2020 Renault Trafic Review
Our comprehensive guide to the Renault Trafic Panel Van and Passenger version.
The Renault Trafic name is something of a stalwart in the van world, and the latest version has improved engines.
The Renault Trafic has been around in some form since 1980 and is now in its third generation. It’s the company’s mid-size van and competes against models like the Ford Transit and Volkswagen Transporter. Until 2018 it was also produced as the Opel Vivaro, and it continues to be sold as a Nissan NV300 and Fiat Talento, both of which are produced in the same Renault factory. The current generation was introduced in 2014, but it more recently came in for an update in 2019 that brought refreshed styling and updated engines to comply with the latest emissions regulations.
Renault Ireland sells the Trafic as a Panel Van and a Crew Van (crew cab) and is available in two body lengths and with either a low or high roof, making a total of four size variants. The Crew Van features a second row of seats and a smaller cargo area. Buyers get the choice of three versions of Renault’s latest 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder dCi diesel engine. These range in power from 120- to 145- to 170hp. Both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearboxes are available, although the base 120hp engine comes only with a manual. All models are front-wheel drive, but do feature a Grip Xtend system to improve traction in all conditions.
Entry-level Business vans feature standard equipment that includes 16-inch steel wheels with trims, solid 180-degree rear doors, a single sliding side door, full steel bulkhead, electric front windows and electrically adjustable door mirrors, full LED headlights and a DAB radio with a USB port. With the mid-grade Business+ Panel Van, you get some useful additional features, namely a load-through bulkhead, rear parking sensors, a smartphone dock and mobile office setup when the middle passenger seat folds down, containing a detachable clipboard and laptop storage. The top-spec Sport Panel Van gains 17-inch alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, front fog lights, cruise control, leather steering wheel and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation.
Maximum payloads in the Renault Trafic Panel Van range between 1,036-1,240kg, while the Crew Cab ranges between 1,087-1,132kg. Usable floor length in the short wheelbase is 2,537mm while the long wheelbase gets 2,937mm, while usable height 1,387mm and 1,898mm in the low and high roofs respectively and the longer and taller Panel Van can accommodate up to three euro pallets. In models with the load-through hatch, that space measures 510- by 222mm. It is rated to tow up to 2,000kg braked and 750kg unbraked.
There is also a nine-seat Passenger Van that comes in a short or long wheelbase and in three specification grades: Business, Sport Nav and a posh SpaceClass. Passenger Vans come fully glazed, get sliding doors on each side and a single lift-up tailgate at the rear.
Official fuel economy across the three engines ranges between 52.3-48.7mpg (5.4-5.8 litres/100km) and CO2 emissions range from 143-153g/km. With the mid-range dCi 145, the automatic transmission improves fuel economy from manual’s 52.3mpg (5.4 litres/100km) to 48.7mpg (5.8 litres/100km). Similarly, with the range-topping dCi 170 engine, the automatic also claims improved fuel economy of 48.7mpg (5.8 litres/100km) compared to 51.4mpg (5.5 litres/100km) with the manual. All engines use AdBlue for the exhaust treatment and feature a 20-litre tank for this. All new Renault vans are accompanied by a five-year or 200,000-kilometre warranty as standard, and that also includes five years of roadside assistance with the possibility of a replacement vehicle, which will be useful to many professionals.
A wide variety of body versions and specification grades mean there’s a good chance of finding a model that suits, combined with a decent range of engines and proven comfort when driving makes the Trafic an appealing prospect.