Only the French would take something as utilitarian as a small van and turn it into an MPV, without trying to disguise its roots. It's a formula that works brilliantly though, because if you want tremendous practicality without having to spend much, cars like the Kangoo - and its Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner rivals are unbeatable.
10/99: The Kangoo reaches UK showrooms in 1.4 petrol or 1.9 diesel forms.
11/01: The four-wheel drive Trekka edition arrives, with 1.6-litre petrol power only.
1/02: The Trekka is now available with a 1.9dCi engine.
4/02: A 1.5dCi engine joins the range.
4/03: The Kangoo gets a facelift, with revised front and rear styling plus an overhauled interior. A 1.2 petrol also joins the range.
4/04: Anti-lock brakes are standardised across the range.
Renault Kangoo (1997-2008) Checklist
- The electrics can be fragile, so check they all work, including the headlamp beam adjusters.
- Manual gearboxes can wear out in under 20,000 miles as the casing wears.
- Automatic transmissions can also prove short-lived; make sure ratios swap cleanly.
- The ignition coil packs can fail; once one goes, it's best to replace them all.
- Cam belts can fail on 1.2-litre engines in less than 40,000 miles.
- On the 1.5dCi engine, the exhaust gas recirculation valve can stick, leading to the turbo or even the whole engine self-destructing. If the turbo has been replaced, make sure the valve was renewed too.
- Brakes pipes corrode at the back of the car, guaranteeing an MoT fail.
- Spacious cabin
- Comfortable ride
We Don't Like
- Feels spartan
- Breathless diesel engine