Renault Trafic Passenger long-term test – First Report

Date: Friday, August 5, 2022   |   Author: James Dallas

James Dallas welcomes the people-moving version of Renault’s popular medium van onto What Van?’s long-term fleet.

As we reported in a previous IVOTY article, there is far more to a van than simply serving as a load-lugging workhorse.

The majority of van platforms, in particular those producing medium-sized vans, are versatile and varied when it comes to aspects such as drivetrains, traction ability and body shapes.

The majority of light commercial vehicles marketed in the UK may be sold as panel vans but that is far from being the whole story.

In recent years passenger car technology has become increasingly influential in the medium van sector, particularly in terms of safety equipment, driver assistance systems and infotainment. Going in the other direction, van platforms are now more adept than ever at providing sophisticated, refined transport for passengers through crew vans and minibus people carriers.

It is therefore a pleasure to welcome the Renault Trafic Passenger Van onto our long-term fleet. The revised model arrived in UK showrooms in December last year sporting a new front end, which gives the van a more muscular, striking appearance than before. Changes include LED lighting with C-shaped running lights and a redesigned bumper that supports the upright grille. It is a handsome-looking van that comes in four specification levels: Business, Business+, Sport and Sport+ and is powered by a 2L diesel engine with a choice of 110hp, 130hp, 150hp and 170hp outputs. All come with the six-speed manual transmission as standard, which is the system I have opted for, but the 150hp and 170hp engines are also available with an optional dual-clutch auto.

The updated Trafic comes in short- and long-wheelbase body lengths, with both having the option of low or high roof heights.

My Passenger Van is powered by the 150hp engine and is in the short- wheelbase, low-roof body style, which does not prevent it from comfortably accommodating nine seats, including the driver’s seat. It is in the Sport trim level, which delivers an impressively well-equipped interior, including satnav, 8in Easy Link touchscreen, a DAB radio with remote controls on a steering column stalk, and Bluetooth. Smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple Carplay are included in the package and a useful feature is the wireless smartphone charger that comes as part of the Technology Pack 2 along with the hands-free key card and engine start button for £264, excluding VAT.

The satnav package comes with connected navigation services for three years, and includes Google search for places of interest, live traffic information and weather forecasts.

Other features include cruise control with a speed limiter, a driver’s airbag, electric windows, and heated, power-adjustable and power-folding exterior mirrors complete with a wide-angle section. The heating and ventilation system is controlled by chunky, easy-to-use controls, and includes air-conditioning. Mention should also be made of the instrument panel’s 4.2in TFT (Thin Film Transistor) colour display.

Renault has reworked the interior of the vehicle with the introduction of a full-width horizontal dashboard that provides an airy sense of space to the cabin.
The new gear lever is an improvement, fitting snugly into the hand, as is the
new chunky and compact steering wheel, which is adjustable for reach and rake. Aside from the Sport’s already generous specification, my van also comes with several extra cost options, one of which is the Parking Pack (£630), which offers 360º sensors and a rear-view camera, which provides a comprehensive view but, disconcertingly, one that seems to be delivered from a helicopter hovering high above the van’s roof! 

Overall, however, first impressions are favourable, the Trafic Passenger feels well equipped to hold its own in a competitive sector.

Report card: Refinement = 4/5

The Trafic Passenger Sport is stylish, sophisticated, quiet and comfortable.

Renault Trafic Passenger SL28 Blue dCi 150 Sport 

Mileage 2,540mls

Official combined fuel economy 38.7mpg

Our average consumption 34.0mpg

Price range (ex. VAT) £34,000–£42,140 

Price (ex. VAT) £38,340

Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls

Service intervals 24,000mls

Load length 1,152mm (seat row three folded) 

Load width (min/max) 1,268mm/1,662mm

Load bay height 1,396mm 

Load volume 2.5m3 (seat row three folded)

Gross payload 929kg

Engine size/power 1,997cc/150hp   

Gearbox 6-spd manual

CO2 192g/km

Options (prices ex VAT)

Advanced Driver Assist Pack £1,584

Parking Pack £630

Technology Pack 2£264


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