Groupe Renault
Cars | 23 March 2021

Saga Renault Kangoo: LCV and ludospace, the best of both worlds

3 min
Successor to the iconic Renault Express, Kangoo quickly became Renault's most popular LCV. It is also the one that, when it was launched in 1997, created the ludospace segment. For the past nine years, it has even been the leader in electric LCV with its
Kangoo Z.E. version.
by Nicolas LE-BOUCHER

More than 4 million Kangoo have been sold in 50 countries around the world, making it a unique success story. In addition to its 350 utility versions, it is also available in a family leisure vehicle and a long version, Kangoo Maxi. It represents the best of both worlds: that of the passenger car, with its attractive design and roominess, and that of the commercial vehicle, with its cargo volume and robustness. A three-generation portrait of this familiar figure in the Renault range. 

The birth of an innovative light commercial vehicle and of the ludospace 

The first generation Kangoo revolutionized the market from the moment it was launched in 1997: the "cab stall" typical of commercial vehicles of this period disappeared, since the front roof line was located in the extension of the loading area. This innovative concept of a "smooth roof" was also at the origin of the birth of the ludospace segment, the one inaugurated by the Kangoo family version. This new model, with its original design, is intended for a dual clientele: professionals in its utility version and private individuals in its 5-seat version. The 5-seat version offers unprecedented passenger roominess combined with record cargo space. Simple, practical and equipped for the first time with a sliding side door, the first ludospace in history has attracted a large family clientele. It quickly became the market leader. Kangoo will continue to consolidate this position thanks to a series of innovations such as the second standard sliding side door (November 1999), its 4WD version (September 2001) and the arrival of the very economical 1.5 dCi engines (December 2001). 

Its LCV versions are brimming with tricks and innovations: 2/3-1/3 rear doors, folding passenger seat with pivoting partition... It has become and remains the undisputed benchmark for vans. 

A second generation offering the pleasure of a sedan 

Launched in 2008, the second-generation Renault Kangoo retains the original spirit with rounded shapes and a friendly, expressive front end. It is developed on a larger platform, that of Renault Scénic, allowing an increase in length of 15 cm and giving it an accentuated sedan character. In order to be closer to family expectations, the quality of presentation is carefully designed with controls and controls from the Scénic or the Clio. The interior space and practicality of the car have been improved, with, for example, aviation-style trunks above the rear seats. New features such as a flat floor with a retractable front passenger seat, a rear roof flap and modular roof bars make loading easier. In terms of safety, Kangoo scored the best score in its category with 4 Euro NCAP stars. 

New, more mature design 

In May 2013, with the release of its "phase 2", the second-generation Kangoo gain in maturity: its design is more deliberate, more assertive. The wings are losing their curves in favor of tauter, more muscular lines. The front end integrates the new brand identity with an enlarged logo on a black grille and redesigned lights for a more technical and qualitative look. Inside, the center console is adorned with black lacquered veneer and the R-Link connected multimedia table makes its appearance. The utility versions are available in a 3-seater version at the front. 

Renault's expertise in both the LCV and diesel markets is attracting the interest of the Daimler Group (owner of Mercedes brand). In 2010, a partnership is signed between Daimler and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi for the production of the Mercedes Citan, derived from the Kangoo, from 2012 in Maubeuge. A flattering recognition of the intrinsic qualities of the latter and the manufacturing quality offered by the Maubeuge plant. 

Pioneer of electricity, leader today 

As early as 1980, Renault identified the potential to develop a 100% electric compact utility vehicle for urban travel by its professional customers. Kangoo's eldest, Renault Express, was produced in 1985 in an electric version powered by nickel-zinc batteries. Offering a loading capacity of 300 kg, it had a range of 110 kilometers in the urban cycle. 26 years later, in 2011, Renault Kangoo Z.E. 100% electric is marketed. With more than 60,000 units sold, it has been the leader in its segment in Europe for nine years. Today, Kangoo Z.E. offers a range of 230 km WLTP and a loading capacity of 650 kg. 

New Kangoo: an elegant and spacious combispace; an innovative utility vehicle 

The third generation of Kangoo is now on the scene. In its version for individuals, New Kangoo improves all the features that have made its success to become a "combispace" for dynamic tribes looking for space and modularity. Its new design, which is both elegant and athletic, takes away the cubic format of minivans and utility vans and brings it closer to the world of passenger vehicles. 

In its utility version for professionals, called the New Kangoo Van, this third generation inaugurates two major innovations that are both useful and clever in facilitating access to goods:  

  • Open Sesame by Renault: Thanks to the elimination of the central pillar, the XXL side opening of New Kangoo is the widest on the market at 1.45 m, twice as wide as the opening of a conventional sliding door.
  • Easy Inside Rack: a retractable interior gallery that allows long and bulky objects (tubes, stepladders, etc.) to be carried high up, freeing up floor space and allowing a passenger to remain on board. 

New Kangoo is still produced at the Renault Maubeuge plant, alongside the Mercedes Citan van, the future Mercedes T-Class minivan and the next generation Nissan van, replacing the NV250 (scheduled to go on sale in early 2022). Like its predecessor, it will of course be offered in an electric version. 

Creator of the ludospace segment and leader in the market for 100% electric LCVKangoo has always been an innovator. This is the key to its success. Inaugurating major new products, New Kangoo is faithful to the original spirit: popular and creative.

"Did you know?" 

  • Kangoo I was produced not only in Maubeuge, but also in Malaysia, Morocco, and Argentina until 2018.
  • Nissan is a Kangoo faithful with Kubistar, NV250 and soon the new generation.
  • Marketed worldwide, Kangoo is used in more than 50 countries for the postal service.
  • In Japan, a large gathering of loyal Kangoo customers is organized outdoors at the foot of Mount Fuji: the Kangoo Jamboree. 

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