The Renault Trafic may be built at Vauxhall’s IBC plant in Luton but there’s no doubt that the original design is pure Renault – it looks almost as French as a snail baguette.
The van has been a runaway success for both Vauxhall and Renault (Vauxhall’s version is badged the Vivaro) and latterly the vehicle has also made an appearance as the Nissan Primastar.
But what started off as a single offering with two different power outputs has burgeoned into a whole range – long and short wheelbases, standard and high roofs, chassis-cabs, minibuses – and now the Sport on test here.
The words ‘van’ and ‘sport’ hardly ever occupied the same sentence until fairly recently but now most of the big manufacturers are offering these vehicles to an eager buying public which is increasingly including small business users who may want to use their vans for other purposes than business at weekends.
Mrs Bloggs might baulk at climbing aboard her husband’s dirty old van to go to the seaside, but she sure as hell wouldn’t mind riding in style in a vehicle like this.
Over its more dowdy brother, the Trafic Sport offers a dazzling metallic silver paintjob with colour-coded everything, 16in alloy wheels, foglights, electric windows and door mirrors and air conditioning.
Our test van also had the optional passenger and curtain airbags (£660), ESP traction control (£675), sat-nav and rear parking sensors.
In other words, this van is a very well-specced car that been blown up in size – and that’s exactly what Renault intends it to be.
At £17,450 ex-VAT, it’s quite a lot of vehicle for the money.
The Sport has a gross vehicle weight of 2,820kg and comes with a 2.4-litre common rail diesel powerplant offering a meaty 150bhp. Standard versions also have 90bhp and 115bhp.
Maximum payload is 1,084kg, while the load area offers a capacity of 5.9 cubic metres.
Renault also offers a crew van option and a minibus, together with a lower-powered 115bhp 2.0-litre and Quickshift6.