Van manufacturers are well-known for using badge engineering to increase production volumes of what is basically the same product, thereby keeping their costs down, and it’s a practice writ large in the case of Renault’s front-wheel drive Trafic.
You can also buy it as a UK-assembled Vauxhall Vivaro, as a Fiat Professional Talento, which was used by Fiat to replace the ageing Scudo, and as a Nissan NV300. In an attempt to keep what it has to offer distinctive, however, Nissan has redesigned the front end of its offering so that it shares the same styling as certain other models in its range.
They include the NV400, which is – you’ve guessed it – a re-badged and slightly restyled version of Renault’s Master and Vauxhall’s Movano.
The NV300 is up for grabs with a choice of two different nominal gross weights – 2,700kg or 2,900kg – two different body lengths and two different roof heights. Load cubes range from 5.2m3 to 8.6m3, while payload capacities run from 1,075kg to 1,310kg.
Three different trim levels are on offer: Visia, Acenta and Tekna.
Power comes courtesy of a 1.6-litre dCi diesel generating either 95hp or 120hp if you opt for the single-turbocharger version, rising to 125hp or 145hp if you choose the twin variable-geometry turbo. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard in each case.
Available alongside the standard van are crew van, up to nine-seater combi and platform cab variants.
We decided to get to grips with a short-wheelbase standard-roof van nominally grossing at 2,700kg – the true gross weight is a, much higher, 2,820kg – that was powered by the 125hp diesel engine and built to Acenta specifications.