YOU might be the butt of a few jokes by the more fashion-conscious drivers in your company car park, but you’ll be laughing at the weekends with the Renault Kangoo if you have a family or an active lifestyle.
This rather curious looking vehicle has been around for a good 10 years now and is offered both as a van and a utility car. It was heavily revised in 2003 and has been further upgraded for 2006 to keep it fresh and competitive against an ever-increasing number of rivals.
Renault describes the Kangoo as ‘cheeky, fun and practical, with bags of versatility as standard’. And as long as you don’t mind being called Postman Pat occasionally (the Kangoo bears a striking resemblance to this character’s mode of transport), Renault’s description just about hits the nail on the head.
A choice of nine colours is now available, including new ink blue, Giverny green and three metallic shades.
Three trim levels are on offer – Authentique, Venture and Expression – and the second two get new seat trim and lighter coloured dashboard mouldings.
Standard spec includes ABS brakes, electric front windows and a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Options include a CD player at £235, air-con at £500, front lateral airbags at £200 and roof bars at £150.
There is also a range of packs – Cool Pack including air-con and a sunroof at £900; Family Pack featuring armrest, child-minder mirror, a drawer under the driver’s seat and rear aviation-style tables at £100 (standard on Venture and Expression) and Outdoor Pack with tinted glass, a rear tailgate and roof bars at £375.
Under the bonnet goes a new range of Euro IV compliant engines – 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines and 1.5-litre diesel motors offering 68bhp and 84bhp. Prices range from £9,725 to £11,825.
Behind the wheel
IF your main purpose in life is to show off your status by having a snazzy car parked in the driveway, the Kangoo is definitely not for you.
I couldn’t give a hoot about what anyone thinks of me and as such I’m the ideal candidate for enjoying a vehicle like this.
Open the doors – via remote plip-locking – and the Kangoo is revealed in all its glory. It’s massive, thanks to the fact that it is also designed as a van. The roof is high and the huge side windows let in lots of light, giving occupants the impression that they are in a much bigger vehicle than they really are. The interior screams practicality.
There is, for example, a row of overhead lockers on either side at the rear and the luggage area features four countersunk lashing eyes, so they won’t trip up your dogs if they happen to be reclining there.
Under way, the Kangoo proves a surprisingly pleasant vehicle to drive. The common rail diesel unit is silky smooth and with 86bhp on tap, it’s a lively performer too.
If you want to throw this vehicle round the corners (would anyone actually want to?) you’ll be surprised too. The Kangoo seems to enjoy a bit of rough treatment and will take the bends with gusto if required to do so.
MANY people seem to be prejudiced against the Kangoo purely because of its looks. If they bothered to see more than skin deep, they would find a hugely practical and economical vehicle that deserves a lot more respect than it gets at present.
Model: Renault Kangoo 1.5 dCi
Engine (cc): 1,461
Max power (bhp/rpm): 82/4,250
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 136/1,750
Max speed (mph): 96
0-62mph (secs): 12.5
Fuel consumption (mpg): 53.3
CO2 emissions (g/km): 139
Price (OTR): £11,325-11,395