Ranges from £
The Renault Trafic van lease is a diesel run, commercial van that comes fully equipped with ABS + EDS brakes, a service indicator and more. With Leasing Options, you have the option available to add additional features to your Renault Trafic business van lease including, a glazed steel bulkhead, a side loading door and a trip computer.
With smarter looks, extra efficiency and plenty of technology, the third generation Renault Trafic aims to build on the huge success of its predecessor in the medium-sized van segment. It’s a Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter LCV rival that’s now much easier to live with and nicer to drive.
Which all means that if you’re choosing a vehicle of this kind for your business, it needs to be on your shortlist.
Renault reckons that the third generation Trafic will feel pretty much like a large MPV to drive – and they’re not too far from the mark.
The driving position is as commanding as you would expect and big door mirrors with convex surfacing on their lower and outer edges are present and correct to help with manoeuvring that can be aided by the neat wide angle mirror fitted to the back of the passenger sunvisor.
The big news though, with the third generation Trafic range lies under the bonnet where you’ll find a lower-capacity range of engines powering a higher-capacity range of vans. It doesn’t sound like a particularly great idea on paper, but fortunately makes a lot of sense in the model in practice. That’s because the powerplant in question is the brand’s well-regarded 1. 6-litre dCi unit, an engine quite up to the task of effectively replacing the noisy old-tech 2. 0-litre diesels used in the model’s predecessor.
Time to take seat inside. That’s easier to do thanks to changes in the width and depth of the cabin step which for people like couriers, will make this vehicle pleasanter to use. Once you’re in the cab, you’ll find style and switchgear that very much conforms to Renault’s current design language.
If you ran a second generation Trafic model, you’ll also notice quite a lot of extra space too, the MK3 design offering an extra 116mm of cabin length for all front seat occupants. If you happen to have drawn the short straw and find yourself stuck in the middle of the cab in front of the dash-mounted gearstick, your journey will be as comfort-compromised as it always is in vans that offer such an extra middle seat berth. We’re not going to criticise that.
In any case, if you’ve specified a model with the ‘mobile office’-style folding front seat, you’ll find that most of the time, you won’t be using this space for seating anyway. Fold it down and you’ve got yourself a workable desk surface with a clipboard attachment and ample space for a laptop you can quickly link into the various infotainment technology features on offer via an optional 7-inch colour touchscreen.
As you’d expect, Renault offers a very wide range of Trafic variants to suit specific needs. As an alternative to this standard ‘Panel Van’, you can mix people and packages in the ‘Crew Van’ version with its second row seating that increases the vehicle’s total passenger capacity to six people.
I’m assuming though, that most potential customers will be ‘Panel Van’ people who’ll be selecting between short wheelbase ‘SL’ and long wheelbase ‘LL’ body lengths and low and high roof bodystyles. Once you’ve made that choice, you’ll next need to decide on the version you want of the 1. 6-litre dCi diesel that all Trafics use - either the single-turbo dCi 90 or dCi 115 models. Or the twin-turbo ‘ENERGY’ dCi 120 and dCi 140 variants, both of which come with ‘Stop & Start’ as standard to cut the engine when you don’t need it.
Time to take a look at the loading area, accessed through asymmetrically-split rear doors with chunky handles. The left hand door, which carries the numberplate, can now be locked independently so that longer items can more safely be carried poking out of the right hand door. Hopefully, the necessity for doing that should be rare thanks to a couple of useful developments with the third generation Trafic model. First, there’s the fact that whichever of the two body lengths you choose, short wheelbase ‘SL’ or long wheelbase ‘LL’, you’ll get 100mm more interior storage length than the second generation Trafic model could offer, despite the fact that the van shares its predecessor’s exact same wheelbase. And second, there’s the option of a neat load-through bulkhead that allows longer items like ladders or planks of wood to be poked right through into the cab.
An ‘SL’ short wheelbase Low Roof height Trafic ‘Panel Van’ model can manage a 5. 2m3 total, so your van will be able to swallow up to three europallets or no fewer than 11 ‘BA13-spec’ standard sheets of plasterboard. This though, can rise to as much as 8. 6m3 in an ‘LL’ long wheelbase High Roof ‘Panel Van’ variant.
Of course operators won’t only be concerned about the capacity they can carry, they’ll also want a van that can deal with heavier weights too. In short wheelbase form, you get a choice of either 2. 7 or 2. 9-tonne models, designated either ‘SL27’ or ‘SL29’. The long wheelbase range sticks with the heavier option, so you’ll be looking at an ‘LL29’ variant.
The van market is changing – and the Renault Trafic has needed to change with it, it has. We especially like the careful touches, the load-through facility in the full-steel bulkhead that lets you poke long items into the cab. The ‘Eco Mode’ driving option that makes it easy to lower your running costs. The Mobile Office package with its folding front seat. The way you can mount your smartphone or tablet on the dashboard to work with Renault’s clever R&GO app, and the wide-angle passenger sunvisor mirror that helps when reversing. Though we’ve seen some of these things before in other LCV products, they’ve been delivered here with a greater level of thought and thoroughness that operators will like.
Your righthand van? That’s about the size of it.