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Renault Kangoo Estate engines, drive and performance

1999 - 2008 (change model)
Performance rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The Kangoo is no fire-breather, but it performs well in the city and can cruise on motorways without feeling too strained. When it’s not fully loaded, the 75bhp 1.2 petrol engine offers adequate performance and nippy acceleration, but can struggle when laden. The 1.6-litre is lively, but only offered with an auto gearbox or 4×4, which blunts performance.

The 1.5-litre diesel units give good economy – more than 50mpg – and perform better than the others with a full load. Unfortunately, the 65bhp 1.9 dCi feels sluggish with the four-wheel drive system. The early 1.9-litre diesel is slow and unrefined.

The Kangoo’s suspension is very softly sprung, which means a comfortable ride, but too much body roll. This is particularly noticeable on twisty B-roads, where the ride is rolly and choppy – especially on coarse surfaces – and the steering is too light and vague for tight turns. Around town it feels agile, but crosswinds easily hamper the boxy van-like shape on the motorway.

Low-speed manoeuvrability is made especially easy by the large rear window and power steering – the Kangoo has a 10.4-metre turning circle – so parking shouldn’t cause too many problems.