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2016 Renault Trafic Review

The Renault Trafic L1H1 we have here measures 4999 millimetres long, 1956mm wide, 1971mm tall and rides on a 3098mm wheelbase. That makes it a big bus, so it’s strange to think that there’s an even bigger Trafic – the L2H1 long-wheelbase model – that measures 5399mm from nose to tail, with a 3498mm wheelbase.

As you can probably tell from the dimensions , this mid-sized van from French brand Renault is essentially a box on wheels. And that’s the exact purpose for which we took delivery of this Trafic. In fact, the previous-generation Trafic – which was often – was the biggest-selling light commercial vehicle for the company and the third-best-selling vehicle in the range behind the Koleos SUV and Clio hatch.

But this new model hasn’t fared quite so well; while the majority of the Renault range has risen, the Trafic has dropped to seventh on the brand’s sales ranks. Even the smaller Kangoo and larger Master vans yielded better sales than the Trafic in 2015. Renault sold 1070 examples of the Trafic last year, down from 1643 the year prior.

The Trafic – unlike most competitor vehicles in the segment – doesn’t come with an auto ‘box. Instead, buyers have to deal with a six-speed manual transmission. Trafic there is the choice of two engines – the base model dCi90 single turbo diesel model has 66kW of power and 260Nm of torque, while the dCi140 model we’ve got has two turbochargers and 103kW/340Nm.

As we’ve found in the past, the fact the engine in the Trafic is a tiny 1.6-litre unit doesn’t mean it can’t haul a heavy load. This engine is a pearler, and thankfully the six-speed manual shift action is very user-friendly.

Published: Friday, March 4, 2016

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