Ranges from £
The Renault Master is a practical choice of van lease and is available from Leasing Options. The Renault Master business van lease has additional features available for you include such as, 1/3 tubular bulkhead, air suspension and a conversion interface box. This Renault van comes equipped with a rev counter, an overhead cab storage tray much more.
Renault’s huge Master is tasked with living up to its name by lording it over LCV rivals in the large van sector. And the headlines look as promising as the more assertive styling.
Front wheel drive versions are more affordable to use and run, while rear wheel drive models can handle much heavier loads. As a result, Renault can handle tough competition in this sector far more easily.
Everything about Renault’s third generation Master is big – except, the French maker contends, the costs required to run it. Sure enough, you’d spend almost as long choosing between the 350 or so versions on offer as you would driving the 870 miles you’ll manage on a single thankful.
So, take a seat at the wheel. What’ll you notice? Well, the driving position’s higher than it was in the previous generation version for a start (49mm to be exact) which, along with revisions to the windscreen and side windows, gives you a commanding view ahead. Under the bonnet, the engine’s the same whichever Master you choose, a 2. 3-litre dCi diesel unit, though you can choose between three engine outputs – 100, 125 or 145bhp – and select between either front or rear wheel drive.
On the move, though the gearbox could be slicker and the engine a little quieter, you’re immediately impressed with this van’s composure, both around corners and over poor surfaces. Rear wheel drive makes this vehicle especially manoeuvrable. It’s true that the steering is a little on the light side for motorway work, but you appreciate that when trying to thread this large vehicle through tight city streets.
For most businesses, aesthetics will be of limited importance when it comes to their choice of van, but even so, the Master has taken care to smarten up its act. The tall, thin double-optic headlamps and the cheesegrater front grille are distinctive, while a thick bumper adds aggression to the front end, curling up at the edges to protect the corners from knocks. Renault has also been kind enough to cut steps into the bumper so that owners can get a leg-up when cleaning the windscreen. Side rubbing strips are a boon along the flanks too.
Inside, an extra 5. 7cm of vehicle length means that there’s now more comfortable room for three, though the centre seat passenger’s space is still rather narrow with kneeroom slightly compromised by the cupholders and storage provided by these two centre-mounted bins. There isn’t quite the same kind of soft touch, granite build quality you’d find in more expensive rivals but fit and finish has certainly improved and what the Master lacks in tactile feel, it more than makes up for in practical touches. Both seat and wheel are height-adjustable and there’s now a minefield of storage options inside the Master’s cab (150 litres in total), from the usual door bins, overhead shelf, cup holders, chilled glove boxes and cubby holes to compartments for laptops and sunglasses, plus an optional clipboard that folds out of the dash for holding invoices, maps or delivery notes.
Overall, this is a beautifully thought out cabin. Highlights include optional touches like the huge, split storage area under the passenger seats, accessible simply by flipping up the cushions. Then there’s the way the centre seat backrest folds down to create a table that uniquely swivels towards the driver. And the sat nav screen that folds out of the roof, incorporates real time traffic information to guide you round jams and includes MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility.
As for equipment, well you’ll need to read the fine print since a number of the convenience gadgets are optional, but prices are affordable . You don’t mind paying a little extra though, for really useful design, a good example of which is the clever Carminat Tom Tom sat nav set-up with its overhead fold-down screen – though this too is extra on the entry-level version. So too is ESP stability control on front wheel drive models and the neat Renault Keycard system which alleviates the need to keep locking up when you’re making frequent deliveries. Still, all users do get a CD stereo, electric windows, heated electric mirrors, remote central locking, Bluetooth connectivity, ABS brakes, a driver’s airbag and a full steel bulkhead. If you’re city-based, you might also want to consider the option of a robotised manual ‘box which does away with all that left foot clutch work.
The market’s largest vans, LCVs like this one, are more significant than you might think. If, increasingly, goods can be carried in efficient, eco-friendly vehicles like this rather than in smoky lorries, then everyone will benefit. Large vans need to be able to take larger loads – and this one can, with its greater space and higher weight limits.
Few large van rivals offer quite such a practical alternative for goods transit and those that do struggle to match this French contender’s sensible convenience features and low running costs. This is a remarkably complete package.