The What Van? Road Test: Renault Trafic

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


Ren Traf Rear


The Renault Trafic light commercial comes with a three-year/100,000-mile warranty, which is a step backwards from the four-year/100,000-mile package that embraced its predecessor.

There is no mileage limit for the first two years.

Emergency roadside assistance is provided for three years after the date of first registration.

The paintwork warranty lasts for three years and an anti-corrosion perforation warranty protects the van for 12 years.  

Service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles.

Renault quotes a 48.7mpg official fuel consumption figure. We achieved closer to 45.0mpg.

Fuel economy can be enhanced by pushing the Eco button. Do so and you alter the torque settings and rate of acceleration among other functions, hopefully resulting in an up to 10% cut in fuel consumption.

If you are lightly laden it makes little discernible difference to your vehicle’s performance.

If you have a lot of weight onboard, however, then pushing the Eco button will have an impact, and it’s up to you to decide what is more important to you: speed of delivery or fuel usage and CO2 emissions.

Stop/start is fitted as standard on all Trafics, and can be switched off if necessary.

Regenerative braking under the Energy Smart Management banner is standard across the line-up too in a further bid to save fuel and reduce emissions.

External side rubbing strips help protect the body and metallic silver paint from minor bumps and bangs.

Options fitted

Ply lining (£730), Offside sliding door (£280), Rear parking camera (£250), Passenger airbag (£220), Key card (£95)

Renault Trafic LL30 Energy zdCi 170 Auto EDC Sport Van

Price (ex VAT)    £30,050
Price range (ex VAT)     £22,800-£30,050
Gross payload     1,193kg
Load volume    6.0m3
Load length     2,937mm
Load width (min/max)     1,268/1,662mm
Load bay height     1,387mm
Loading height     552mm
Rear door aperture     1,320 x 1,391mm
Side door aperture    1,284 x 1,030mm
Gross vehicle weight    3,050kg
Braked trailer towing weight     2,000kg
Residual value      19.5%*
Cost per mile      59.4p*
Engine size/power    1,997cc, 170hp @ 3,500pm
Torque     380Nm @ 1,500rpm
Gearbox     6spd Efficient Dual Clutch
Fuel economy    48.7mpg
Fuel tank     80 litres
CO2      153g/km
Warranty     3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals     2yrs/25,000mls
Insurance group     48A
Price as tested      £31,625

*after 4yrs/80,000mls; source: KwikCarcost


Ford Transit Custom
Price (ex VAT) £22,840-£42,950
Load volume     6.0-8.3m3
Gross payload    685-1,459kg
Engines     105hp, 130hp, 170hp, 185hp 2.0 diesel, 92.9kW PHEV

Verdict: Without doubt the benchmark against which all other vans of its size have to be judged. Ride, handling and overall performance are all to a remarkably high standard. Check out both the MHEV mild hybrid and the PHEV plug-in hybrid – sound reasons for What Van? presenting Ford with its well-deserved 2020 Green Manufacturer of the Year award.

Peugeot Expert
Price (ex VAT)  £21,975-£32,960
Load volume     4.6-6.6m3
Gross payload    960-1469kg
Engines    100hp 1.5 diesel, 120hp, 148hp, 174hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: An impressive package with most of the facilities a driver is likely to need, and a decent warranty, sensible service intervals and acceptable fuel economy should keep the operator happy. Peugeot’s Expert is also marketed through Citroen dealers under the Dispatch banner, through Vauxhall dealers as the Vivaro, and through Toyota dealers as the Proace.

VW Transporter
Price (ex VAT) £21,635-£36,915
Load volume     5.8-9.3m3
Gross payload  718-1274kg
Engines  90hp, 110hp, 150hp, 199hp diesel

Verdict: The Transporter has had a mild makeover. Now designated the T6.1, it follows the model’s recent tradition of placing safety centre stage, with crosswind assist now standard. While neither the interior nor exterior styling will provoke too much excitement, the Transporter is still seemingly built to last forever and RVs are to die for. Look out for the electric e-Transporter.

The Final Verdict



Plenty of clever, though not necessarily original, ideas.



Lots of storage space but the middle seat is a compromise.  



Disappointing on quite smooth roads without a big load.



In-cab noise is well-suppressed, but dash has an ill-fitting lid.

Load area


Easy to access from three sides, with lots of tie-down points. 



Both are to a high standard.



A well-matched package.

Standard equipment


No shortage of goodies if you opt for Sport trim.

Operating costs


A shorter warranty than the one on its predecessor.

What Van? subjective rating


Worthwhile package, but not up to Transit Custom standard.


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