Our test vehicle is the L1 SWB (short wheelbase) Compact Van with 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine and six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) automatic transmission for a list price of $26,990. Although that’s $2500 more than the six-speed manual version, it still undercuts its Caddy equivalent (TSI 220 SWB with 7-speed DSG) by $4300, which represents a substantial 14 per cent saving on purchase price alone.
The Compact is a no-frills work-focused van, as evidenced by its 15-inch steel wheels and 195/65R15 Michelin tyres (who'd have guessed) with full-size spare, hard-wearing black plastic front/rear bumpers and side body mouldings, rubberised cargo floor mat and twin-tubular steel cargo protection bars behind the driver’s seat.
There’s minimal standard equipment as you’d expect in such a workhorse, but it does include useful on-the-job features like rear parking sensors, height-adjustable steering column, non-radar cruise control and speed limiter, rear window demister/wiper, manual height-adjustable headlights (handy when load carrying), USB, 3.5mm auxiliary jack and 12-volt accessory plugs along with a basic multimedia system including AM/FM radio, CD player (remember those?) and Bluetooth with steering column controls.
Our test vehicle was fitted with Renault’s optional overhead cabin storage shelf and twin rear barn-doors. There are numerous other factory options like sat nav, cabin bulkhead, reversing camera etc along with Business Plus Pack and Trade Pack special option packages.