Renault Australia has boosted its popular Kangoo small commercial van range with a new turbocharged petrol engine for increased power and better economy.
It has flicked the Kangoo’s ageing 1.6-litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and cherry-picked the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit that it now shares with the Renault Clio, Megane and Captur.
Renault Australia light-commercial vehicles senior model line manager Lyndon Healey said the new engine will much better suit to city driving compared to the outgoing engine.
"The torque output and spread is much improved on this new engine, which is also noticeably smoother and quieter," he said.
"The result is improved driveability, with substantially better low-speed performance and a much more relaxed drive."
The 1.2-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine is similar to the unit fitted to Renault’s Clio, Captur and Megane passenger cars, albeit with some slight tweaks.
The 1.2-litre all-aluminium engine has been retuned for the Kangoo to deliver a flatter, wider torque band at lower revs.
It delivers peak power of 84kW at 4500rpm and has maximum torque of 190Nm from 2000rpm to 4000rpm, a 6kW/42Nm increase on the outgoing 1.6-litre engine.
For comparison, the same engine in the Clio and Captur produce 88kW at 4900rpm and 190Nm of torque at 2000rpm, while the 1.2-litre four-cylinder is boosted further in the Megane to 97kW at 4500rpm and 205Nm at 2000rpm.
Last year, the Kangoo was the second-best seller in its class.
Renault has also shared transmissions with its smaller passenger cars, bringing to the Kangoo the six-speed manual gearbox from the previous-gen Clio RS. Optional is a dual-clutch automatic transmission that has been specifically tuned for Kangoo’s city duties.
The new engine’s 10kg weight reduction over the 1.6-litre – combined with the new transmissions, an idle stop/start system and Eco driving mode –are claimed by Renault Australia to give a 21 per cent improvement in fuel economy, now 6.2L/100km from 7.7L/100km.
Renault has also coincided the new engine’s launch with the addition of standard features including hill-start assist, driver and passenger side airbags, reverse parking sensors, cruise control and a load area cargo mat.
The price of the Kangoo 1.2 rises $1500 over the outgoing 1.6, now $23,490 plus on-road costs.
The dual-clutch transmission adds $3000 at $26,490, while the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel Maxi and Maxi Crew remain at $26,990 and $29,490 respectively.
Optional on the new petrol Kangoo is a Pro Pack, which includes a reversing camera, 7.0-inch colour touchscreen, satellite navigation, and glazed windows in the rear and along the sides.
Last year Renault sold 1118 Kangoos, a five per cent fall on the 1177 sales it moved in 2015.
The Kangoo was the second-best seller in its class, only outsold by the Volkswagen Caddy Van (1706 sales) in the sub-2.5 tonne van and commercial vehicle segment.
2017 Renault Kangoo pricing
Renault Kangoo SWB - 1.2-litre turbo-petrol - manual - $23,490
Renault Kangoo SWB - 1.2-litre turbo-petrol - dual-clutch automatic - $26,490
Renault Kangoo Maxi - 1.5-litre turbo-diesel - manual - $26,990*
Renault Kangoo Maxi Crew - 1.5-litre turbo-diesel - manual - $29,490*
Will the Kangoo's latest updates help elevate its sales to best in class? Let us know what you think in the comments below.