Renault Kangoo tyres
Style and performance aren’t what the Kangoo is known for, but it has proved a surprisingly common sight on Britain’s roads nonetheless. The Kangoo (effectively a small MPV) and the Kangoo Express (a panel van) were both launched in 1999, with the original models built on the chassis of the Clio. A 2009 facelift saw the chassis of the Scenic phased in instead, but to all outward appearances both generations are very similar.
To label the Kangoo as a ‘van with windows’ is to undersell it a little unfairly. It may lack for looks but it’s a lot of car for little money, even if a white version might have you mistaken for Mr Whippy. Extra height and sliding rear doors make the Kangoo a practical option. A lack of creature comforts – the car is almost unique in having rubber mats everywhere instead of carpet – is actually a strong point, not a disadvantage. These ‘wash down’ qualities mean that the Kangoo is more than ready for all that dogs, children and runs to the rubbish dump can hurl at it.
Though the Kangoo may lack bells and whistles, it’s got lots of room and solid enough engines. It may roll around a bit in corners but it doesn’t lack for grip and it’s hardly a vehicle which will be driven hard anyway. Production of the MPV version ceased in 2012 but second-hand versions are plentiful enough, while various editions of the van are still being made. These vans are small but solid, a sensible and cheap option for tradesmen and the self-employed.
Tyre choice for a Kangoo falls into two distinct categories – the demands of the MPV will usually be different to those of the different Kangoo vans. Key to the MPV version is its cheap and cheerful nature and thus it’s hardly a car built for large motorway mileages. Economy tyres are by far the most popular option. Not all of these are the same and wet grip ratings should be the key to choosing between them. It is an especially important factor in this instance as the Kangoo features good grip for such a tall car – the wrong tyre will compromise that. In contrast, fuel economy ratings of these replacement tyre choices will be less important than grip levels and price.
Kangoo vans are manufactured in various different versions. These feature different payloads and therefore there will be some difference in tyre load ratings. These ratings are shown on the tyre’s sidewall along with its size. The smallest Kangoo van is built for only small loads, so a tyre designed for the MPV version of the vehicle will be fine. However, larger models are built for more bulk, meaning that a stronger tyre will be needed. This can be a thorny business but the best advice is to replace a tyre with one of a similar load rating. For extra reassurance, recommended tyre load ratings will be given in each van’s owner manual and on a plaque inside the driver’s door or by the fuel cap lid. Tyres with higher load ratings are usually reinforced. The knock-on effect of this is that they’ll cost a little bit more. However, cutting corners to cut costs is never a good idea, and the safety of the van will be jeopardised by fitting the wrong tyres.