Renault Pro+ has completely overhauled the Kangoo van with a new interior and exterior, plus a host of advanced driver assistance and safety systems (ADAS). Still offered in both short and long wheelbases, Kangoo is now wider at the hip, providing a real feeling of space in the cab. There is a new grille and the vans boast Renault’s C-shaped LED daytime running light signature.
Indeed, Kangoo now has full LED headlights on offer, improving night time visibility. Standard load volumes of 3.3m3 and 3.9m3 can be extended to 4.2m3 and 4.9m3 respectively, with a fold-flat passenger seat and a folding mesh bulkhead. Payloads now run to almost a tonne too.
While right-hand drive models won’t get the innovative Open Sesame side door, that takes away the B-pillar with the front door to provide complete access to the load bay, we will get the optional internal roof rack, that folds down from inside the roof to carry ladders and longer pipes above the load area and through the bulkhead into the passenger head space.
There are two petrol engines on offer, along with a choice of three diesels. You can also choose between six speed manual and seven-speed EDC dual-clutch automated transmissions. In either case the engine drives the front wheels.
There will of course also be an electric version, now called Kangoo E-Tech, rather than Z.E. The compact electric van is the best-selling EV LCV in Europe and Renault has no plans to give up that title. The new van gets a larger 44kWh battery, offering up to 165 miles of driving range. The van now also comes with rapid DC charging for the first time, allowing an 80% charge in just 40 minutes, using a 75kW charger.
Renault will offer no less than 20 ADAS systems on the new Kangoo, including adaptive cruise control on automated gearbox models. The vans will also come with a Rear View Assist screen in the cab, that uses a camera mounted in the shark’s fin aerial at the back of the roof, to act as a rear view mirror replacement. When fitted, a parking camera is separately mounted.
The cab is offered with seating for two or three and the wider bodywork provides up to 56 litres of storage space. Interior quality levels are higher than previously and there is an 8” tablet-style screen in the centre of the dash that works with Renault’s Easy Link infotainment set-up. However, this has quite a wide bezel, meaning the actual viewing area is slightly smaller than that.
Renault has finally done away with its unusual ‘airline’ handbrake, in favour of a more conventional lever. There are also new heating and ventilation controls, while the new steering wheel now houses controls for cruise control and dash functions. The interior has certainly been lifted in terms of quality feel and in equipment levels, though we will have to wait a little longer to find out exact UK specifications.
On the road, the most noticeable change is refinement, as noise levels are commendably low, even with a mesh bulkhead. VanUser tried the mid-range 95hp version of the dCi diesel engine, with the six-speed manual gearbox, and the van certainly had plenty of performance. The revised cab feels very spacious, particularly with the two-seat configuration, and the rear-view monitor was very clear, providing a relatively wide view behind the van. It will be interesting to see how it copes with wet weather, being mounted up on the roof away from the worst of the road spray.
Renault has sold 122,000 Kangoo vans in the UK since its original launch and this new model will not only have to perform for the French company. It will also form the basis of the next generation Citan for Mercedes-Benz and be used by Alliance partner Nissan. With a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines on offer, the company has certainly covered all of the bases.
However, it will be the new Kangoo E-Tech that will really need to perform. The diesel vans have always had a wide range of competitors, while Renault and Nissan have had the compact EV van market much to themselves over the past decade. The new model will face much fiercer competition, from a far broader spread of players.
The new Kangoo will launch in April 2022, with first deliveries expected by July.