Renault Trafic 1.9 Dci
What does Opel, Nissan and Renault have in common. A van, that’s what. In Renault’s case it is called the Trafic.
The Trafic is a medium size van with 6m³ of cargo space and a 1.2 ton payload. That is a very useful load. Access is from a sliding door on the left side and a double door at the back which swings open wide. The floor is low making it very easy to load and unload.
The 1.9 dCi turbodiesel engine delivers 74kW at 3 500 rpm and 240Nm. They claim a combined consumption of 7.9 litre per 100km, but a more likely average consumption 0f around 8.5 litre/100km can be expected. At 120km/h you will get around 7.4 litre/100km. The 90 litre tank gives you a good range. She climbs hills without any problems and accelerates well for a van.
Maximum towing weight unbraked is 750kg, braked 2 000kg.
The van is easy to drive and easy to use. Loading and unloading is easy due to the low floor height and the two large doors. The cabin is well laid out with comfortable seats, a good driving position and a number of storage shelves and bins. Radio, aircon, lights all work well and are easy to use.
Getting in and out of the van is a bit of an issue. The driver will tend to grab the steering wheel to hoist himself in as their is no ‘A’ pillar grip. The passenger also had a bit of a scramble.
Driving the Trafic is a breeze. Brakes work well, steering is accurate and she accelerates quite well.
Clutch and gears are easy to use. The 6 speed gearbox really helps to get cruising speed fuel economy.
I did not like the lack of a bulkhead or partition between the cab and the cargo area. Speaking of which. The finish in the cargo area is a little rough and ready. Most of the back is a single wall with just fairly flimsy braces holding everything in place. It would be a good idea to panel the interior with wooden or rubber strips and put non slip rubber on the floor.
The Trafic comes with a 6 year anti-corrosion warranty, a 5 Year / 150 000km mechanical warranty and a 5 year / 100 000km service plan.
The basic price is R249 900. The Opel Vivaro, its direct competitor, costs around R252 000, and is available as either 1.9 DCi or a 2.0 petrol.
VW offers the Panel Van 2.0 TDI 75kW LWB at R255 877 but excludes a service plan which costs R9 404 for the 90 000km option. The Hyundai H1 at R269 900 seems to be the most sturdy van and should be investigated before purchasing one of the others.
The big advantage of the Opel is the additional sliding door on the right and the bulkhead behind the seat between the load area and the cab. The Vivaro also has front fog lights. Both are built in the same factory and the diesel engines are the same units. It seems to me that the Opel may be the better deal. Drive both before deciding. Also consider which brand gives the better service in your area.