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Renault Kangoo petrol and diesel 2011 review

You know a van has left a good impression during a test drive when you think about buying one. That's what happened when I tested out the new Renault Kangoo.

I changed my mind when my dirt bike wouldn't quite fit - well, it would fit but the front tyre was touching the folded forward passenger seat. Of course, it is reasonable that it wouldn't fit given this is a compact van and larger machines like a Toyota HiAce or Hyundai iLoad would be better suited for dirt-bike lugging.

The reason I liked the Kangoo so much is that the drive experience is very similar to a Renault car. There is a bit more road noise, even with the optional rubber cargo mat, but other than that it is pretty much the same.

The interior looks like that of a Renault car, although the plastic is rock hard, and you get all the features such as cruise control, electric windows, steering wheel audio controls and a Bluetooth phone system with a streaming function that means it can play music from your iPod without it being plugged in.

I had the petrol version, which uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that generates 78kW and 148Nm, figures that aren't going to impress anyone. Still, there is adequate performance for getting about. It's not the smoothest engines in the world, but isn't too rough either.

The only transmission is a four-speed automatic which does the job well enough.

My fuel use worked out to 7.2 litres per 100km which is quite reasonable.

I also tested out a diesel version. This has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel which generates 63kW and 200Nm and is only available with a five-speed manual. While it also doesn't set any records in terms of smoothness and quietness, it has adequate performance and uses just 5.9l/100km.

The Kangoo is affordable at $24,490 and has anti-skid brakes, but the standard model only gets a driver's side airbag when at least two airbags should be standard. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is available as an option on the petrol model.

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Range and Specs

1.5 DCi 1.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $7,700 – 10,890 2011 Renault Kangoo 2011 1.5 DCi Pricing and Specs
1.6 1.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,700 – 10,890 2011 Renault Kangoo 2011 1.6 Pricing and Specs
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