Electric powertrains may represent the future for LCVs as they continue to move into the mainstream, but clambering into the cab of the Kangoo Z.E. is a bit like taking a step back in time.
Maxi is a bit like taking a step back in time.
The first thing to strike you is the acres of shiny black plastic stretching across the doors and over the dash to the windscreen. Rap your knuckles on it and there’s no mistaking it’s from the harder end of the spectrum too.
The switchgear is all pretty old school, with circular plastic dials controlling temperature, air flow and where you want it directed.
There are buttons for turning on the radio and navigating the infotainment options and Renault continues to provide a CD player too. The steering wheel-mounted controls are small and therefore fiddly to use.
It’s also a surprise when you set off at dusk to discover the headlamps don’t have an automatic mode and you have to turn them on yourself.
Most of the controls, however, are chunky, well-positioned and easy to use and, after all, Renault makes no pretence to sell the Z.E. 33 on the back of a fancy interior.
Where sophistication is apparent is in the central seven-inch touchscreen that provides satnav and clear info about the van’s energy usage as well as access to the DAB radio. It’s a bit of a stretch to reach it from the driver’s seat though, so needs to be operated when stationary.
A large dial on the dashboard directly in the driver’s line of vision supplies clear information about the battery’s charge status, and an, albeit small, button on the steering column provides a click-through menu that tells you how many kW per mile the vehicle is using up and how many miles of range remain.
Another plus is that pairing my iPhone and downloading its contacts was painless and it is simple to receive hands-free calls.
Report Card: Cabin = 3/5
The switchgear is a bit dated but generally easy to use with good info about the Z.E.’s energy usage and mileage range.
Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. 33 Crew Van
Official range 170 miles (NEDC)
Our average range 120 miles (est)
Price Range (ex VAT, inc. PiVG) £14,194-£16,778*
Price (ex VAT) (inc PiVG) £15,334*
Service intervals 2yrs/36,000mls
Load length 1,361mm
Load width (min/max) 1,145/1,219mm
Load bay height 1,129mm
Load volume 2.4m3
Gross payload 539kg
Engine power 60hp
Gearbox 1-spd auto
* Plus battery rent from £49 pcm
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