Our Renault Kangoo has continued to add to its growing army of admirers in the past month.
The small van has been in demand from colleagues and on every occasion – long journey or short – the keys have been returned along with praise that glows like a radioactive firefly.
In particular, the two areas that have been continually singled out were its practicality and its driver appeal.
And this is no surprise. The Kangoo is based on the platform of its MPV cousin, the Scenic, so has a big headstart when it comes to comfort and handling.
The suspension copes comfortably with all but the roughest roads and – although the noise from the engine can sometimes be intrusive – it is an excellent long-distance companion, while also being a doddle to drive in urban surroundings.
When our Kangoo arrived we thought its 86bhp 15 dCi engine was probably the pick of the range through its combination of power, fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 137g/km, and nothing has yet changed our minds.
It provides more than enough performance when laden or unladen, and although our test economy of 43.6mpg is lower than the manufacturer’s claimed 54.3mpg, it is still a decent return considering the wide range of duties it has been asked to perform.
The driver experience is enhanced further by the Kangoo’s massive cabin, which gives the impression of the van being much bigger than it really is.
It really is roomy – and full of nice touches, such as an aviation-style handbrake which has been designed to minimise strain on the wrist, and a handy storage spot on the dashboard which is exactly the right size to accommodate A4 documents.
Interior build quality is impressive, too – both in terms of fit and materials used – and we’re confident it will prove to be hard-wearing over time.
All in all, the more time we spend with the Kangoo the more we value it as an extremely well thought-out vehicle – and one that is deservedly Europe’s best-selling compact van.
Renault Kangoo 1.5 dCi 86 long term (1)
03/07/2009 :in Van Reviews