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The Renault Trafic Minibus is a medium-sized MPV that's practical and good to drive. Whether you need to carry up to nine people or have cavernous boot space, the Trafic Minibus is available in various configurations to suit your every need.
Our Renault Trafic Minibus review covers:
The Renault Trafic Minibus is now in its third generation, showcasing a sleek and modern exterior design. It has a distinctive front grille with horizontal slats, creases in the bodywork, and dynamic headlights. It's certainly one of the better-looking MPVs on the market.
The Trafic Minibus comes standard with nine seats that are arranged in three rows of three. The first two rows are a bit tight with not much head and legroom, and we'd avoid the middle seat in the front as you're squished between two passengers and have to battle for legroom with the gear stick.
If nine seats are excessive, the Trafic Minibus is also available with eight, six, or five seats. Here, the front bench will be replaced with a singular and much comfier front seat. Unless you desperately need nine seats, we'd recommend one of these configurations as they offer much more space in the front.
The Trafic Minibus is available in two body lengths: SWB and LWB. Unlike other vans, the LWB version doesn't increase passenger space, all it does is increase the length of the boot.
With eight or nine seats, boot space comes in at 1,050 litres for SWB or 1,890 litres for the LWB version. Fold the third row of seats down, and this increases to 2,625 litres or 3,570 litres.
If you've opted for the five or six-seat version, boot space comes in at a massive 3,360 litres or 4,200 litres.
Climb inside the Trafic Minibus, and you'll be greeted with a pleasant interior. There are various plastics dotted about the dashboard, which gives it a nice look, while there are a few premium materials, such as chrome highlights around the air vents and on the steering wheel. We do like the interior, but it's not as luxurious as the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.
Universal across the Trafic Minibus range is an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB ports. It's a bit on the basic side compared to the Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle, but it's more than good enough. It also comes with a 4.2-inch colour information display behind the steering wheel.
Two trim levels are available for the Trafic Passenger: Advance and Extra.
Advance has 16-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, tinted glass, electric windows on the driver's side, a parcel shelf, KOMPO upholstery, an eight-inch touchscreen display, a 4.2-inch digital driver display, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, driver attention alert, and cruise control with speed limiter.
Extra has 17-inch alloy wheels, JAVA upholstery, automatic windscreen wipers and headlights, and an optional singular passenger seat and a versatile third row of seats.
Three diesel engines are available for the Trafic Minibus, with a power output of 110hp, 150hp, or 170hp. The first option is available solely with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the mid-range unit adds the option of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the latter is available with only the automatic.
The entry-level unit is a bit too lacklustre for our liking. Getting from 0-62mph in a sluggish 16.5 seconds, it will really test your patience, especially if you've got nine passengers on board.
We'd recommend going for either the 150 or 170 version. Decreasing 0-62mph time to 13.6 and 11.6 seconds, they provide the added power that's needed. Although you won't find yourself flying along, they make for a much more enjoyable driving experience.
For fuel economy, you'll be looking at around 38mpg across the board.
On the road, the Trafic Minibus is a good MPV to drive. It has precise steering at both low and high speeds, and the suspension deals well with potholes and bumps in the road.
If you plan on using the Trafic Minibus around town, you'll have few issues with its performance. Its handling is agile, which makes parking and manoeuvring city streets relatively straightforward, and the range of driver assistance tech that comes as standard is always useful.
Increase it to motorway speeds, which can be tricky, and the Trafic Minibus feels out of its comfort zone. There's a fair bit of engine noise at cruising speed, which is only made worse when there's a full load.
However, this is countered by excellent performance on country roads. You can go into corners without fear thanks to secure road grip, which is enhanced by the standard electronic stability control.
Prices for the new Renault Trafic Minibus start from £44,160.00 OTR* or to lease from £560.29 per month.
Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.
*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.