Fleet News

Renault Kangoo



##renkng.jpg --Right##RENAULT is hoping to cash in in Britain on a formula that has already attained enormous popularity on the continent. Since launch in 1997, more than 130,000 Kangoos have been sold in mainland Europe. Two models are available here, powered by either a 1.4-litre 75bhp petrol engine or a 65bhp 1.9-litre normally-aspirated diesel. Two trim levels encompass RN and a better-equipped RXE - the latter with the petrol engine only - with a starting price of just £9,750 on the road for the RN petrol or diesel, rising to £10,500 for the RXE 1.4.

It makes the RN more than £1,000 cheaper than the three-door Citroen Berlingo Multispace 1.4, which costs £10,830. Perhaps more importantly, it is thousands of pounds less than a typical lower medium estate: the Peugeot 306 1.4L estate, for example, is £2,995 more expensive at £12,745 on the road.

Compared with the Multispace, the Kangoo scores a major plus with its two sliding side doors opening on to a folding bench rear seat (RN) or 60/40 split seat complete with triple three-point seatbelts on the RXE. Standard equipment on the RN includes a driver's airbag, power steering, tinted glass, remote control stereo, two three-point seatbelts in the back, a luggage cover for the boot, and rubber mats front and rear.

The plusher RXE, which costs £750 more, comes with twin front airbags, electric front windows, remote locking, power-operated and heated door mirrors, four-speaker stereo, 60/40 split rear seats with three three-point seatbelts, head restraints all round and carpet mats front and rear.

Behind the wheel, the Kangoo offers superb visibility through the enormous windows, and there's masses of headroom. Seating is higher than on equivalent hatchbacks, giving a commanding view of the road and, though there's no adjustment on the steering, the seats are well shaped and access is easy through the wide opening front doors and the sliding rears. The boot is enormous, with 650 litres under the parcel shelf - extendible to 2,600 litres with rear seats folded.

Performance is leisurely: the 1.4 petrol is good for 97mph with 0-62mph in 14.3secs, while the diesel manages 91mph and 19.5secs. But handling and roadholding are surprisingly accomplished for so tall a car, making the Kangoo fun, if noisy, to drive. At 39.8mpg combined, the diesel is only marginally more economical than the petrol (37.7mpg). Servicing is needed every 12,000 miles for the petrol (10,000 miles diesel) with the first major service required at 36,000 miles (40,000 miles diesel).

Though the Kangoo won't appeal to all tastes, it has the ingredients for success as a budget-priced, capacious and well-equipped car for those who put practicality first.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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