The Renault Master Cab Chassis is half ute, half van. It's a little more nimble than a light truck and yet it's a bit less comfortable than some of the better workhorse utes.

Tradies who can afford the $45,490 starting price should check it out because, apart from anything else, the single cab version Working Wheels is testing has an absolutely massive tray. The ute measures eight metres nose to tail and the tray is nearly 5.5 metres long, which is longer than a Holden Statesman.

Explore the 2014 Renault Master Range

It is rated at 4.5 tonne (the total weight of the vehicle and the load), which means you don't need a truck licence to drive it. The tow rating is a respectable 3 tonnes.

This is described as a three-seater, but you'd feel a bit ripped off in the third seat as there is not much space. There is a seven-seat crew cab version, but it has a shorter tray. The Master cab-chassis is powered by a 2.3-litre common rail turbo diesel with 110kW and 350Nm. It's not the most refined diesel around, but it does the job.


There certainly is plenty of torque, and it doesn't take long to get through the gears. Power goes to the rear wheels, which helps when carrying heavier loads. Our car has a six-speed manual transmission, which works well, while a six-speed ZF automated manual is available as an option.

It is also fitted with a dropside tray, which is not included in the purchase price. Other options include sat-nav, rear-view camera and a suspended ISRI driver's seat.

You can get a rear electronic locking differential, to stop the inside wheel spinning when it is slippery, as an option on the van we are driving. The same feature is standard on the crew cab given it is often used on gravel work sites.