Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew van review

By: Matt Wood


The new Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew van and a new diesel engine give the baby Renault a shot in the arm.

Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew van review
The updated Renault Kangoo comes with a new engine and redesigned front.

 

The Renualt Kangoo van range has been given a tweak and tickle as well as a check under the chin for the Australian market. 

As well as the cosmetics, a new model variant and a new diesel engine give the baby Renault a shot in the arm. 

According to Renault, the redesigned frontal treatment has made the van more masculine, however it still has the rather cutesy look of previous versions. 

But the more notable news is the recent arrival of a new frugal oil-sniffing power plant and the addition of the Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew.   

Engine

The new dci110 engine is a 1.5-litre turbo diesel and uses common-rail fuel injection to get the oily stuff down its throat.

A variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) adds some puff to this process. Power is 81kW at 4,000rpm and max torque is 240Nm at 1,750rpm.

Of note is the claimed fuel economy figure of 4.7 litre per 100km which puts it ahead of its Volkswagen Caddy rival in the fuel efficiency stakes.

Transmission

All of this power gets to the front wheels and the blacktop via a 6-speed manual transmission. There is, however, no auto option for the diesel available at this stage.

The diesel-manual combo is also the only option for the long wheelbase model as well.

Cab and Controls

The cockpit styling is a little awkward and a tad austere, however most necessities seemed easy enough to both find and reach with the exception of the steering column mounted stereo and phone controls. 

The new Renault Kangoo Maxi crew model introduces foldaway rear seats to the area and is clearly aimed at small business owners who need a dual purpose vehicle. 

The cargo area provides 4 cubic metres of storage with the 60/40 split seats folded flat into the floor and 1.3 cubes with the seats up. 

The Maxi will handle a payload 740kg. 

Also on the way is an optional sliding cargo barrier that will slide with the rear seats and provide protection to the rear seat occupants when the seats are up, or to the front seat occupants when the rear seats are folded away. 

The Kangoo also features rear barn doors and sliding doors on both sides as standard.

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Performance

I took the new model for a squirt through the central Victorian highlands on a combination of freeway and country roads and to get a feel for the diesel powerplant. 

The Renault engine is a rather zippy and quite smooth performer at most speeds.  We were also lugging back seat passengers and some ballast in the rear and the engine didn’t complain when power was needed. 

The peaky nature of the little engine meant that a proactive approach to gear changing was needed to keep the Kangoo hauling along.   

The manual gear shift is a nice intuitive thing to use and does take any hard work out of it. 

At this stage the engine is only available with a six-speed manual. 

However, Renault manager Lyndon Healy has confirmed an automated transmission is on the way. 

A four-speed full automatic is offered on the base SWB petrol version.

Verdict

The Kangoo Maxi Crew does come with quite a bit of standard cheddar like fog lights, auto wipers, auto headlights and 15-inch alloy wheels. 

On the whole the little Renault is a game little unit to punt along and the new model offers some versatility. 

The Renault Kangoo comes with a three-year 200,000km warranty features capped price servicing for the first 45,000km or three years. 

The Kangoo range starts at $19,990 for the SWB manual petrol model, while the new Maxi Crew Diesel starts at $27,990.

Specifications

Make/model: Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew

Engine: 1.5-litre common-rail turbodiesel

Power: 81kW @ 4,000rpm

Torque: 240Nm @1,750rpm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Drive: Front

Payload: 750kg

Capacity: 4 cubic-metres (1.3 cubicmetres with rear seats upright)

Fuel economy: 4.7 litres/100km (combined)

Manufacturer’s list price: $27,990

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