The What Van? Road Test: Renault Trafic

Date: Monday, March 2, 2020   |   Author: Steve Banner


Ren Traf Engine

Engine and gearbox

Equipped with a variable-geometry turbocharger, the Trafic’s four-cylinder common-rail 16-valve diesel produces maximum power at 3,500rpm. Top torque of 380Nm kicks in at 1,500rpm.

Selective catalytic reduction is fitted, which means that AdBlue from a 20-litre reservoir is required to help ensure the engine meets Euro6d-temp emission standards.

Ignition keys have changed radically over the past few years. Our Trafic came with an optional flat piece of plastic that functions as a hands-free key that allows you to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle. It houses a conventional key that can be slid out, detached and used to unlock the vehicle if the system fails to function.


Having started the engine and pulled away from rest you quickly discover that there is little that is wrong with the Trafic’s on-the-road performance as it accelerates strongly through the gears.

The EDC gearbox provides a smooth change, with no hesitation or jerkiness. We switched to manual mode on a couple of occasions, but soon concluded that it offered no significant advantages, switched back, and let the gearbox get on with things unmolested.

A lot of work has been done to eliminate  engine and wind noise and has proved to be successful. In-cab noise levels are well under control and the Trafic handles precisely, with no tendency to veer off-course or start lurching around as you accelerate through bends.

Drawbacks? When lightly laden the van’s ride tends to become choppy on even the smoothest of surfaces, but that’s a characteristic it shares with many other light commercials.


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