Renault Kangoo

As delivery drivers and small business outfits the world over continue to demand a talented small van like the Kangoo, Renault’s most affordable and efficient little mover is determined to keep up with the times.

After an all-new engine transplant revitalised the petrol Kangoo in 2017, packing the same 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as the spunky Clio, the Kangoo range expands its talents for 2020 with a bunch of useful additions. Keeping the look more premium than ever, all MY20 Kangoo models now feature front fog lights, in conjunction with automatic ‘dusk-sensing’ headlamps. It’s a style in keeping with its sporty passenger-car siblings.

Enhancing its passenger-car-style comfort, Kangoo also gains ‘rain-sensing’ wipers, which automatically turn themselves on and off via a windscreen sensor, and can be adjusted for sensitivity. If you’d prefer your wipers to calm down, simply twist an inner dial to the single droplet icon.

Like the long-wheelbase Kangoo Maxi, the shorter Kangoo Compact now features rear barn-type doors as standard, making access for forklifts or opening in tight spaces that much easier. And there’s now a standard rear-view camera, enabling a visual inspection of what’s behind you.

As soon as you engage reverse gear, a screen appears in the rear-view mirror – making this new safety addition both seamless and intuitive. And that’s supported by audible parking sensors that already make light work for Kangoo motoring.

Inside, MY20 Kangoo maintains its polish with features like cruise control, power windows, driver’s seat-height adjustment and a radio/CD multimedia system with Bluetooth, audio streaming, and USB/AUX inputs.

Kangoo’s three-model range kicks off with the short-wheelbase ‘Compact’ petrol, boasting an 84kW/190Nm 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with either six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

Producing maximum torque at just 2000rpm, Renault’s punchy turbo-petrol has more than enough muscle for this load-lugging maestro.

A serious wheelbase stretch of 384mm (and a serious cargo volume of four cubic metres) marks the Kangoo Maxi, exclusively powered by Renault’s muscular, yet bulletproof 81kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. Now offered solely with a slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, it boasts fuel economy as good as 5.2L/100km on the government combined cycle.

The Kangoo Compact turbo-petrol is similarly economical, with 6.2L/100km on the combined cycle for the manual and 6.5L/100km for the dual-clutch automatic. However, none can match the all-electric Kangoo Z.E. for fuel consumption – still the only small EV van on the market.

Replacing the iconic Renault 5-based Express van in Europe in 1997, the purpose-designed Kangoo first made its way to Australia in August 2004, and was followed up here by a second-generation version in October 2010. It remains a staple of Renault’s hugely successful LCV fleet and was France’s best-selling van in 2019, with Master and Trafic filling the LCV sales podium. Starting at $25,490 (before on-road costs) for the Compact manual and extending to $31,490 for the Maxi diesel auto, the MY20 Kangoo arrived in Australian Renault showrooms in March.

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