The Renault Trafic is a familiar sight on UK roads, not just because of strong sales but also as it has remained largely unchanged since 2001.
Over the years, there have been various guises of the van wearing Vauxhall, Nissan and Fiat badges. While the latter two continue, Vauxhall has decided to use new parent company PSA Group’s platform for its latest Vivaro.
Despite using an older foundation, the Trafic is still a modern-looking and feeling van.
In its latest update, the exterior changes are limited to a new grille and some LED headlights.
Inside, there is a new infotainment system and a step up in the quality of materials used – much of which is borrowed from its passenger car range.
The biggest change is a new engine. Gone is the old 1.6-litre unit, replaced by an all-new 2.0-litre one. It is offered with 120PS, 145PS and 170PS. There is also an automatic gearbox available.
All versions meet the latest, more stringent, Euro 6d-Temp emissions requirements and promise improved fuel consumption.
We sampled the 145PS and 170PS versions and were impressed by the engine’s performance, with impressive torque outputs of 350Nm and 380Nm respectively.
Engine noise and vibration is kept to a minimum, although we think the old 1.6-litre engine was a little smoother. Still, noise intrusion is minimal and there is a relaxed environment in the cab, even at motorway speeds.
Our test route gave limited opportunity to test fuel economy, but with a reasonable load in the back we were seeing more than 40mpg on the trip computer.
With its light controls the Trafic is easy to manoeuvre around town. Driveability overall is very good and should get no complaints from drivers.
The seven-speed EDC automatic complements the new engine well, too.
The new infotainment system is better than before, but still no match for the latest ones found in Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz products.
Final specifications have not been confirmed yet, but three trim levels are offered: Business, Business + and Sport.
We’d expect the new Trafic to closely mirror the outgoing model, so Business + is likely to welcome air-con and parking sensors, while range-topping Sport will be fully kitted out.
Our test models featured the optional sat-nav (standard on Sport), but other versions are available with a touchscreen that offers Android Auto and Apple Carplay smartphone connectivity.
LED headlights are also standard fit across the range, giving enhanced visibility at night.
Prices start at £22,800 (CV OTR), which is about £750 more than the outgoing entry-level model, although that had a 95PS 1.6-litre engine, not a 2.0-litre 120PS unit.
A total of 58 versions are offered, with two lengths and two heights. There is also a crew cab, minibus and chassis cab.
While not class-leading in terms of payload or load volume, the Trafic is a worthy contender in its segment and one of the only vehicles to meet the latest emissions standards.