Changed Trafic conditions ahead
Renault Light Commercial Vehicles continue to achieve a high level of success in the Australian market across the Kangoo, Trafic and Master ranges due to their appeal to fleet buyers as well as tradies and couriers. The medium size Trafic sold almost 2,000 units here during 2018.
Several new models are being added to the Renault LCV line up during 2019 including a long wheelbase 6.0 cubic metre Trafic powered by the 85kW single turbo diesel engine. Known as the 85LWB (for 85kW Long Wheel base) this particular new Trafic model is available right now.
Previously Renault Trafics powered by the same 85kW engine were only available in the short wheelbase specification with 5.2 cubic metres of load space.
The new model now sits beside the more powerful twin turbo variants which pump out 103kWs and the 85LWB provides a more affordable long wheelbase model for applications where power isn’t such a requirement and the 6.0 cubic metres of cargo capacity is used for bulky rather than heavy items.
The current ‘drive away’ price is $35,990.
Product Manager for Renault Australia Light Commercial Vehicles, Lyndon Healey, welcomed the availability of the new model.
“When you compare the Renault Trafic 85LWB with its direct rivals on price, specification, load capacities and running costs, the Trafic delivers a pretty compelling package,” Healey says.
For those looking for a suitable entry level van the Trafic Trader Life is currently available from $29,990 drive away which makes it eligible for the Australian Tax Office’s $30,000 instant write-off for small business buyers which is a timely offer so close to the end of the 2018-19 financial year.
Despite the attractive pricing, the short wheelbase Trafic Trader Life is no ‘poverty pack’ as it shares many of the features of Trafic models further up the range.
It is powered by a 66kW 1.6 litre four valve per cylinder single turbo diesel engine mated with a six speed manual transmission that makes the most of the engine’s 260Nm of torque.
The clutch is light and progressive in its take up, and there are indicator lights in the instrument cluster that suggest when it is time to shift up or down a gear if the driver chooses to ignore the tachometer or shift by ear.
The hill start assist feature avoids having to juggle pedals and the handbrake when taking off on an incline.
Renault claim that by selecting ECO mode on the manual transmission an operator can improve fuel economy by up to ten per cent.
This can happen due to the vehicle’s electronics influence on the engine’s torque and power management. The stated ‘standard cycle’ fuel consumption is 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The Trafic Trader Life has 16-inch steel wheels instead of the 17-inch alloys available on other Trafic models but it receives a similar suite of electronic driver assistance and safety features as the rest.
These include ABS, EBD, ESC, roll over mitigation and Renault’s ‘Grip X-Tend’ traction control.
Inside there are comfortable cloth seats, electric windows and air conditioning to ensure occupant comfort and twin airbags and pre-tensioner seat belts contribute to safety if an accident isn’t avoidable.
The steering column is adjustable and the driver’s seat height can be varied using a pump-type lever that doesn’t require much effort to raise or lower.
The Trafic Trader Life package includes cruise control with an adjustable speed limiter and remote central locking.
The audio system is Bluetooth compatible for smartphones and had two USB inputs to compliment the 12-volt outlet in the dash.
The Trafic Trader Life has the same 1,235 kg payload and 2,000kg towing capacity as the other short wheelbase Trafics.
Access to the cargo area is via a sliding door on the kerb side and twin barn doors at the rear that have detents to hold them at 90 degrees and can also be opened to 180 degrees to permit the use of a forklift to move heavier loads.
The cargo area features multiple solid tie down points.
Expected to be available in Australia later in 2019 is the much anticipated six-speed dual clutch automated transmission which will be available as an option over the six-speed manual.
The addition of the AMT will place the Trafic range in a very strong position to expand its share of the Australian LCV market.
There is a strong demand for two pedal light commercials and the addition of this option will make the Trafic even more competitive from a specification point of view, and attractive to government entities and authorities as well as progressive fleets which have previously been unable to opt for the Trafic due to internal WH&S preferences for automatics over manuals.