THE VAN THAT KANG (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
In Phase II guise, Renault's Kangoo Van has evolved into a very complete contender in the compact van sector. Whether you choose diesel or all-electric power, it's an efficient and practical choice. Jonathan Crouch reports
Ten Second Reviewword count: 75
The improved Phase II version of Renault's Kangoo Van comes in two distinct bodyshape sizes in a bid to cover the main bases in the compact van market. There's also a Crew van option and even a Z.E. 33 all-electric version. Whichever model you choose, you'll find it well-built, pretty practical and pleasantly styled with an economy-focused engine range. If you're buying in this sector, this is one of the models you need to consider.
Backgroundword count: 135
Renault's Kangoo Van range has evolved in Phase II form. It's smarter and, under the bonnet, you'll find it more efficient. Though you no longer get a very compact version, the standard and lwb 'Maxi'-shaped models offer enough variety for most business considering this model against rivals like Citroen's Berlingo, Vauxhall's Combo and Volkswagen's Caddy. Like all of these models, this one prioritises urban manoeuvrability, while larger versions are sized no larger than an ordinary family hatchback, yet offer carrying capacity edging up towards the Transit Custom or Renault Trafic-sized vans in the next class up. So why buy a Kangoo? Well, it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to low running costs and versatile practicality, plus it's very driver-orientated, the plush cabin even offering the option of Renault's latest R-LINK Multimedia system.
Driving Experienceword count: 254
All Kangoo models have great forward visibility, courtesy of the extensive windscreen and truncated bonnet, while the well-weighted steering and positive gearchange also impress. At the wheel of this Renault, you sit very upright, but quite comfortably thanks to the fact that both driver's seat and steering wheel are height-adjustable, plus there are remote controls for the stereo on the steering column. On country roads, the wide track means that there's actually a reasonable amount of grip, whilst in town, light electric power steering makes it easy to slot into tight spaces, although until you get used to the shape, judging the extremities of the car during parking manoeuvres can be slightly difficult as the bonnet slopes away from you. Performance is leisurely, with even the fastest diesel models taking around 13s to reach sixty from rest on the way to just over 100mph. Almost all customers choose a 1.5-litre dCi diesel that's offered in 75 and 90bhp outputs, though you can get a 1.6-litre petrol automatic with 105bhp if you really want to. All variants can haul a braked trailer grossing at 1,050kg but if you're going to be doing that very often, we'd suggest you choose the range-topping 1.5 dCi 110bhp Kangoo Van Maxi engine, which puts out a useful 240Nm of torque. That means fewer gear changes for diesel drivers and a much more leisurely feel, especially when towing. The other option is the all-electric Z.E. 33 variant with its 60bhp output and operating range of around 170 miles between charge-ups.
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