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Renault revises Trafic van
Mild update for Renault’s mid-sized Trafic load-hauler
7 Mar 2011
RENAULT’S Trafic medium-sized van range has been given its second update since being launched in 2004, improving safety and adding standard features while technically increasing the seating capacity of the cabin.
The Trafic Phase III gets a welcome passenger airbag to go with the driver-side unit as well as the added option of electronic stability control (on manual variants only), bringing it up to speed with rivals like the Hyundai iLoad and Volkswagen Transporter.
Inside, it gets a restyled dashboard with a new trip computer and radio as well as a new steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity and cosmetic changes including new chrome-ringed gauges and freshened charcoal colour scheme.
Seating capacity officially increases from two to three by adopting a narrow bench alongside the driver’s seat in place of the previous passenger bucket seat.
The 2.0-litre dCi common rail turbo-diesel engine carries over from the previous Trafic and is mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed ‘Quickshift’ semi-automatic transmission.
The Euro IV-compliant engine produces 85kW at 3500rpm and 290Nm at 1600rpm, and combined fuel consumption on the manual is a claimed 8.3L/100km (or 8.0L/100km for the auto).
Left: 2011 Renault Trafic exterior and interior. Bottom: 2011 Renault Kangoo.
All Trafic models have a 1200kg payload, braked towing capacity with a single occupant is 2000kg.
External dimensions remain the same, with the short-wheelbase model coming in at 4782mm long and 2232mm wide including the mirrors, while the cargo area has a capacity of 5.0 cubic metres. The long-wheelbase variant is 400mm longer and offers an extra cubic metre of storage space.
The French manufacturer leads the light commercial sales race in Europe, but has struggled to match that success in Australia since it introduced its LCV range in 2004.
According to VFACTS, Renault sold 159 Trafics last year for a market share of just 0.7 per cent, comprehensively outsold by the segment-leading Toyota HiAce (7610) and Hyundai iLoad (5990), as well as fellow European competitors Volkswagen Transporter (1630) and Mercedes-Benz Vito (977).
Trafic sales for the first two months of 2011 are down 30 per cent on the same period last year.
Earlier this month Renault announced an offer of $1000 free fuel with any Trafic purchased and delivered during March in a bid to boost flagging sales.
Meanwhile, December saw Renault release the redesigned Kangoo with a substantially larger payload of 800kg in diesel form (up from 530kg) and 650kg in the petrol model (up from 530kg).
Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said he hopes the revised Trafic and Kangoo ranges can boost sales of the French brand in 2011.
“Now with the extra value included as standard on the Phase III Renault Trafic, I am sure we will see even more customers turning to Renault to fill their transport requirements,” he said.
“In Europe, Renault is the number one supplier of light commercial vehicles and we intend to carve a greater share of the Australian LCV market in 2011.”
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