Bowen's Report Card
Renault Trafic SWB Auto (EDC) review
- Good looking for a van
- LED Headlights
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 500 lumens LED bulbs in rear
- The EDC can hesitate
- Small 7.0-inch screen
- A tad pricey
THE BOWEN SCORE
Last November I told you the 2020 Renault Trafic had finally scored an automatic transmission. The Dual-Clutch (EDC) automatic must surely be a relief for many a courier. Why on earth you’d want to drive a manual variant around all day is beyond me, so this was terrific news for the Trafic. Since then I actually spent the week in the Renault Trafic Short-Wheel-Base (SWB) model, it was a real hoot.
Along with the new six-speed automatic comes a new Euro 6 compliant 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. It produces 125kW at 3500rpm and 380Nm of torque available from 1500rpm. After my stint I can honesty say it does hustle along very well. It also feels a tad more premium than say, a Ford Transit.
The first thing that becomes apparent is just how tall the Trafic is, 1971mm and 4999mm long to be precise. There’s no way you’re getting in with a graceful and swift manoeuvre. But once in, you’re literally sitting in what many use as an office day in day out. People who know me are aware of the fact I can’t drive without a Red Bull. Sadly I couldn’t find any safe places to store it, there are cup holders but they did not earn my trust.
The Trafic is very easy to get around in, the turning circle is good, and darting in and out of peak hour was stress free. But then again I wasn’t working to a deadline, or carrying any cargo. But it feels right at home be it the city, motorway or out in the burbs.
Value for Money
Claimed fuel economy is 7.3L/100km, while the Trafic can accommodate a maximum payload of 1250kg and tow up to 1630kg in the long wheelbase variant. Back in December Renault announced local pricing for seven models.
- Trafic SWB Pro 85kW MT Diesel $36,490
- Trafic LWB Pro 85kW MT Diesel $38,490
- Trafic SWB Premium 103kW MT Diesel $39,490
- Trafic LWB Premium 103kW MT Diesel $41,490
- Trafic SWB Premium 125kW EDC Diesel $43,490
- Trafic LWB Premium 125kW EDC Diesel $45,490
- Trafic LWB Crew Lifestyle 125kW EDC Diesel $52,490
All Trafics come with a three-year/unlimited km factory warranty, which can be extended to five years/200,000km. Renault provides Roadside Assistance for up to four years. Servicing intervals remain at 30,000km or yearly with capped price servicing offered from $549 for each of the first three scheduled visits to the dealership. I asked my courier neighbour about this, he agreed there’s no way he’d wait for 30,000km to tick over. This is so many people’s bread and butter. so it’s probably best to over service it.
Up front there are three genuine seats, the middle isn’t an afterthought for some poor apprentice. However there could be a fight over the two centre armrests. The seats can actually be reclined a little up against the bulkhead. There’s a couple of speakers for the stereo behind the seats and massive sunblinds.
The Trafic Premium and Crew Lifestyle models score more technology. Renault’s Media Nav Evolution touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also a new single DIN stereo and better mobile phone call quality and DAB reception.The call quality is very good, as it should be, the cabin isn’t all that well insulated.
The Renault Trafic can absorb lengths up to 4.5m due to flaps in the bulkhead. Pipes for example can be slotted through right up to the firewall.
18 tie-down points are scattered around the load bay. While barn doors open up to 180-degrees and are standard aside from the tailgate used for the 85kW Trafic Pro.
If you must have a manual, there are minor improvements for the six-speed found in the existing single turbo 85kW and twin turbo 103kW variants.
There are two USB ports up front, however only one allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you have a Discman there’s a 3.5mm auxiliary jack and 12v outlet.
What I Love
Not much, but stints in light commercial vans are important. Based on what I have driven the Trafic is one of the more “premium” feeling vans.
This type of vehicle is driven by some of the nation’s hardest workers, so safety shouldn’t be an afterthought. All the usual traction control systems are in place, including electronic brake distribution (EBD). Many drivers fail to apply maximum braking power to avoid an incident, this system detects how quickly your foot reacts and compensates for the shortfall.
There are rear parking sensors and camera, critical for a vehicle of this nature. The driver and front passenger are protected by curtain airbags, the driver also scores a thorax airbag.
Bowen’s Report Card
Commercial vans are hard to judge, mainly because I don’t rack up thousands of kilometres a year using one. But my go to man Craig across the road told me “a few of the boys at work have one and they reckon it’s tops”. I can’t offer a differing opinion! So it’s a 80 out of 100 from me.