- New six-speed dual-clutch auto small van
- Adds to ease of driving, especially in traffic
- But comes at a cost – to wallet, mpg and payload
Not the most dramatic piece of news this, but if you need a small van and spend a lot of time sitting in traffic (no Renault-related pun intended), you may be pleased to learn that Renault has launched a Kangoo automatic.
It’s called the Kangoo EDC – EDC standing for Efficient Dual Clutch – and it’s on sale in the UK now.
But is this option really a good idea? Parkers Vans weighs the pros and cons.
What’s good about the Renault Kangoo EDC?
It uses a type of automatic known as a dual-clutch transmission – similar to Volkswagen’s DSG – and these are typically more fuel efficient than conventional ‘torque convertor’ automatic gearboxes.
Automatic vans are both less fatiguing to drive in traffic-heavy situations and tend to have lower maintenance costs, as they manage clutch and tyre wear better. However, time will tell if this proves true for the Kangoo.
The new gearbox is available on quite a range of Kangoo models, too – including short (ML) and long (Maxi LL) bodystyles, panel van and crew cab, and both the dCi 90 and dCi 110 turbodiesel engines.
Since all versions of the EDC auto have six gears, this also represents an upgrade in refinement over the dCi 90’s standard five-speed manual gearbox on the motorway; the standard dCi 110 gearbox is a six-speed manual.
What’s the bad news about the Renault Kangoo EDC?
Well, the price takes a bit of a hit for starters – with prices starting at £17,395, the auto is £2,000 (ex VAT) more than the equivalent manual gearbox.
And despite the supposed efficiencies of dual-clutch transmissions, fuel economy also suffers; Renault reckons the smaller ML versions of the Kangoo EDC are good for a claimed 55.4mpg, while the longer Maxi LL variants are rated at 54.3mpg.
That’s 10.5mpg and 7.4mpg less than the alternative manual-gearbox Kangoos.
On top of that, vans fitted with the automatic transmissions weigh 28kg more – which eats into the legal maximum payload.
In other words, you’re going to have to really want to take advantage of the promised easy-going driving experience before taking the plunge…