Renault Trafic 2007 Review
It might at first seem odd that a hard-working commercial vehicle such as the Renault Trafic van needs to look good, but it's not so hard to understand when it's realised that it also plays a role in promoting a business as well as carting its cargo.
Rolling down the road, or parked in a suburban driveway, a van is a rolling billboard and good looks create a good impression with customers and those who might be thinking of doing business with you.
Already a good looker, Renault recently revised the Trafic model range using the knowledge of what's sold well in the past couple of years and what hasn't sold so well. The result is that the range is now made up of two panel vans with a raft of options.
The van choices consist of a short wheelbase 5m³ model and a long wheelbase 8m³ model like the one recently driven by Big Wheels.
Both have the same low roof height for access to height-restricted sites, and the maximum payload is 1200kg.
The Trafic recently underwent a makeover to freshen it for the new Euro 4 emission rules, and while the big changes were made to the engine, Renault also made some minor cosmetic changes to the interior, with a new dash, and exterior, with new headlights and tail lamps.
Inside the Trafic's cabin is about as close as you'll get to a car. There isn't a huge step up into the cabin, and once you're aboard it feels much like a car with a comfortable driving position, stylish dash, neatly laid-out controls for the standard airconditioning and sound system including the CD player, soft-feel steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, and comfortable cloth-trimmed seats.
There are also plenty of storage options spread about the cabin. Drivers have the protection of an airbag and a passenger airbag is an option.
But it's under the bonnet where the significant changes have been made. A new 16-valve 2.0-litre common rail, four-cylinder, turbo diesel now provides the Trafic's get up and go.
The new engine is Euro 4-compliant and puts out 85kW at 3500rpm and 290Nm at 1600rpm, which is processed through a six-speed manual gearbox as it makes it way to the front wheels.
On the road the Trafic is a smooth performer rather than a tearaway. The combination of the 2.0-litre turbo diesel and six-speed manual gearbox is well balanced making the Trafic a pleasant van to drive.
It has good flexibility through the mid-range with quite good pick-up when you need to go a little faster, but it won't pin your ears back at any time. In the time Big Wheels had the Trafic it consumed fuel at the rate of just 9.8 litres per 100km running around town.
Smooth is a word that keeps coming back when describing the Trafic; it rides and drives smoothly, to the point it almost glides along the road.
The steering is power-assisted and provides ample feedback, while being precise and responsive to driver input, and the turning circle is 13.17m.
Braking is by discs with ABS, EBD brake force distribution and EBA brake assist standard. ESP stability control and traction control are both options.
A one metre-wide glazed sliding door and rear barn doors that open to 180 degrees, provide access to the load zone, which measures 2800mm long by 1335mm high and 1268mm between the wheel arches.
Inside it has eight anchorage points in the floor and four movable anchorages on each of the sidewalls.
Wide bump strips and substantial front and rear bumpers protect the bodywork and lamps.
The long wheelbase van is priced at $40,990, which includes a three-year/ 200,000km warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Range and Specs
|2.0 DCi LWB||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$7,370 – 10,450||2007 Renault Trafic 2007 2.0 DCi LWB Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 DCi SWB||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$7,150 – 10,120||2007 Renault Trafic 2007 2.0 DCi SWB Pricing and Specs|
|LWB||1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$6,600 – 9,240||2007 Renault Trafic 2007 LWB Pricing and Specs|
|LWB Comfort||1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$6,820 – 9,570||2007 Renault Trafic 2007 LWB Comfort Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data