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by Matt Campbell

The all-new 2015 Renault Trafic is now on sale in Australia, with the new-look model bringing a range of big changes to see in its third generation variation.

The French brand – which proudly claims the title of the number one van manufacturer in Europe for the last 17 years – has offered up a big rethink of its mid-size Trafic van, which boasts a stylish new look and is bigger and more spacious in the cabin and the cargo bay than ever before.

The new Renault Trafic measures up longer than its predecessor, and as it was before, the new model can be had in two body lengths: the L1H1 measures 4999 millimetres long (previously 4782mm), and the L2H2 spans 5399mm (previously 5182mm).

The wheelbase measurements for both versions remain the same: L1H1 models ride on a 3098mm wheelbase, while the longer L2H1 has a 3498mm wheelbase. In the shorter body style there’s a claimed cargo capacity of 5.2 cubic metres (up 0.2m3) and a 1235-1237kg payload, while the longer version has a 1274kg payload and now matches the claimed carrying capacity of the Toyota HiAce, which leads the class with 6.0m3.

While the existing Trafic’s load area measured 2400mm, the new model’s spans either 2537mm with the load-through trap or 3750mm without in the L1H1 versions, and either 2937mm/4150mm in the L2H1.

While the previous Trafic was sold purely with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine (with 85kW/290Nm) there are two engine options for the new Trafic.

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The entry-level engine is offered as the price-leader in the L1H1 model, with that 1.6-litre dCi 90 turbo diesel producing 66kW of power at 3500rpm and 260Nm of torque at 1500rpm.

The L1H1 can also be had with a twin-turbocharged dCi 140 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel, with that engine producing 103kW at 3500rpm and 340Nm at 1500rpm. The twin-turbo engine is the only option for the stretched L2H1 version.

Unlike the existing Trafic, the new version can only be had with a six-speed manual transmission, which could be enough to deter some fleet buyers (the second-generation version had an unconvincing robotized manual gearbox). Power is sent to the front wheels, and fuel use is claimed at 6.2 litres per 100km, no matter which version you choose – a drop of 2.1L/100km over the old model when equipped with a manual.

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Renault claims the interior of the Trafic is “designed to serve as a mobile office”, and as such the cockpit has a range of caddies for items such as laptops, tablets, clipboards and phones.

Renault has increased the standard equipment list on all models (see a breakdown below), but the brand is also offering a range of options to buyers, including dual sliding doors, glazed rear doors and rear panels, and either barn doors or a tailgate. There are also three new option packs that are said to allow “customers to upgrade comfort, convenience and technology features”, and these are only sold on the dCi 140 variants.

The Pro Pack costs $1290, and includes side and window airbags for driver and outboard passenger, a wide-view mirror (a large reflective panel in the passenger’s-side sun-visor, which is said to double the driver’s field of vision), a phone cradle, and plywood cargo bay lining and anti-slip timber floor.

The Premium Pack ($1990) consists of side and window airbags for driver and outboard passenger, wide-view mirror, phone cradle, a 7.0-inch MediaNav satellite navigation system, Arkamys twin-speaker stereo (2oW, standard speakers are 15W), 17-inch alloy wheels and “Java” cloth upholstery. The Premium Pack also includes a “premium dashboard” with closed storage compartments, chrome-plated instrument panel rings, glossy black side air vent surrounds, chrome-plated gear knob trim, leather covered gear knob and chrome-plated speaker surrounds, as well as heated seats.

The third and final version, the Lifestyle Pack, builds on the Premium pack with the addition of a hands-free key card, body-coloured front bumper, body-coloured rear light column and body-coloured door rails. It costs $2490.

While the majority of buyers will choose white, the all-new Trafic can be had in 10 different body colours, including six metallic hues (which add $800 to the price). The standout new colours are Bamboo Green, Copper Brown and Laser Red.

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Renault will cover the new Trafic with a three-year/200,000 kilometre warranty, while capped-price servicing (at $349 per calendar year for the first three scheduled services) is also available. Maintenance is due every 12 months or 30,000km, whichever comes first.

2015 Renault Trafic specifications by model:

dCi 90:

– three seat layout
– height adjustable driver’s seat with armrest
– reach and rake adjustable steering wheel
– kerb side unglazed sliding door
– electric front windows
– electric heated door mirrors
– spare wheel
– remote central locking with separate locking for cargo area
– 16 tie-down points
– electronic stability control
– two front airbags
– Grip Xtend traction control (to cope with loose surfaces such as much, sand, snow)
– hill start assist
– rear parking sensors
– Bluetooth audio and phone streaming
– USB connectivity

dCi 140 (adds/changes over dCi 90):

– front bench seat including a folding centre passenger seat with removable A4 clipboard
– 54 litres of extra storage under seat
– laptop storage
– automatic headlights
– automatic windscreen wipers
– full steel bulkhead with load-through facility
– leather steering wheel
– reverse-view camera

2015 Renault Trafic pricing, plus on-road costs (promotional driveaway pricing until 30 June in brackets):

– Trafic L1H1 dCi 90 – $33,490 ($32,990)
– Trafic L1H1 dCi 140 – $36,990 ($36,990)
– Trafic L2H1 dCi 140 – $38,490 ($38,490)

See how the previous generation Renault Trafic stacked up in our medium van comparison test.




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