On test: Renault Trafic Van

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Renault’s Trafic at first sight impresses with its not overly aggressive ‘face’, black grill and slanty ‘eyes’. There is some yellow piping around the grill and spot lamps at bumper level. Along the sides a yellow flash with the legend, ‘Formula Edition’. Also there are side steps set on a chrome pipe for want of a better word. Obviously the press office has gone to town on the optional extras and the styling features.

All this apart a van is for carrying stuff, the tools of one’s trade or cargo. Like most vans nowadays they are a joy to travel in and do verge on car like to drive. We took the Trafic on a 100 mile round trip on motorways and A and B roads. This being in January the heater exceled itself and soon we had to turn it down as we were starting to almost pant. The controls are all in the traditional place with the handbrake to the left of the driver’s seat instead of some where its on the right. There are six gears in the easily to operate gearbox all nicely spaced and all in the normal places.

Out on the road you soon find the van can lift up its skirts and be away quickly to the motorway legal maximum. Like most vans it doesn’t like a strong side wind but keeping the speed down makes for a safe journey. A feature that would have been unheard of a few years ago is cruise control and a speed limiter. I like cruise control as it allows the driver to concentrate on other things other than worrying about maintaining a legal speed. The best of us can allow the speed to creep up when concentrating on other aspects of driving.

At the rear of the van I found a completely boarded out cargo space in good looking plywood. Lining is a good way of preventing ‘dings’ that show on the outside by to anything hitting the inside of the bodywork, this does terrible things to the trade in value. There are six Anchor rings at floor level, six more at ‘waist’ level and four at the near roof level but just at the front and the centre. On the bulkhead just behind the passenger seat is a small hatch hinged at the top which stays open magnetically. Under the seat inside the cab is another hatch and this allows a ladder or pipes etc that are longer than the rear cargo space, cant see this being welcomed by a passenger though.

Visibility is excellent with the double mirrors on both sides and wipers nicely sweep the windscreen when there’s rain. Inside the cab all is comfort with a good few cubby holes, with a glove locker and a lid that covers a cubby hole on top on the dashboard on the passenger side. In the middle an open space able to contain a laptop and where you find a USB point to keep your phone/tablet battery charged. There is also a 12 volt socket on the dash without as is usual nowadays a cigarette lighter.

The driver’s seat is very comfortable but the passenger seats my passenger found were a touch short in the squab. There is an option to have a single ‘full size’ seat for those who just want one passenger and go long distance but you have to forego the option of the under seat hatch for long items. You also get two cup holders, very important!

All in all an excellent medium sized van, a delight to drive.

Specification:

Engine Type4 Cylinder Diesel Euro 5,16 Valve
Capacity1,598cc
BHP125 @ 3,500rpm
Torque300Nm @ 1,500rpm
Gearbox Transmission6 Speed Manual
BrakesDiscs front drums rear + ABS
SteeringPower assisted
Turning Circle11,84 (between kerbs)
Turns lock to lock3.2

 

Dimensions:

Overall Length4,999mm
Overall Width2,283 mm (Including Mirrors)
Height1,971mm
Wheelbase3,098mm
Load space length2,537mm
Load Space Width2,662mm
Internal height1,387mm
Gross Vehicle Weight3,500Kgs
Kerb Weight2,980Kgs
Payload1,077Kgs
Fuel Tank Capacity80 Litres
Tyre Size205/65

 
 
Reproduced from The Professional Painter and Decorator Spring 2018 issue

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