1 May 2014
RENAULT released its first five-seater compact LCV light-commercial vehicle model in Australia in May 2014.
Based on the facelifted version of the X61 Kangoo that arrived six months earlier, the Maxi Crew arrived in single, van-bodied long wheelbase (LWB) guise, offering four doors and opening side windows followed by untrimmed and unglazed cargo area aft of the second row.
As with its two-seater Kangoo Maxi van sibling, the Crew’s front wheels are driven by a 1461cc 1.5-litre eight valve common-rail direct-injection four-cylinder dCi turbo-diesel, delivering 81kW of power at 4000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1750rpm.
Aided by an ECO mode that alters the pedal mapping to help save up to 10 per cent of fuel as well as a gearshift monitor, the six-speed manual-only Maxi Crew averages a 4.7 litre per 100km and 123 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions.
For now, the ageing 79kW/148Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol powerplant is reserved solely for the SWB vans, though it remains the more popular of the two engine choices because it is available with a modified four-speed automatic as well as a five-speed manual transmission.
Like all X61 Kangoos, the newcomer is based on the X84 Megane-derived J84 Scenic passenger vehicle platform, featuring electric rack and pinion steering, MacPherson strut suspension up front and a torsion beam with coil springs out back.
To refresh, last year’s facelift saw new bumpers, headlights and bonnet, as well as a concerted visual, tactile, aural and even olfactory quality improvements, in order to satisfy Mercedes-Benz, who markets a Kangoo spinoff in some markets as the Citan.
Additionally, to that end, Renault beefed up the body shell with increased and improved spot welding processes at the French factory that makes the Kangoo, created more aerodynamic (and thus quieter) exterior mirrors, incorporated better soundproofing behind the engine’s bulkhead and roof, fitted an ‘acoustic’ windscreen with noise-resistant film, and engineered redesigned engine mounts to reduce mechanical vibrations.
Inside the centre console has been restyled to look more contemporary, as part of a broader interior refresh.
Key Maxi length/width/height and wheelbase dimensions are 4666/1829/1836/3081mm compared to the SWB’s corresponding 4282/1829/1844/2691mm.
The Maxi Crew offers a 750kg tow weight rating, a 740kg payload and 1.3 cubic-metre load volume with the seats erect and 4.0m3 when they are folded.
Both Maxi models (two-seater van and Crew) offer an extra 384mm and 1.0m3 compared to the SWB. Similarly, the latter’s 611kg payload falls 219kg short of the 831kg available in the Maxi van. All Kangoos have a 1050kg two weight with a braked trailer.