Renault is one of the biggest global automotive manufacturers, and the Renault Trafic is the van that helped the company firmly established itself as one of the leading manufacturers of Light Commercial Vehicles. Even today, the latest generations of this timelessly popular van still makes up the top picks for van buyers, including customers browsing through our very own fridge vans or freezer vans.
It’s now been over 40 years since the Renault Trafic was first unveiled, and it’s had an interesting new facelift for 2019. It doesn’t bring any changes that could truthfully be described as radical, but Renault’s upgrades are all clearly focused with the driver in mind, and that’s clear to see throughout the design of the finished vehicle. With the van having been officially released to the UK market in 2019, let’s take a look at what’s in store for new buyers.
The engines holds one of the most noticeable changes, namely that for this model the engineers at Renault have ditched the 1.6 litre dCi turbodiesels, in favour of a pair of upgraded 2.0 dCi turbodiesels instead. These latest variants offer power outputs of 120bhp, 145bhp or even 170bhp, depending on your preferences. It’s worth noting that from this point onwards, UK buyers will only have the option of choosing the 2.0 litre engines for their new Renault Trafic models.
The most powerful engine is capable of providing 380Nm of torque, and obviously all these upgrades meet the latest Euro 6D Temp emissions requirements. They’ve been manufactured in line with the relatively recent WLTP test, which supersedes the outdated NEDC test.
The WLTP is conducted on the basis of a real-world driving profile, rather than a theoretical one, which means you get a better idea of the fuel economy you’ll actually use. And on that note, the new Renault Trafic does indeed have better fuel economy than its older counterparts, and is capable of fuel economy improvements of up to 15%.
Also, the new Renault also comes with an automatic gearbox option (although obviously this will make it more expensive than its manual counterpart).
A quick glance at the vehicle’s exterior is enough to distinguish it from some of its predecessors, especially when you take in the revised front end. It’s apparently designed to be more assertive, and it arguably achieves that with a brand new grille, its new LED headlights and the C-shaped lighting signature, which gives the Trafic a distinctive new look which somehow strikes the balance between bold and a somewhat family design direction.
Let’s be honest – this is the one that drivers will be the most interested in! Happily, it’s good news. A six-speed manual gearbox is the standard option for the Renault Trafic’s 2019 iteration, but if it’s been outfitted with the two most powerful engines, it gives you the opportunity to try out the new six-speed EDC automatic transmission. As you likely already know, EDC stands for Efficient Dual Clutch, and it basically makes for smoother and quicker gear changes – welcome news if you regularly drive or make deliveries in towns, cities or other urban areas.
The steering may be a little weightier than what some drivers expect, but it’s still reassuringly precise, especially considering the fairly limited amount of bodyroll. The finely engineered suspension also makes for a supremely comfortable ride, and the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Grip Xtend can provide some welcome relief in otherwise tough driving conditions.
Here is where you’ll find arguably the strongest evidence of Renault’s commitment to driver comfort. The cab has a pleasantly spacious feel, and the satin chrome accents and dark carbon finish make for an altogether impressively classy atmosphere. Less immediately obvious is the improved upholstery for the seats, which Renault says have increased durability, so the entire interior will stay looking better for longer.
As for practicalities, there’s a total of 90 litres of available storage in the cab. The built-in phone holder and middle seat cushion (which folds down to form a desk) will be hugely helpful for technicians, delivery drivers and engineers who are constantly doing business on the move. There’s plenty to keep them entertained, too, with the popular favourite infotainment systems from Renault, including Apple CarPlay.
The available load space, meanwhile, varies depending on which body style you go for, ranging from between 5.2 cubic metres and 8.6 cubic metres. 18 anchorage points are scattered throughout the van, and in addition to the fully-opening rear doors, the van gains some extra utility from its through-load facility, making it easier to transport particularly long items. There’s also new LED lighting available for the load area, and buyers can choose an optional upgrade to polypropylene lining, the upshot of which makes it easier to clean (and more hardwearing to boot!).
Many buyers of our refrigerated vans and freezer vans here at CoolKit will know the Renault Trafic as a panel van first and foremost, but it’s also available in several other options. The full list includes:
Crew van (outfitted with a second row of seats)
Passenger van (for all intents and purposes a compact minibus, with 9 seats)
Platform van for conversions
Luxury passenger vehicle, called the SpaceClass
The wheelbase options, meanwhile, include:
SL – short-wheelbase, low roof (L1H1)
LL – long-wheelbase, low roof (L2H1)
SH – short-wheelbase, low roof (L1H2)
LH – long-wheelbase, low roof (L2H2)
As we touched on above, besides the intended purpose of the van, the choice of body style and wheelbase can affect some other aspects of the vehicle in small but important ways, most notable of which is the available load space.
Of course, security is always going to be a key concern for any commercial fleet manager, and as ever, thankfully the significance of that is not lost on Renault. Buyers of the 2019 Renault Trafic can take their pick between a 3-button folding key fob, or a single door opening control via the Renault hands-free keycard. UK models also get an alarm as standard, providing some welcome peace of mind.
It’s all very exciting stuff in the run up to the release of refrigerated van versions of the Renault Trafic 2019, which you can be sure to see in the upcoming months. In the meantime, here at CoolKit we’ve still got plenty of Renault Trafic fridge vans amongst our stock, as (true to form) it’s one of the most popular models of refrigerated vehicles for our customers. If you’re on the lookout for something a little different, though, we’ve also got models from other leading manufacturers, such as Citroen and Ford. And if you have any questions or need any advice, you can always ask one of our sales team, on 080 274 8370!