Renault has finally added an automatic transmission to its big-selling Trafic van, reflecting a growing trend towards commercial buyers ditching three-pedal setups.
The six-speed EDC (efficient dual-clutch) transmission is lifted from none other than the Megane RS hot hatch, which seems a counterintuitive choice. Then again, it's clearly designed for high-torque applications in both vehicles.
Rather than adding the dual-clutch transmission to the Trafic's existing 85kW/300Nm and 103kW/340Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine options – which remain on sale with the familiar six-speed manual – the self-shifter comes mated with a gutsier engine.
The donk in question is a 2.0-litre with Euro 6 certification, 125kW at 3500rpm, and 380Nm at 1500rpm. Torque is sent to the front wheels, the combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is 7.3L/100km, and the peak towing capacity is 1630kg (370kg less than the 103kW manual version).
“[Trafic] has been the top-selling manual transmission mid-size van and one of the best-selling vans in the category altogether. With the arrival of a new, more powerful engine combined with the new EDC transmission, the Trafic will broaden its appeal in the market,” said Renault Australia managing director Anouk Poelmann.
The Trafic is Renault's second most popular vehicle in Australia after the Koleos, and despite being (until now) manual-only, is number four in its segment with 10.1 per cent share, behind only the Toyota HiAce, Hyundai iLoad and Ford Transit Custom – all sold with auto options.
Unsurprisingly, the 2.0-litre EDC Trafic models are more expensive than their manual counterparts. The short wheelbase (SWB) costs $43,490 before on-road costs, the long wheelbase (LWB) is $2000 more, and the now auto-only LWB Crew version is $52,490 before on-road costs.
Renault has also given the existing 85kW and 103kW manual Trafics a running update, bumping up pricing by between $1000 and $1500 on certain derivatives in exchange for more features, and axing the base Trader Life derivative regularly sold for a bargain $29,990 drive-away for ABN holders.
The tweaks include a new set of C-shaped LED daytime running lights, a new grille, new LED headlights that give 50 per cent greater light in high beam, an updated dash, new seat trim that's said to be harder-wearing, and 500-lumen LEDs in the loading area.
All Trafics get six airbags, but unlike some rivals like the Transit Custom and HiAce, advanced features such as autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, active cruise control, or lane-departure assist aren't offered.
The base Trafic Pro 85kW gets more features such as a rear-view camera, automatic headlights and wipers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, front fog lights, a foldable insert key, and under-bench seat storage.
The Trafic Premium 103kW/manual and 125kW/EDC models gets extras such as a cabin work station bench, cabin bulkhead with load-through flap, a new 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, rear barn doors, an additional sliding door on the driver’s side, an engine stop/start system, a mobile phone cradle, and security deadlocking.
The Crew Lifestyle adds body painted bumpers, side door protection, a chrome grille, climate-control air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated driver’s seat, keyless entry and engine start, and rear privacy glass.
The Trafic Pro is offered with an optional Trade Pack for $1600 comprising a smartphone cradle, key with single door opening, wide view mirror, a wooden floor, full height wall lining, heavy duty battery, spare wheel basket, and LED ceiling lights.
The Trafic Premium models offer a Business Pack comprising automatic air conditioning, tinted windows, 17-inch alloys, hands-free entry card, heated seats and colour coded bumpers and tail light pillars.
All Trafics also now come with a three-year/unlimited km factory warranty. Servicing intervals remain up to 30,000km or annually, with capped price servicing offered from $549 for each of the first three scheduled visits to the dealership. Renault also provides roadside assistance for up to four years.
“Our real world data shows us that the average van owner in Australia can quite easily do 30,000km in a year so Renault Australia’s class leading service interval is a real world benefit for busy light commercial vehicle drivers and business operators,” the company says.
Pricing listed below. Expect normal business to resume at some point, with subsidised drive-away pricing to be offered on certain grades. As ever, RRPs are just a guide.
2020 Renault Trafic pricing
- Trafic SWB Pro 85kW MT Diesel - $36,490
- Trafic LWB Pro 85kW MT Diesel - $38,490
- Trafic SWB Premium 103kW MT Diesel - $39,490
- Trafic LWB Premium 103kW MT Diesel - $41,490
- Trafic SWB Premium 125kW EDC Diesel - $43,490
- Trafic LWB Premium 125kW EDC Diesel - $45,490
- Trafic LWB Crew Lifestyle 125kW EDC Diesel - $52,490
All prices exclude on-road costs.