Long Term Test: Renault Trafic

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015   |   Author: Steve Banner

If you're of a forgretful nature then maybe our Renault is not the van for you, writes Steve Banner. Now, where the hell have those house keys got to?

If there is a problem with our Renault Trafic's Eco button then it is one of forgetfulness. We forget to press it, only remembering to do so when we are halfway through a trip.

That is a pity because that useful button close to the gear lever has the potential to cut fuel usage by up to 10%. It does so by altering the throttle pedal's response and reducing engine power.

Pushing it makes little or no difference to Trafic's performance on motorways and dual carriageways, but you can certainly feel the effect if you are tackling a steep hill, even when lightly-laden.

The impact is not all that dramatic however and the fuel saving more than compensates for the slight drop in speed. We cannot help but think that Renault should make the ECO setting the standard one, with the button used to cancel rather than engage it.

Adopt that approach, and forgetfulness would be rewarded by a better mpg figure.

Renault was about to recall the Trafic at the time of writing for a safety check on the driver's seat; not that we've noticed a problem. What we have in fact noticed is how comfortable the seat is, especially on long journeys, with ample adjustment and plenty of support in all the right places.

We are going to ask Renault's engineers to take a look at the power steering at the same time however. Periodically it emits some distinctly unhealthy noises which are clearly audible to passers-by when you are parking  ("is your van alright mate?) though a little less audible to the driver.

Otherwise Trafic is behaving impeccably and we are becoming increasingly impressed (though a little frustrated too) at the amount of in-cab storage space.

Impressed by the wide variety of shelves, cubbyholes and compartments that are provided. Frustrated by the extent to which we keep forgetting where we've put things (pens, little bags of change for the car park, tape measures and so on).

Perhaps Trafic is not the van for the serially forgetful.




View The WhatVan Digital Edition