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2017 Renault Trafic Crew goes dual-purpose

Renault has given its tradie-trusted Trafic van a more family-friendly feel with a second row of seats that takes the new Crew variant capacity to six occupants including the driver, while leaving 4.0 cubic metres of cargo volume in the back and a 1060kg maximum payload.

The new version is based on the 103kW twin-turbo 1.6-litre diesel long-wheelbase Trafic but adds a second row of three individual seats with full three-point belts at a cost of 2.0 cubic meters of load bay volume for $42,990 before on-road costs – an increase of $3500 over the equivalent three-seater.

In addition to all of the three-seater’s gear, the Crew gets glazed sliding doors for second row occupants, a glazed bulkhead behind the extra seats, a pair of 49-litre storage boxes with extra pockets, a 12-volt socket and interior finishing to match the front row.

The French maker is offering an equipment-boosted Premium Pack for the base Crew that adds 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers and exterior mirrors, as well as deadlocks, an 800-amp battery, upgraded multimedia system with 7.0-inch touchscreen, navigation and Arkamys stereo and heated driver’s seat.

Like higher-grade versions of the Trafic van, the $2490 Premium package also adds the ‘mobile office’ features that include a tablet holder and premium dashboard with laptop storage, but not the folding middle seat that converts into a desktop.

The Trafic has been a great seller for Renault in Australia.

At the top of the Trafic Crew pile, a Lifestyle variant adds opening windows for the rear passengers, chrome grille highlights, a gloss black badge surround, a hands-free entry card (as found in many Renault passenger cars) and automatic climate control for $46,780.

With the extra seating and reduced load area, Crew variants can still accommodate items measuring up to 2423mm long, 1662mm wide and 1387mm in height.

All versions are sold with a standard six-speed manual gearbox with no automatic option at this stage, as is the case with the more strictly commercial van variants.

At the launch of the Trafic in May 2015, Renault said it would “work towards” an auto option, but the company is yet to reveal if it is making progress with an automatic that would doubtless appeal to a broader audience in Australia.

Despite its self-serve transmission, the Trafic performed well in the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne van segment during 2016, finding 1730 buyers and sitting in fourth place behind the Toyota HiAce (7478), Hyundai iLoad (5467), and Volkswagen’s Transporter that finished last year with a tally of 1960 sales.

Renault light commercial vehicles senior model line manager Lyndon Healey said the company had been pleased with the Trafic since its introduction, and the new Crew options would further broaden its appeal.

“The Trafic has been a great seller for Renault in Australia,” he said. “The Trafic Crew brings another level of functionality to what is already a highly capable and increasingly popular alternative to more mainstream mid-size van offerings."

Will Renault’s Trafic Crew sell without an automatic transmission? Tell us in the comments below.