If you are looking for a small fuel-efficient car van in the USA, your options are really limited. It seems that the automotive product planners feel that Americans want some giant overpriced diesel pickup if they own a small delivery service or need a junk hauler. The fact that Europe, Asia, Africa and the rest of the Americas are filled with compact delivery vans is completely ignored by major OEMs, with the exception of Ford who was recently introduced the Transit Connect into the US market. However if the splash screen on the Ford Transit website that reads “Impressive Horsepower and Torque*” is any indicator, they still don’t get that these vehicles are about usability and not driveability. So, if you want a miserable driver that is wonderful as a compact junk hauler, find this 2007 Renault Kangoo offered for $5,500 in Oxnard, CA via craigslist.
As they used to say in communist Russia, a tool for each job and a job for each tool — and this isn’t the car you use for tackling the Nürburgring. This is the car (van) you use for hauling your band’s drum set around, or hauling race car engines to the machine shop. It isn’t sexy looking, it doesn’t need to be fast, or have enough to torque to haul a 28 ft yacht up the Grapevine without slowing down.
There it is. It has an engine. What kind? Who cares. Its got some cylinders. They go boom boom. With any luck, it is small and will give you good fuel economy. Heck, its even got a manual gearbox, good for short shifting to save on fuel economy. The bigger question you should be asking is how on earth does this thing have valid plates and a sticker for California street use.
Slow down. Don’t be in a such a hurry. Throw a mattress in the back of this thing and just take a nap until traffic dies down. firstname.lastname@example.org