Review: Renault Trafic Passenger Van

Six go mad in Whitby – Julie Marshall and five friends put the Renault Trafic Passenger Van through its paces
In passenger mode the Renault Trafic van  is a fantastic way to transport up to nine people.In passenger mode the Renault Trafic van  is a fantastic way to transport up to nine people.
In passenger mode the Renault Trafic van is a fantastic way to transport up to nine people.

The Renault Trafic might look like a van from the outside, and it is, but when it comes in passenger mode it is a fantastic way to transport up to nine people or, in our case six and a lot of luggage.

It was the occasion of our gang of six’s weekend away at the Yorkshire coast - this time to Whitby.

It’s the first time we’ve all been able to travel together. Some people carriers and large SUVs have the required number of seats but there is then not enough room for luggage and supplies.

The Renault Trafic is smart and stylish.The Renault Trafic is smart and stylish.
The Renault Trafic is smart and stylish.

We self-cater for the entire weekend so there are bags of food, bottles of wine and sacks of wood for the wood-burning stove that is an essential part of our stay - but for how much longer?

The engine in the Trafic is the typical van two-litre diesel and it is available with three power outputs of 109bhp, 148bhp and 168bhp.

We had the mid-range with a slick six-speed manual transmission: a dual clutch automatic is also offered with the two higher-rated engines.

Despite being fully laden we had no complaints about the performance of the Trafic. The 0-62mph time of 13.6 might not be the fastest but we were not out to break any speed records and it pulled well up the hills and maintained a steady speed on the motorway.

Our Sport trim had an 8in infotainment system with sat-nav which was easy to useOur Sport trim had an 8in infotainment system with sat-nav which was easy to use
Our Sport trim had an 8in infotainment system with sat-nav which was easy to use

Handling likewise, was more than adequate. Our accommodation was down a narrow street and the Trafic easily negotiated the twists and turns in the town centre. Suspension is firm but not uncomfortable and there were no complaints from the passengers.

Forward visibility is excellent and the driver sits up high. The optional £630 parking pack with sensors and rear camera was a welcome addition as reversing would have been a bit tricky otherwise due to the headrests.

Our Sport trim had an 8in infotainment system with sat-nav which was easy to use. Although, most of the time we used the Apple CarPlay function, which, combined with the wireless smartphone charger (part of the £264 technology pack 2), was a useful addition.

Storage space in the cabin is adequate but could have been better. Seat-back trays with cupholders for the second row passengers would have been very useful.

Whitby in the winter sunshine.Whitby in the winter sunshine.
Whitby in the winter sunshine.

Seats were in three rows of three. The middle seat in the front is a little cramped as the gear lever gets in the way but the second and third row seats are really roomy. All have good head room.

As mentioned we folded down row three to create extra storage but had to leave the parcel shelf behind as it wouldn’t sit flat on the floor once removed.

The Trafic Passenger Sport has an on the road price of £36,840 and with the added extras our test car came to £39,318.

As well as those already mentioned it included the advanced driver assist pack at £1,584 with such as lane departure and blind spot warning, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control.

Specifications

Renault Trafic Passenger

Price: £36,840 (£39, 318 as tested)

Engine: two-litre diesel

Power: 148bhp

Torque: 258lb/ft

Transmission: six-speed manual

Top speed: 110mph

0-62mph: 13.6 seconds

Economy: 38.7mpg

CO 2 emissions:192g/km

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