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Driven: Turbo-petrol Renault Kangoo touches down

Talk the torque: The new turbo-petrol engine in the Renault Kangoo develops more torque from lower in the rev range, for better pulling power.

Higher output, lower running costs for new petrol-powered Renault Kangoo

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Renault logo24 Feb 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

RENAULT Australia has updated the powertrain for its petrol-powered Kangoo van, eschewing the old normally aspirated 1.6-litre unit for a new 1.2-litre turbocharged engine that it says will reduce running costs while boosting power and torque.

Despite being the smallest-selling model in Renault’s light-commercial vehicle (LCV) range behind the larger Trafic and Master, it has the highest market share in its segment of any Australian Renault product, and sales of the Kangoo are expected to jump with the addition of the new powerplant.

Last year the Renault sold 1118 Kangoos for a market share of 29.9 per cent, and the car-maker expects the addition of the new petrol variants, as well as the arrival of an auto for diesel variants in July, will boost sales to about 1300 in 2017.

Around 35 per cent of those are expected to be the petrol automatic variant, which is slightly down on the old model due to a $1500 price increase.

The new petrol range will retail from $23,490 before on-roads for the six-speed manual and $26,490 for the six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Renault Australia light-commercial vehicles senior line manager Lyndon Healey said the price is offset by the new engine, an increase in equipment levels and lower running costs.

“Over five years and 100,000km, the fuel savings alone will make it less expensive to own than the vehicle it replaces,” he said.

He added that when driving 15,000km per year over five years, running costs would be 10 per cent cheaper than the old 1.6-litre model.

Mr Healey said the new petrol model would be more appealing than the outgoing model.

“Traditionally, the petrol-powered versions have accounted for around 60 percent of Kangoo sales and we are confident the new drivetrain and additional specification that arrives concurrently with the new powertrain, will give the Kangoo extra appeal against its rivals in this market,” he said.

Renault claims the new engine will use 21 per cent less fuel, down from 7.7 litres per 100km to 6.2L/100km in the manual and 6.5L/100km in the dual-clutch auto.

CO2 emissions stand at 144 grams per km in the manual and 147g/km in the auto.

Fuel savings come from a variable displacement oil pump, low friction timing chain, Eco mode function, 10kg lighter powerplant and an idle-stop system for manual variants.

The new all-aluminium engine has a combined output of 84kW at 4500rpm and 190Nm between 2000-4000rpm, a bump of 6kW/42Nm over the old model.

The engine, which is shared with the Clio, Captur and Megane, has been retuned for the Kangoo to provide more torque lower in the rev range.

The new pair of transmissions allow for a claimed 30 per cent reduction in revs in the updated model while cruising at highway speeds, roughly 2450rpm.

Payload capacity is 675kg for the manual, and reduced to 540kg for the auto.

Features on the new Kangoo include hill start assist, four airbags, cruise control and speed limiter, reverse parking sensors, eco mode and a cargo mat for the load area.

Options include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, 15-inch alloy wheels borrowed from the top-spec Maxi Crew diesel, side door glazing, fold-flat passenger seat, overhead parcel shelf, steel bulkhead, anti-slip timber floor and retractable roof flap.

Petrol variants come in standard wheelbase format and feature three cubic metres of cargo space, which can be accessed by sliding doors on both sides and a tailgate in the rear, which can be optioned with barn doors.

2017 Renault Kangoo pricing*
1.2-litre turbo-petrol$23,490
1.2-litre turbo-petrol (a)$26,490
1.5-litre turbo-diesel Maxi$26,990
1.5-litre turbo-diesel Maxi Crew$29,490
*Excludes on-road costs

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