Yet another plumber's workhorse, you say? Today Renault launched the 'New Kangoo Express', the follow-up to the successful Kangoo that has sold over 1.3 million units since its launch in 1997.

Yet another plumber's workhorse, you say? Today Renault launched the 'New Kangoo Express', the follow-up to the successful Kangoo that has sold over 1.3 million units since its launch in 1997. Two weeks ago Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen announced a new jointly developed van concept, creating a new market for "light vans" that are half the size of traditional compact vans. Despite their two-week advance, we think that Renault's nailed it, and here's why.

The New Kangoo Express is supposed to be bigger, better and more practical than its predecessor. The car has grown to 4.21 m in length (+17 cm, of which wheelbase has been lengthened by 10 cm) and to 1.83 m in width (+16 cm). The Fiat, Peugeot and Citroen light van models are noticeably smaller, measuring in at roughly 3.80m. This is, however, exactly why the Renault's got the upper-hand. Most middle-of-the-road car enthusiasts don't know what a Euro Pallet is (yeah, what is it?) but anyone who's been in the materials handling business will tell you that it's the standard 120 x 80 x 12 cm pallet widely used in Europe. The New Kangoo Express will fit a Euro Pallet and the light vans won't. Renault's also given the Kangoo several practical stowing solutions, with a 15-litre lidded glowbox, an overhead parcel shelf and an A4-sized dashboard stowage.

The engine range includes three diesel powerplants (70 hp, 85 hp and 105 hp variants of the 1.5 dCi engine) and two petrol variants, the 90 hp 1.6 8V and the 105 hp 1.6 16V. The 85 bhp diesel will sip 5.2 liters per 100 km, and clear you of any environmental guilt with 137g of carbon dioxide per kilometer. For full details, see press release below.

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Renault Unveils 'New Kangoo Express'