Renault Kangoo Van in grey.

Vospers New Car Review: Renault Kangoo Van



This completely redesigned third generation Renault Kangoo Van aims to set fresh standards in compact van design – and in some ways it does.


‘Renaultvation’. What on earth does that mean? Apparently, it’s got something to do with a programme of innovation that the French maker has in mind for its most practically-orientated for models. Starting with this one, the all-new Renault Kangoo van. We haven’t actually had a completely fresh generation of Kangoo models since 2007, so this one is a big deal. Full of all the most clever ideas that the Renault LCV design department’s been working on over the last decade.

Sadly we won’t get all of these in right-hand drive models, but the improvement in the product we can have is evident amongst almost everywhere you look with this third generation version. Here, it will only be available – in the usual standard and Maxi wheelbase length sizes – as a van; continental markets continue to also get this model as a passenger-carrying MPV. As before, there’s a full-Electric E-TECH drivetrain if you want it. The competition though is tough, not least from this Renault’s most recently redesigned rival, the fifth generation Volkswagen Caddy. So, does ‘Kangoo’ mean ‘can do’? Let’s find out.

The Renault Kangoo Van Driving Experience

There’s a choice of two 1.5-litre dCi diesel engines – 95hp (with manual transmission) and 115hp (with Renault’s usual 7-speed EDC automatic). And customers are also offered the company’s 1.3 litre TCe petrol engine with either 100hp. The standard transmission choice is a 6-speed manual gearbox. Most businesses are probably going to want the mid-range Blue dCi 95 diesel variant, which gets 5hp more than the equivalent version of the outgoing model. Renault says that all versions of this MK3 Kangoo are significantly quieter than their predecessors, thanks to the addition of extra sound deadening that better insulates the interior from engine and road noise.

Taking a lead from some rivals, the French maker is now offering the option of a permanent rear view camera where the rear view mirror would normally be. And this third generation Kangoo also gets a decent dose of the camera-driven driving aids and camera safety equipment that its predecessor lacked – features like adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring. As before, there’s also an all-Electric version, the Kangoo E-TECH, which offers a 101bhp electric motor and 44kWh battery with a range of 165 miles.

The Renault Kangoo Van Design and Build

The Kangoo model line urgently needed a thorough visual redesign, which is what’s been delivered here. In third generation form, it certainly looks a lot more modern, with a shorter bonnet and squarer lines. The large Renault badge on the nose (which conceals the charging socket on the E-TECH electric model) is flanked by headlamps incorporating the brand’s signature C-shaped daytime running lights. And there are also smarter light clusters at the rear, where the left hand door has been made wider to improve access in tight spaces.

There’s an even bigger step forward inside, where just about everything that matters has been carried over from the current Clio supermini – steering wheel, dashboard, climate controls and the prominent infotainment touchscreen that appears further up the range. The cabin’s more spacious too – now wide enough for the inclusion of an optional double passenger seat. If you need to carry more than two passengers, then it’s worth checking out the Crew Van variant. A clever feature that Renault unfortunately hasn’t been able to engineer into right hand drive Kangoos is the ‘Open Sesame’ side door. With this, the lack of a B-pillar, combined with the swivelling bulkhead and a flat seat makes for an opening so big (1,446mm) that you could load in items of up to 3.0-letres in length. That’s disappointing, as is the lack of another clever feature, the ‘Easy Life’ glovebox drawer. There is however, a central folding backrest that turns into a handy work surface, plus almost 60 litres of storage in the cab.

The Renault Kangoo Van Market and Model

Prices start at just under £18,000 excluding VAT. For the E-Tech full-electric model, prices start at around £26,500 excluding VAT once the (still available) government Plug-in grant has been subtracted from the mildly alarming initial asking price. Whatever your powertrain choice, petrol, diesel or electric, there are two trim levels -‘Start’ and ‘Advance’.

All Kangoos come equipped with automatic headlights and wipers, a 3.5-inch TFT driver information display, a DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, electric front windows, manual air conditioning, heated and electrically-adjustable door mirrors and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Also standard is a comprehensive array of safety features, such as hill start assist, emergency E-call, and cruise control with speed limiter.

Fully electric Kangoo E-Tech models also benefit from automatic air conditioning, a heated front windscreen, heated seats and ‘Z.E. Voice’ an eerie sound that alerts urban pavement users to your impending approach in the EV variant. ‘Advance’ models add an 8-inch touchscreen EASY-LINK display with smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, an electric parking brake, reverse parking sensors, premium gear stick with chrome inserts, cloth upholstery with yellow accents, 16-inch ‘Flex’ wheels, body-coloured door rails, and a wide view mirror.

In addition, a wide selection of optional extras are available, including wireless smartphone charging, adaptive cruise control, a Rear View Assist camera, hands-free parking and several electronic driver aids such as blind spot warning and intervention, Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS), driver attention alert, high beam assist, and lane keep assist are also available.

The Renault Kangoo Van Practicalities and Costs

So, which Kangoo is going to suit your business? It isn’t quite as straighforward as simply choosing the right body size – select either the 3.3m3 standard ‘ML’ Kangoo van (up from 3.0m3 with the previous generation model) or the 4.2m3 Kangoo van ‘LL21’ (up from 4.0m3 in the previous ‘Maxi’ variant).

As for the payload, well that’s limited to 615kgs in the E-Tech electric version. It’s quoted at between 802kgs and 987kgs for the more conventional petrol and diesel versions.

All models can squeeze in a standard Euro pallet thanks to the generous width between the wheel arches that all Kangoos share. You wouldn’t have to lift said pallet too far off the ground to get the thing in either, thanks to a user-friendly loading height (which can be as low as 531mm). As usual in this class, there’s a sliding side door, with the option of a second on the opposite side.

As for running costs, well, Renault says it’s worked hard in this area; expect 53.3mpg on the combined cycle and 139g/km of CO2 from the volume Blue dCi 95 diesel variant, while the TCe 100 petrol version manages 41.5mpg and 155g/km. The service intervals across the range though, aren’t especially long. The all-Electric E-TECH version can be charged in as little as 42 minutes from an appropriately high-powered charger. A 3 year/100,000 mile warranty is provided, with no mileage limit for the first two years and roadside assistance for the entire duration. You also get a 3 year paintwork guarantee and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty.


There’s so much about this third generation Kangoo that represents a clear step forward. Efficiency, cabin design, styling, safety, connectivity. We think innovations like the new folding seat arrangement and the roof-mounted interior rack are brilliant. But, like other commentators, we’re very disappointed that arguably this Renault’s cleverest design feature, the B-pillar-less ‘Open Sesame’ side door, can’t be offered to UK customers.

Still, what remains on the Kangoo spec sheet certainly ought to catch the attention of UK businesses browsing in the segment for compact vans. If you’re shopping in this class, make no mistake, this Kangoo has to be high on your list of contenders to try if you’re to make the right buying or leasing decision. It turns out that ‘Renaultvation’ really does mean something after all. If you are interested in the Renault Kangoo Van get in touch.

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