Since 1998, Renault has been at the top of the van charts as the undisputed number one van manufacturer both in France and Europe; a fact solidified by its 14.6% market share in 2013. So rivals will be shaking their fists with a disbelieving face as Renault introduce the all-new Trafic and new Master as a final renewal of its entire LCV line-up, especially as it follows the release of the new Kangoo back in the summer of last year too!
THE RENAULT TRAFIC
Once the third best-selling LCV in Europe (it recently lost that place in April this year), the Renault Trafic still boast proudly that it is the market leader in France and, to protect that status, Renault have decided to re-develop the van for 2014.
Hence the arrival of the all-new Trafic which takes what was there in the Trafic Mark II in the shape of its strengths and then adds in some key improvements. Sure, it is still as robust as ever, but there is a new design based on the Renault brand’s new styling cues, and also the all-new Trafic is even bigger, meaning that it is more comfortable and more practical than any Trafic before it.
Both the front and rear overhangs have been extended (by 10cm and 11cm respectively) which has led to an increase in maximum load lengths of 3.75m and 4.15m for the L1 and L2 versions respectively – a new standard benchmark for the market. Drivers will be pleased to hear that the cabin has also been redesigned with the bulkhead 3cm further back to squeeze more comfort in.
For the work-minded – and remember that this is a commercial vehicle – the Trafic is also intended to work as a mobile office with the cabin featuring smartphone and tablet cradles, laptop computer storage, and a removable A4-size clipboard to make life that little bit easier for the working customer.
Engine-wise, the all-new Trafic is powered by the R9M engine with either one (90 and 115hp) or two (Twin Turbo, 120 and 140hp) turbochargers, depending on driver preference, but remember that the twin turbo variants are fitted with Stop & Start as standard. And when it comes to fuel efficiency, the Trafic offers up an encouraging 49.6mpg (combined) with the ENERGY dCi 120 engine under the bonnet – adding an attractive 5.8mpg to the average business user’s fuel efficiency.
The new Trafic should be here in the UK in September 2014.
THE RENAULT MASTER
Manufactured, like all of Renault’s LCV range, in France, Renault’s large Master van is a best-seller in France, Algeria and Morocco, ending up in 4th position in the European market with and 11.9% share, with thi share rising to 13.4% in the Euromed-Africa region where it sits proudly 2nd in the table.
Renault would like to keep the Master up there in both tables so the renewal was commissioned, and now finished, with the added goal of continuing to meet the needs of its customers.
Under the bonnet, to help achieve their aim, the engine range features Twin Turbo technology combining extra horsepower (up to 165hp) with lower fuel consumption (for a saving of 1.5 litres/100km). The travelling comfort and safety credentials of the new Master have also been increased with the addition of a Wide View Mirror to eliminate the bugbear that is the rear blind spot and the fitting into the new Master of latest-generation ESC that includes Extended Grip, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control.
And finally Renault have squeezed into the new Master range a rear-wheel drive L4 panel van version (H2 and H3) with single rear wheels, which is aimed fairy and squarely at express courier businesses, and a redesigned, dynamic and modern front end based on Renault’s latest brand identity.
A late starter on the road (passing his test at the age of 31) Kevin drives. He gets into the car, starts it, and drives. No matter what car, it is being on the road that matters, and enjoying the feeling of being there. A passionate writer about many subjects, and author of an as-yet unpublished book based on his misspent youth in a pop band in the 80's, he works as a freelance copywriter in the North-West of England.
Away from his laptop keyboard, Kevin is a dedicated husband, dad, grandad and AFC Wimbledon football fan currently attempting to indoctrinate his 4 year old grandson into the music of his youth by playing The Jam on repeat throughout the house. He also performs stand-up comedy under the name of AFC Baggy and is the current Preston Comedian of the Year.