Renault Kangoo (1997-2008)

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.

Key Dates

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.

We Like

  • Practicality
  • Versatility
  • Spacious cabin
  • Comfortable ride

We Don't Like

  • Feels spartan
  • Breathless diesel engine