Renault Master update – January
The biggest vehicle ever to wear the Renault badge, the Master van and ute family, will kick off the year with a significant update.
Headlining the upgrades is a new twin-turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing up to 123kW and 360Nm, and a new electric steering system.
New safety equipment includes revised electronic stability control with load sensing, hill start assist, a trailer sway detection feature, and a traction control assistance system designed to help keep things moving on mud, snow and sand.
Cosmetic changes include a revised grille that brings the 2015 Master into line with the rest of the Renault range.
Read more about the Renault Master.
LDV V80 auto – Q1
Automatic versions of the Chinese-made LDV V80 will reach local showrooms during the first quarter of 2015.
The six-speed automated manual gearbox is a $2000 option across the three-model van range, making the short-wheelbase low-roof variant $31,990, the long-wheelbase mid-roof $36,990 and the long-wheelbase high-roof $38,990 (all prices driveaway).
The V80 is powered by a 100kW/330Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder VM Motori diesel engine that uses 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, rear sensors, cruise control and dual sliding side doors, though the V80 misses out on side airbags and electronic stability control.
Read more about the LDV V80.
Renault Trafic – April/May
The all-new Trafic van family will reach Australia in autumn.
The third-generation mid-sized model sits on a brand new platform and (overseas, at least) can be configured with two different lengths, two different heights, and in delivery van, crew-cab, cab-chassis and minibus body styles.
The 2015 Trafic will be powered by a new 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, available in single- and twin-turbo specifications – the latter promising combined cycle fuel consumption of less than 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres.
Unlike the outgoing Spanish-built second-gen model, the new Trafic will be assembled at Renault’s factory in Sandouville, France.
Read more about the Renault Trafic.
Mercedes-Benz V-Class - June
Around the middle of the year will come a trio of new models. Potentially the first of these will be the V-Class van-based people-mover, which will replace the Valente and Viano.
The new, more passenger-focused model is described by the German company as “the Mercedes among MPVs”, claiming the new model sets benchmarks for the segment in design, comfort, versatility, efficiency and safety.
The car features standard equipment such as a cross-wind assistance system, an interior microphone which transmits the conversation from the front seats to those in the rear – a similar system to that seen in the new-generation Toyota Kluger — new touchscreen infotainment system with an upgraded COMAND media interface.
Hyundai iLoad and iMax update - Q4
Rounding out the year will be an update to the iMax people-mover and iLoad van twins, though details on this are a little murky. You won’t see a right-hand-drive version of the larger H350 until 2016 at the earliest.
Volkswagen Caddy – Q4
An updated version of the Volkswagen Caddy small van range should hit showrooms towards the end of 2015.
The new model is set to see some major styling changes over the existing model, with a revamped front end, revised rear and updated interior.
Expect to see the production car unveiled by mid-year.
Read more about the Volkswagen Caddy.
Volkswagen T6 Transporter – Q4
There’ll be an all-new Volkswagen Transporter van available to buyers by the fourth quarter of 2015.
The new T6 van range will likely see improvements in terms of its equipment, while a heavily revised exterior (but with the traditional boxy back-end, improved for better capacity and cargo holding ability) will help the VW fight against the benchmark-setting Ford Transit.
Read how the T5 Transporter load lugger fared in our 2014 mid-size van comparison review. (Note: Volkswagen eT concept pictured)