GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Renault - Kangoo - Maxi Crew

Our Opinion

We like
Roomy and practical body, surprisingly comfy seats, supple ride, car-like dynamics, strong diesel performance and efficiency, value, true French character
Room for improvement
No auto option, no seven-seater option, no rear occupant airbag protection, some road noise drone, thick A pillars obscure vision

Gallery

Click to see larger images

Renault logo14 Nov 2014

RENAULT is on a roll at the moment, with double-digit sales increases and a burgeoning range of desirable passenger cars like the Clio and RS models.

But did you know that it is a light commercial vehicle (LCV) leader in Europe?Now the French company with more than a century’s experience is eyeing off the Volkswagen Caddy’s hard-won light-van market with an extended range of Kangoo LCVs.

And by extended we really do mean stretched, for the L2 Maxi long-wheelbase versions have lobbed along with the established L1 short-wheelbase members when the X61 series underwent a fairly sizeable makeover late last year.

The model that interests us most, however, is the Maxi Crew.

Although the name may suggest a three-row seven-seater model, it is in fact an LCV with five seats and a very utilitarian box space behind the rear backrest.

Sliding doors (albeit with pop-open glazing) and dual barn doors betray the newcomer’s blue-collar origins.

That’s no hardship, though, for what Renault has achieved with the Maxi Crew is remarkable.

For starters, the rear seat is stupendously easy to access via a gaping aperture, while once inside, the cushion is car-like in terms of comfort and space.

It’s not exactly quiet in there due to ever-present road and tyre noise rumbling through from the rear, but it is a very tolerable and surprisingly soft-riding way to get around.

Aiding the journey are big headrests, deep windows that crack open on the sides, ample ventilation and hardy yet attractive cabin trim. Somehow the Kangoo does not feel as cold and Germanic as its VW foe.

Yet if you need this to be a pure two-seater panel van, dropping the rear seats into a deep floor cavity is child’s play, with the resulting cargo capacity vast by anybody’s standards. It’s a clever and appealing solution that really does blur the lines between wagon and workhorse.

Meanwhile, if it wasn’t for the van-like drone at speed on the highway, you might be lulled into thinking you’re driving a high-riding Renault passenger car.

Perched up on lofty seats for a commanding view ahead, the driving position is fine, with a pleasant steering wheel featuring remote controls for the cruise and audio systems, ahead of a clear and very informative set of instrument dials.

Ventilation is easy to access, there’s more storage availability than in some city warehouses and the front seats are fine over long distances.

Better still, the driving experience itself is far more car-like than the Kangoo’s slightly Postman Pat looks suggest.

Under that stubby bonnet is a modern, refined, efficient and powerful iteration of Renault’s excellent 1.5-litre dCi common-rail turbo-diesel, partnered up to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox.

After an initial hesitation, acceleration is lively even when loaded with four people and 100kg worth of cargo, with the performance coming on continuously and in a steady stream well past the legal freeway speed limit.

Mercifully, there is very little in terms of engine noise or vibration to remind the Kangoo’s occupants that they are in a diesel-powered van.

Additionally, while there is no escaping the soft suspension, the steering is direct and reactive and the suspension feels well planted, for accurate and confident cornering capabilities.

Push on harder and the Renault will settle into a cushy yet controlled rhythm that is typical of older-school French passenger cars but highly irregular if all you are used to are hard-riding vans.

Throw in the Kangoo’s friendly face, and you can see how easy it is to connect to the Maxi Crew as an off-beat alternative to an SUV or medium-sized wagon.

It might not be quite as quiet or refined as the latter, but as a dual-purpose people-carrying van, the Renault comes across as a far more comfortable and inviting proposition than most LCV alternative.

We’re smitten, and we can see why so many Europeans are too.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Kangoo

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Kangoo pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

This week's edition of GoAutoNews Premium is available to download now
Click here