The Renault Trafic has graced the UK road scape for four decades. It has sold as a Fiat Talento, Nissan Primastar, Mitsubishi Express and as an Opel/Vauxhall Arena, which is now out of production. Renault launched the Trafic in 1980, but its panel has had lots of successful improvements over the decades.
Its latest fresh exterior design model was first introduced in 2014 and improved in 2019. In 2020, the Trafic was awarded the Fleet World’s ‘Medium Van of the Year 2020’ award. The Trafic has impressive and robust 170hp, low emissions engines, that are Euro 6 emission standards-compliant.
A mid-sized van, it is stylish and has two roof heights and lengths. Its latest version has useful touches and finishes such as Bluetooth capable DAB radio, heated door mirrors and a driver’s seat armrest. Business+ trim models have a Renault mobile office, a centre desk on the passenger seat. The sports trim on the other hand has a speed limiter and cruise control.
The newest Renault Trafic has a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine option. The older 2017 model has a twin-turbo 1.6 litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Vanlifers trying to choose between the Ford Transit Connect and the Renault Trafic may take into consideration the fact that the Trafic has a bigger payload and is a sweet shifter.
It is nimble, smooth and light on the road, less fussy on imperfect roads and has a more compliant suspension system. You will enjoy a Renault Trafic’s ride when empty, but it is a joy when loaded. Like the Ford Transit Connect, it has a wide range of safety features but unlike its rival, it does not have trailer sway control, cross-wind assist and only has four airbags.
Renault Trafic development
1st Generation Renault Trafic
The first-Generation Renault Trafic was manufactured between 1981 and 2000. This variant has loads of space and a 1.4-litre engine but improvements in 1984 Renault gave it a 1.7-litre 65 hp engine with a five-speed. Later in 1987, these vans got a 1.7-litres, 68 hp engine. The 1989 modifications gave this campervan worthy vehicle a robust structure and more seat comfort.
2nd Generation Renault Trafic
The Renault Trafic underwent extensive modifications in the period between 2001 and 2013. They gave it two styles, a short base with 3100 millimetres and a long base with 3500 millimetres. It could now port 1200 kilograms of load and made its passenger version into a nine-seater. They are foldable seats and have safety belts.
Vanlifers will love this model’s sliding doors and foldable seats. Additionally, it has powerful diesel engines and top-notch fuel consumption. Its movement dynamics and six-speed transmission gearbox functions are top of the range as well.
This van has a high level of comfort and a pleasing aesthetic. As a result, it is a very popular vanlife alternative and you will easily spot on European byways and highways.
3rd Generation Renault Trafic
Renault Trafic dominates the European mid-sized van market and is a respected business brand. The latest Renault Trafic is a beast. They released it in 2014 and has a new exterior design and improved fuel consumption, dropping its predecessor’s large capacity engine for a 1.6 Energy DCI engine.
Its design is well thought out and has loads of interior space inside the van. On top of that, it has a lower entry price point than previous Renault Trafics. It has a clever interior and is the longest medium-sized van in loading length.
Renault Trafic features
- The Renault Trafic variants have a 1,035kg and 1,240kg capacity.
- It has over 14 different storage compartments in its interior
- Entry-level models have infotainment features, such as USB sockets, radio Bluetooth connectivity and Aux input.
- It has security features such as Hill Start Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Grip Xtend, Deadlocking and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
- The newer Renault Trafic’s engines have enhanced horsepower in the 120 and 170 bhp range
- Its four body variants and styles include the short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase low roof, and the short-wheelbase, long-wheelbase high roof van.
- Trim levels include the Business, Business+ and the stylish Sport
Renault Trafic Pros
- Low maintenance cost. The third generation has improved fuel efficiency.
- It is super spacious. It has a 4,999mm standard length and is the longest mid-sized van in the market.
- It is reliable and safe. Bulkhead barriers block direct contact between the driver and the passengers.
- It is an easy drive van. The Renault Trafic performs well on the road.
- Its diesel is less noisy than other vans and has a powerful 168bhp version.
