Little Roo packs plenty
Back seat gives this van much more versatility if you’re looking for a solid rocket around town, CHRIS RILEY writes
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there’s only one question that really needs answering – would you buy one?
WHAT IS IT?
Renault’s little parcel van, but it ain’t so little anymore. This one has a back seat for the kids with oodles of room leftover for carrying stuff.
Prices start at $19,990 for the entry level short wheelbase petrol model rising to $27,990 for the our test vehicle, the top of the line long wheelbase Kangoo maxi crew diesel with manual transmission.
Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and probably the Volkswagen Caddy. All come in short and long wheelbase form for around the same kind of money.
UNDER THE BONNET
The 1.6-litre turbo diesel delivers 81kW of power and 240Nm of torque and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Renault Kangoo maxi and crew provide an extra 384mm of load area, with an extra three seats in the case of the Crew – all with three-point seat belts.
The two rear doors are sliders with barn doors down the back.
HOW DOES IT GO?
Like a rocket. It’s hard to believe that something that looks like this could be so much fun to drive.
IS IT ECONOMICAL?
It’s rated at 4.7 litres/100km and we were getting 6.6 litres/100m after about 400km which means you are probably going to crack 1000km out of a single 60 litre tank of fuel.
IS IT GREEN?
Gets four out of five stars from the Government’s Green Vehicle guide (Prius scores five). There’s even a fully electric model that is being trialled by Australia Post.
The Crew version features a fuel saving feature called ECO mode. It reduces engine torque and alters the accelerator pedal mapping for more conservative throttle response, with claims of up to 10 per cent better fuel consumption in the city.
IS IT SAFE?
Kangoo gets four out of five stars for safety from the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). With two airbags and optional side airbags, along with electronic traction and stability, plus anti-lock brakes with brake assist.
IS IT COMFORTABLE?
It’s not uncomfortable but we wouldn’t like to be chalking up any long trips. The steering wheel lacks reach adjustment and we could not find any lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Surprisingly nippy but vision is limited in some situations. The short, high-mounted gear shift it easy to use and changing gears is not a chore.
Enhanced soundproofing makes this model quieter and wind noise has been reduced thanks to an acoustic windscreen and different profile door mirrors. The design of the engine mounts has also been revised to minimise vibrations.
IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?
The Crew can carry a 1.3 cubic metre or 740kg payload, with eight tie-down points in the cargo area. With the rear seats folded the capacity extends to 4.0 cubic metres or 830kg. Comes with cloth trim, climate air, 15-inch alloys, auto lights and wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth and more.
WOULD WE BUY ONE?
It’s amazing how useful these little vans can be if you are always carting stuff around. The addition of a second row of seats adds an extra dimension and means you can pick up the kids if the need arises – a real win-win.