The new petrol engine in the Renault Kangoo is smaller, but offers more grunt. This van is a significant addition to the offering. Petrol engine vans represent 60 per cent of the small Kangoos sold in Australia. The Kangoo is also the Renault van with the highest market share in its class being sold in Australia.
This new 1.2-litre turbo engine replaces the bigger 1.6-litre used in the past, but brings a better performance and a claim of improved fuel economy to the table. It is to be coupled with either six-speed manual gearbox or the Renault Efficient Dual Clutch six-speed transmission.
“The Kangoo petrol auto has been the best-selling variant to date and we expect a high demand for the new EDC, which has two more gears than the auto it replaces,” says Lyndon. “This variant has been amongst the most affordable vans of its type on the market and this is set to continue with the new version.”
The new engine being used is the same as the one sold in the Renault Clio, Captur and Megane cars, but retuned to improve load carrying torque at lower revs. Power is set at 114hp (84kW) and torque comes in at 190Nm (140 ft lb). The wider torque band of the new engine, when compared to the 1.6-litre it replaces, is reckoned to improve performance when the van is loaded.
“The torque output and spread is much improved on this new engine, which is also noticeably smoother and quieter,” says Lyndon Healey, Senior Model Line Manager at Renault LCV. “The result is improved driveability, with substantially better low-speed performance and a much more relaxed drive.”
Out on the road the first stop at a set of traffic lights is a little disconcerting. The new engine uses a stop/start system when coupled with the manual transmission. The fuel savings from the newer more efficient engine are further enhanced by the engine stopping completely when the van is stationary.
Renault reckons there is a considerable reduction in fuel consumption when compared to the 1.6 litre model. With a claimed 6.2 litres/100km for the manual and 6.5 litre/ 100km for the auto, this is a substantial drop from the 7.7 litres/100km achieved with the higher capacity engine.
A number of other features come along with the new engine in the Kangoo. There is now Hill Star Assist and improved traction with Grip Xtend, as well as driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, reversing sensors and an Eco mode on the transmission.
Out on the road these vans show us just how far the design of vans has come in recent years. These drive like state-of-the-art cars and perform well with lighter smaller engines, but more sophisticated system wring the most out each litre of fuel. Probably more importantly, they are great fun to drive.