Sub $30k French van lines up against China's LDV G10 at the bottom end of the market
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Renault has launched a bargain basement version of the Trafic van in Australia designed for urban delivery drivers, priced at a pretty compelling $29,990 drive-away for ABN holders.

This puts it in the same ballpark as the Chinese LDV G10 diesel’s ABN price of $28,990, and undercuts the base Volkswagen Transporter Runner TDI250 model by $5000.

The Trafic ‘Trader Life’ launches in “response to the demand for a delivery or small business van focused on minimum cost of ownership,” the company says. Think urban couriers and the like.

It means a return of the low-output 66kW/260Nm (at 1500rpm) single-turbo version of the 1.6-litre diesel engine, which was replaced in 2017 by an 85kW model now priced at $32,990 on campaign.

This engine remains, as do the 103kW twin-turbo models. See the price table below for all the MY19 prices, though keep in mind that RRP and real-world prices rarely actually align.

While 66kW seems weedy, Renault points out that the Trader Life is “optimised for the busy urban environment where high performance is less important than low running costs”.

Fuel use is a claimed 6.2L/100km, and the payload is 1235kg. The maximum tow rating is 2 tonnes.

As with all Trafics this engine is mated with a manual gearbox, something that has put off some buyers in an increasingly auto-dominated market. The French brand is belatedly working on an auto, prompted in part by demands from Australia.

Standard equipment is nothing to get excited about but includes a height/reach/rake/lumbar adjustable seat with armrest for the driver, Bluetooth, cruise control with speed limiter and air conditioning.

Reflecting its base level, the Trader Life only comes in Glacier White in a single specification that includes a LH side sliding door and lift-up tailgate.While no factory options are offered, Renault dealers can still provide locally fitted accessories.

However, there is a kicker: you only get two airbags instead of the five fitted to other versions, meaning no side protection.

Some sweeteners include three capped price services set at $549 each, at long intervals of 12 months or 30,000km. There’s also four years roadside assist and a three-year warranty with no distance limit.

As we know, the Trafic is about to get some cut-price competition from within. Alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors has signed a letter of intent to source rebadged Trafics out of France, to sell in Australia and New Zealand, with an expected launch time as soon as late 2019.

Naturally, speculation suggests that this model could mark a return of the well-known, but defunct since 2013, Mitsubishi Express. It’ll certainly satisfy the company’s desire in Australia to launch more commercial vehicles and broaden its offerings to its fleet customers.

SWB Trader Life 66kW Manual$32,990 ($29,990 d/a with ABN)
SWB Single Turbo 85kW Manual$35,490 ($32,990 d/a with ABN)
SWB Twin Turbo 103kW Manual$38,490 ($37,990 d/a with ABN)
LWB Twin Turbo 103kW Manual$39,990 ($39,990 d/a with ABN)
LWB Crew 103kW Manual$43,490 ($43,990 d/a with ABN)