Nathan Willams found this R4 Fourgonnette (van) in Bristol, and it’s in very suitable company: two compact vans of the modern persuasion. Yes, automotive inflation is just as real as any other. The Citroen Berlingo on the right is an especially auspicious pick, as it’s the same size as Renault’s Kangoo compact van, and essentially a direct evolution of the R4 Fourgonnette.
No, those ally wheels weren’t factory options, but they look very suitable. Someone loves this little bread box.
I love the face on these.
Actually, it’s Citroen Berlingo. ^_^;
The Renault Kangoo would be the direct evolution of the R4 van. The one in the picture is a Citroën Berlingo, very similar to the Kangoo. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that these have grown a lot in the last decades, as you mention.
The R4 would just about fit inside the taillight on those other vans.
The wheels are nicely Renaultian, with three holes matching the three lugs.
The wheels may be the rally spec wheels designed by Peter Stevens that were run by both Renault and Alpine, both 3 and four lug versions were made with 3 and 4 spokes respectively.
They look like the ones fitted to (some? all?) Renault 5 Gordinis in the UK. Not the first time I’ve seen them on an R4 – it’s a great look.
I think the Gordini was called R5 Alpine elsewhere but Chrysler (and subsequently Peugeot) owned the name Alpine in Britain.
Was going to say they looked like Alpine/Gordini alloys.
Amazed at the number of city vans (Ford Connect, ProMaster City, Nissan NV200) on the streets today. Every plumber, appliance repair, security system, & handy man has one.
Saw one of these on the Autobahn today on my way home. CC effect works
Small vans are another thing that the US carmakers got wrong. Remember when they thought no one would ever buy 4 door pickups even though they were super popular all over the world? Same with abandoning sedans, they make sedans for the rest of the world, all they needed to do was import some so as not to cede the market to the Asians. As for small vans, for some bizarre reason Ford seems to think buying Volkswagen vans is better than redesigning the Transit Connect. I guess the next Promaster City will be based on the Peugeot Partner or Citroen Berlingo.
I agree with your assessments on what US carmakers got wrong. But the biggest issue is not with the automakers, but the customers, or more specifically, what customers want. US customers are used to, ingrained on, big. Not the best, just the biggest. So the issue of sedans is more that the CUV/SUVs that supplanted them are bigger, taller, and thus, more desirable for those customers. And as long as customers are not buying them, why import sedans, especially when their replacement CUVs are more profitable?
The thing with Ford ceding their small van to VAG is that it is likely a good idea. They just don’t do small well, while VAG does. And Fiat, part of Stellantis, will likely still be the developer of the replacement to the current Promaster City, just as the current is based on the Doblo.
French plates. I wonder if it’s a fresh import.
Regarding the size of vans, the Transit would be more directly compared with a Renault Estafette, and although the Berlingo is theoretically successor to the 2CV van (as the Kangoo is to the R4) it’s grown to the point that Citroën also offers the smaller Nemo.
Same thing happened with Renault cars. The Clio replaced the R5, but a newer Clio looks massive beside a 5, and the smaller Twingo slots in beneath the Clio.
Ford Ka & Fiesta, VW Up and Polo etc etc.
The Renault Express, based on the second gen R5, was the successor to the R4 van. Introduced in the mid-eighties. I caught this fine example 5 years ago.
Recently, a brand new Renault Express van arrived on the market. Fully based on the Dacia Dokker.
And the Berlingo isn’t the direct successor to the 2CV either.
I meant it in the indirect sense eg “I will bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors”.
As my wife once did with her fingers crossed behind her back.
The Citroën is on UK plates but also carries a French flag so highly likely the owner is French
This looks like something Inspector Clousseau would be using while disguised as, say, a dogcatcher: “Is that your doog?”
Very nice – lots of Gallic charm. These small vans reminded me that we’ve yet to do a post on a Toyota Sienta yet, the smallest 3 row van here in JDM-land. I’ll have to work on that…
The older one would certainly be my pick, but then I’m the guy who drove a Mini 850 Countryman from Palo Alto to Nashville. With his girlfriend.
There was a very sensibly-sized Renault minivan I’d try really hard to buy, given the chance; I loved it when I saw first photos, then saw several on my second trip to Paris around 2017 and confirmed my crush. As striking as that 2001 or so Fiat Multipla but not that goofy.
*VERY* cute and I ASS-U-ME that if one understands the peculiarities of it and knows how to properly maintain it and not flog it, it’ll be perfectly suitable as a *very* light truck .
I wonder if I could fir a Motocycle in the back….