Buying a new van is never black and white…. but Renault may have made things a little more straightforward with the launch of a special edition of its popular mid-range Trafic.
It has always been pretty good in Trafic, but it would seem that Renault’s medium sized panel van just got even better! It follows the launch earlier this year of its special Black Edition, featuring a number of styling changes exclusive to the model.
It prompts the question, of course, why bother to go the extra mile when the impressively facelifted 2019 version is already a popular choice in a very completive market? Adding bits and pieces, like black alloy wheels, gloss black front grille and logo, special side graphics – plus the option of a full body kit consisting of lower front bumper, side skirts and rear spoiler – comes at a premium, of course. However, increasingly it seems it is a price some owners are prepared to pay to stand out from the crowd.
In usual circumstances it is definitely the sort of vehicle which would garner some appreciative comments from visitors to the Professional Builder car park. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, there has been more chance of catching some tumbleweed than the very latest LCV offering, although we did manage to put a good shift in with our test vehicle on the spookily deserted roads of deepest Hertfordshire.
In happier times last year, Professional Builder was at the launch in Portugal of a significant refreshing of the Renault van brand, which saw an industrial-sized scalpel taken to both the Trafic and its bigger brother the Master. Shared new features across the board included a new, more imposing modern design from its 2014 incarnation, new engines, bespoke cabin layouts to facilitate the growing demand for a moving office, improved driving comfort and greater on-board connectivity. For the Trafic the most noticeable difference is the front end, which has been cosmetically tidied up.
However, it is under the metal where Renault have invested most heavily, with a new 2.0 litre dci unit which uses something called variable geometry turbocharging to develop more power, and significantly better low gear pull under heavy loads. The new Black version comes with a choice of two engines, producing either 143bhp or 168hp and, in official testing, claims to achieve an impressive 52.3mpg and 51,4mp with around 188gkm emissions of CO2. Whilst the infotainment options were a noticeable step up from its predecessor, we did get the impression on that earlier test that the sat nav was a little way short of its competitors. However, this has been addressed with the Black model featuring built in sat navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Full LED headlights are also standard, as well as reversing camera and climate control.
With a good reputation for sharp handling and comfortable ride quality, steering and suspension have been carried over, as has the load area, which has the same smart load solutions, including the useful bulkhead hatch that extends the vans maximum load length to 4.1m. Standard vehicles come in two lengths, and two heights, with the largest carrying up to 8.5 cubic metres.
Entry point for a new Trafic is around £23,550 but, as with your business, you may have to work a bit harder to stay in the Black as that comes in at around £28,000 plus VAT.
For further information on the vehicles in the Renault Trafic range visit https://www.renault.co.uk/vans/trafic.html