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Renault updates Kangoo van

Can do, Kangoo: Renault’s light commercial van gets new frontal styling as part of an MY13 facelift.

Tweaked styling and new interior for Renault Kangoo facelift, due here in late 2013

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Renault logo4 Feb 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

RENAULT has facelifted its four-year old Kangoo van with a revised front grille design and new instrument fascia reminiscent of its Clio and Captur passenger cars.

The Phase 2 Kangoo also gets a new multimedia system, claimed improvements to the body finish and acoustics, Renault’s new-generation stability control and hill-start assist, plus fuel-saving additions including a gear-shift indicator and an Eco mode.

Facelifted versions of the French-built light commercial will roll out from April across Europe – where it leads its segment with 17.4 per cent market share – but it will not arrive in Australian showrooms until the end of 2013.

The new front-end styling includes sleeker headlights, a larger grille and more black plastic, complemented by what appear to be slimmer door mirrors and vertical tail-lights.

Inside the cabin is a new gloss-black instrument panel with dash-top screen that owes much to the new Clio, Zoe and Captur, plus a new steering wheel design.

Bluetooth and USB are both standard, while the optional TomTom navigation unit now displays traffic updates.

The tweaked ESC system now includes a hill-start assist function, while a reversing camera is also available – integrated into the driver’s sun-visor.

Existing two- and five-seat cabin layouts will continue (Australia only gets the two-seat work van), but a new three-person front bench seat will also become available as an option.

Renault Australia corporate communications manager Emily Ambrosy told GoAuto it was too early to say whether the three-seater would be offered here, but said the crew-cab certainly remained off the agenda.

Australian Kangoos will continue to be offered with 63kW/200Nm 1.5-litre turbo-diesel or 78kW/148Nm 1.6-litre petrol engines, although the gear-shift indicator and Eco mode are said to improve the diesel’s fuel economy (currently a claimed 5.2L/100km) by up to 10 per cent.

Renault claims it spent several months tweaking the fit and finish of the updated Kangoo, which also forms the basis of the new Mercedes-Benz Citan van under a Daimler/Renault global alliance.

The company claims to have improved spot welds, the finish of its door crimping and body sealants, and added extra sound-proofing to improve refinement.

The changes also apply to the Kangoo ZE electric van that, with almost 7000 sold since late 2011, is Europe’s best-selling EV LCV.

Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told GoAuto last week there was no set launch time for the ZE locally, with the company concerned by a lack of local charging infrastructure.

Renault sold 357 Kangoos in Australia in 2012 – up 21.4 per cent – placing it third in its segment behind the Volkswagen Caddy (1852 units) and Suzuki APV (485).

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