What is it?
This is the new Renault Kangoo, the latest version of the popular MPV. The new Renault Kangoo is based on the running gear of the recently superseded Scenic, and so it not only grows in length by 180mm, but also becomes more of a car-like experience.
The Renault Kangoo is also now available with the more powerful version of the 1.5 dCi diesel motor that's already available across much of Renault's range. Developing 103bhp at 4000rpm, with 177lb ft of torque at 2000rpm, the common-rail diesel engine has been combined with a six-speed manual gearbox to give the car better performance and refinement.
Refinement is a word Renault is keen to stress with the new Kangoo. Like the Citroen Berlingo and slightly smaller Fiat Qubo, the Kangoo is intended to combine van-like functionality with the comfort everyone now expects from a modern MPV.
What's it like?
Despite no longer being derived directly from a commercial vehicle, the Kangoo remains inescapably van-like. The new front end is a desperate blight on an already unfortunate profile, like the brutally stubbed big toe of a badly swollen foot. Citroen’s new Berlingo, launched last year, is a much more sympathetic design.
Fortunately, Renault's hard work on the interior has paid dividends. The new dash is a vast improvement and, while the finish is still somewhat patchy, the use of better-feeling plastics does emphasise a step up in quality.