Regular readers will already know that we recently swapped our old Renault Kangoo Maxi for a Compact version – essentially a Maxi with the back end cut off.
They should in theory be just about the same but it’s interesting to note the differences between the two.
Our new van features a gearshift indicator – a little light on the dash which flashes on when it suggests it is a good idea to change up or down – and it has proved a handy gadget from time to time.
There is also a mirror in the back of the passenger side sunshade, something you don’t often find in vans and an addition which has scored the approval of the Mem Sahib.
Our SWB version also contains a handy flap in the back of the roof which lifts up to allow the carriage of longer loads, although I haven’t yet had occasion to use it.
On the downside, the Compact doesn’t have any side loading doors.
You may not think this is a problem with such a small load area but you’d be amazed even here how much easier it is to load and unload cargo from the sides.
We’ve been slightly disappointed with the van’s fuel economy figure so far.
As it is lighter than the Maxi we were expecting more miles per gallon but despite undertaking several long journeys, our figure steadfastly refuses to creep above 45mpg.
That’s a long way short of the official 53.3mpg, although of course that figure is achieved on a rolling road indoors and without any weight on board, so is unlikely to be replicated in real life.
But there are certainly no complaints about this van’s general road manners and drivability.
The driver’s seat is superbly comfortable, the van shows a lively turn of speed despite its relatively humble 70bhp and cornering is joyful and effortless.
The Compact is built largely as an urban delivery vehicle but the long journeys I have made have shown that the van makes a great companion on the open roads as well.