Mellow yellow
Kangoo 1.5 Diesel (M) Review

Story & pictures by Jeremy R. Chua
1 Sep 2009

Based on the Scenic platform, the all-new Kangoo boasts increased space and passenger comfort

Renault Kangoo

Most motorists driving along an expressway would never give a light commercial vehicle (or LCV for short) a second glance whenever they see one. Not only are most of these vehicles unattractive, quite a number of them are also driven by people who insist on blocking faster traffic by driving in the centre lanes.

The only looks these LCVs have been getting thus far are the dirty kind. But beyond the fact that most of them are driven by people who aren't too considerate to other motorists, it is these LCVs that are instrumental to the operations of many small and medium-sized enterprises.

Do you like checking out computer peripherals in Sim Lim or Funan? Well, the goods being sold in those stores were most likely brought there using LCVs. Enjoy popping over to your neighborhood mini-mart to grab a few beers? They wouldn't be there if it weren't for those vans.

These vans, which are meant to be workhorses, never had decent looks engineered into their designs. But it's a different story altogether when a French manufacturer is concerned. Looking good and having some semblance of style (it seems) is an integral part of their culture.


This is not to say that I find Renault's latest Kangoo to be an absolute stunner. However, amongst the current crop of LCVs in our local market, it's hard to deny that the new Kangoo does manage to look better than the rest - especially when compared to the outgoing model it replaces.

While the previous Kangoo was narrow and had a high-ish roofline that made it look quite awkward and ungainly, this all-new model is slightly taller, longer and (most importantly) wider, thus endowing it with better overall proportions.

Up front, the new Kangoo gets a bigger pair of headlamps and a much larger front bumper. The Renault badge has also been moved to a higher position on the bonnet. Plus it not only looks cleaner - there's even a hint of a "smile" thanks to the shape of the front air dam as well.

Its flanks would've looked totally slab-sided if not for the slightly recessed windows found on each of the van's sliding doors. To add a bit more style to the Kangoo, Renault also gave it shapelier body mouldings along its sides and nicer-looking pull-type door handles. Triangle-shaped side indicators above the front fenders and a much simpler looking pair of tail lights also complement the new Kangoo's design.

In contrast to the previous Kangoo's tiny 14-inch wheels, this all-new model is now equipped with 15-inchers that are shod with 195/65 series tyres, giving the Kangoo a better stance.