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2015 Renault Trafic detailed

Renault reckons its van will run long and hard - drivers may be unimpressed by the lack of an auto.

A new twin turbo engine is at the heart of the latest Renault Trafic, which also gets new safety gear and better equipment.

The only downside for the smartly designed model that challenges the Toyota HiAce, Hyundai iLoad and Ford Transit is the fact it will no longer be available with an automated transmission, which accounted for 40 per cent of sales for the last generation.

Renault Australia says it has asked head office in Paris for an automated option for the Trafic but nothing has been confirmed.

Instead, Renault says it hopes van customers with sights set on a self-shifting transmission will consider the entry-level Master, which is the next size up in the Renault van stable.

The three Trafic levels start with the short-wheelbase L1HL 90, which costs $33,490, and the L1H1 140 is $36,990. The long-wheelbase L1H2 140 is $38,490.

The 90 refers to the base engine's output in horsepower, which works out to 66kW. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo also makes 260Nm.

The 140 uses a twin-turbo version of the same engine with outputs of 103kW/340Nm.

Both engines are mated to a crisp-shifting, six-speed manual with a light clutch pedal. Power goes to the front wheels only. Claimed fuel consumption for each is an impressive 6.2L/100km.

Renault has doubled the Trafic's service intervals to 12 months/30,000km.

Renault is confident the engine can run long and hard and has doubled the Trafic's service intervals to 12 months/30,000km.

This is up to three times the interval for some rivals and the first three services are capped at $349 each. Renault says a special oil sensor may suggest an early service if required. The Trafic warranty is three years or 200,000km and includes roadside assistance.

As for the all-important load space, an increased overall length means there is 5.2 cubic metres for the short wheelbase model and 6.0 cubic metres for the long wheelbase version.

There is enough space to accommodate Australian pallets, which are slightly bigger than Euro pallets.

A folding panel at the base of the bulkhead allows for thin items of 4.15m to be carried. The payload is 1235kg-1274kg.

Renault includes electronic stability control as standard, along with rear parking sensors and driver and passenger airbags. Side and curtain airbags are available on the two higher output Trafic models as part of two option packs.

Standard features on the base Trafic include electric windows, heated door mirrors with electric adjustment, three seats, reach and rake adjustable steering wheel, airconditioning, Bluetooth audio, phone connectivity and remote central locking.

The higher output models add a folding middle seat with room for a removable clipboard and a flip-top container that safely holds a large laptop as well as 54L of under-seat storage, reversing camera (the image is in the rear-view mirror), a steel bulkhead with a glass window and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The optional Pro Pack costs $1290 and adds airbags, wide view mirror, phone cradle and plywood cargo liner and floor.

The $1990 Premium Pack includes the same gear but swaps the plywood for a seven-inch touchscreen with satnav and premium audio.

CarsGuide tested a long wheelbase Pro Pack model and came away impressed. The engine is really strong and pulls easily in most gears and is relatively refined.

A high point is the cabin, which looks good and has lots of handy features including the smart storage options and the phone and laptop holders to make life on the road a little easier.

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