually during normal driving.

Australian conditions would ever warrant the use of a speed although temporary 40km/h for school zones and road do spring to mind, having it out of sight can lead to a certain of fumbling around trying to and then use the button.

Other these quirks, the Kangoo is to operate, with commonly-used like the air-conditioning system large, easily-gripped switches or knobs that reduce the for the driver to look away the road to make minor

Having tested both the and petrol, it’s safe to say a pair of spirited performers, with the petrol available with an automatic transmission.

engines are more than to spin all the way to redline, for anyone who has yet to a modern high-speed diesel, units are an absolute revelation. The way to be certain they’re not petrol is to check the redline, with diesels capped at around while the 1.6-litre petrol stops at 7,000rpm.

The diesel is also rated for heavier with a nominal payload of compared to the petrol, which is to 650kg – although in it would be very rare either version is loaded to its

While the driver has the option of a bulkhead to protect them flying freight in an accident, also includes tie-down in the rear allowing cargo or load restraints to be used to unexpected movements.

Best of both engines are equally at creeping through 40km/h or school zones as they are down the highway at 110km/h, engage the cruise control and sit and relax while the engine all the hard work.

Based on the taken by the on-board computer, consumption for both is on the sipper of frugal, with the diesel around 5.5 litres per 100km, the auto-only petrol was still at less than 9 litres per

The Kangoo is designed for intra-urban going into restricted such as inner-city buildings larger vehicles would because of either overall or length or both, or due to increasingly laws prohibiting vehicles a certain size from CBD areas.

Although these are more common in Europe and of Asia, the potential for generating means it’s case of not if, these laws are enacted Australia.

For this reason, the with its low ride height and cargo area is perfect for tasks, carrying everything bags, cartons and satchels to and marketing displays, which are light but bulky.

Factor in the wheel-at-each-corner design and the Kangoo is manoeuvrable, able to negotiate the of turning spaces, allowing it to obscure loading docks, the light GVM means it avoids the eye of the regulator.

Large external make reversing and parking with clear fields of the only downside is the curved can sometimes disappear however a brief familiarisation period confidence in predicting where the are.

As mentioned, the current models now twin sliding doors, bonus in one-way traffic allowing the Kangoo to be parked on side of the road and still be from the safety of the kerb.

The barn doors open to the body width, which wasted space, while the arches do not project into the space so that even skids can be carried if a forklift is


Despite a relatively new segment to Australia, the light duty commercial, for of a better description, is here to and is likely to be dominated by the Europeans for at the foreseeable future, given the they enjoy over the

While the Volkswagen Caddy is the people’s choice due to a combination of and reputation, the Kangoo is a strong of upsetting the status quo, with Renault offering finance packages to encourage switching.

Having driven brands in recent times, the is a worthy challenger, with the chink in its armour the lack of a automated manual in what is a very competent package.

it isn’t without foibles, the relatively minor ones earlier, the Kangoo is a solid offering plenty of comfort, and is a test drive.

Sparkling from both versions, of operation, excellent turning for restricted clearance operations, of driver comfort, remotely-lockable doors

Some switches to operate; handbrake mounted too low on handbrake operation fouls drink holder

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