The Magazine for LCV Fleet Operators
Our long-term Renault Trafic has been upgraded, with last month’s Sport model returning to Renault, in exchange for a Sport+. Renault Trafic Sport+

Our long-term Renault Trafic has been upgraded, with last month’s Sport model returning to Renault, in exchange for a Sport+.

In all honesty, Sport trim leaves very little to be desired, but Sport+ manages to add a few options for the additional £1,600 investment. That includes keyless entry, climate control in place of the manual air conditioning, metallic paint, 17” alloys with black inserts, body-coloured side mouldings and a rear parking camera. You also get Lane Departure Warning and Traffic Sign Recognition as part of the ADAS line-up with Sport+.

The keyless entry and start works very well. As long as you have the large plastic fob in your pocket you can simply press the little button by the door handle to unlock and enter the vehicle. You can press again to lock, or simply walk away, with the van automatically locking once you get a few feet away.

The only slight negative here, is that Renault decided to fit all of its press vans with additional door locks for the side and rear doors, which require another key to open and close. While this demonstrates the additional security available from the firm’s dealers, it does rather negate the ability to simply walk up and open the doors.

The rear parking camera joins a comprehensive 360o set of front and rear parking sensors, that make it almost impossible to manoeuvre the van without an array of bings and bongs telling you how close you are to obstacles. Without tempting fate, you would have to be really ignoring the mirrors, camera and sensors to bump into anything with this van when parking.

Talking of which, I have had occasion to use a number of underground and multi-storey car parks recently. At 1,971mm in height, you don’t get much change from a 2.0m garage limit and you’ll have to search to find one with even that clearance. Certainly a 2.1m limit gives less cause for concern, though the flexible aerial can still twang off the odd sign or electrical duct.

Other than that, the mid-weight Renault remains a pleasure to drive, on all types of road and over any journey length. It really is an excellent long-distance cruiser, in particular. All of which uses fuel of course. High on the agenda for any fleet manager or van owner at present, the official figure for this 150hp manual van is 40.4mpg, with a corresponding 184g/km of CO2. 

I’m relieved to report that this is not an optimistic boast and the Trafic tops an indicated 40mpg regularly with little effort. It can still soak up more than £100 for a top-up of that 80-litre tank though, the only relief being that you’ll be looking at hundreds of miles of travel before you need to do it again.