Renault Trafic cons
- Its ply-lined sliding doors could come off their channel.
- Its standard van issue does not have all the latest driving assist and safety measures
Top 5 Renault Trafic Conversions
Ross and Sam of trafic.campervan have an exquisite Renault Trafic camper. They first cut holes on the sides of the cargo van to create room for large tinted glass windows. They then added super sticky deadening sheets on the van’s panels to lower roof and panel tinniness.
Next, they insulated their van’s walls with tons of recycled plastic loft insulation, making it an all-weather motor home. Then came wooden battens, insulative board material, plywood and a beautiful dark wood laminate finish on the Renault Trafic’s floor.
After that came the most captivating feature of this van…its wooden window, ceiling and wall cladding, with a white ash interior wax finish. Ross is a 6ft2 vanlifer so their bed had to be lengthy as well. To this end, they have designed an L shape orange coloured sofa that turns into a long double bed at night. Underneath it is lots of storage for all their travel equipment.
Their van has all kitchen basics, such as two burner hobs and a beautiful kitchen sink. Their hobs burner is portable. They therefore can make their meals in the outdoors, under the omnistor caravan style 2.6m awning. Ross and Sam now adventure through the UK and beyond without the need to hire a van. Their little Trafic can take them to just about any location that they need to go to.
Luca and Sara are an outdoorsy couple that loves to travel the world. After five years of travel, they decided to adopt the vanlife lifestyle and began their van build process. Their little home on wheels transformation took five weeks of blood, sweat and tears and they had to overcome loads of discouragement from friends.
The Renault Trafic massive cargo space was the perfect small van for a multifunctional living space. Their 2003 Renault Trafic minivan build is a beautiful white wood affair. It is as warm as a wooden cabin in the forest.
The van was Luca’s van before its conversion, so their van choice was a no brainer. It is a 1.9 diesel engine, short-wheelbase, low roof model. They choose to build their motor home on it because while it is small, it is very maneuverable, perfect for the tiny Italian roads that they now tour.
They have a slide-out bed that acts like a couch in the day and storage space. The 8cm mattress is high-density foam and super comfy. Under the bed is a portable 21-litre fridge, 39-litre portable toilet and PowerStation.
They store their clothes and equipment on two dark ottomans that slide under the bed. The ottomans also work as work seats when paired with their unique drop-down table and workspace. The drop-down table is secured by magnets that keep it in place even on the roughest of roads.
On the side is a narrow countertop that has a kitchen sink. They have also placed lots of wooden cabinets with invisible handles for ventilation, where they store kitchen items. On top of that, they have a charging station with USB sockets and lots of cubby hole storage spaces.
@playingintrafic’s Renault Trafic campervan build is a long wheelbase, high roof 2005 model. It is a stealth camper in a dark grey colour. The only feature that would reveal that it is much more than a cargo van is the roof installed 200 watts semi-flexible solar panel.
It had to be an expensive semi-flexible panel because the Trafic’s roof is not flat. This DIY motorhome has a large 122cm height cupboard and ample kitchen workspace. Across the kitchenette are a fridge cupboard and a bench seat that transforms into a bed.
Other amenities include a screwed down two-burner cooker, IKEA spice rack for his coffee, cup and spices. Its floors are made from chipboard and recycled wood and have a grey and orange finish, the Trafic’s interior colour scheme. He has a slide-out porta potty under the coach.
Alice, Andy and Honey, their furry travel companion travel the UK and Scotland in their 1994 Renault Trafic Campervan. The San Remo XL is a spacious camper home on wheels with lots of living, kitchen and workspace. Their kitchen is this van builds shower stopper.
The heart of their van home has stainless steel sink, a small grill and 2 ring hobs. Below it is wooden drawers that store loads of dinnerware and cutlery. On purchase, Remi the van had a blue flecked carpet running the entire length of its floor. Alice and Andy knew that the carpet would not work as long as Honey and her adventurous muddy paws were part of the vanlife lifestyle.
Some cheap vinyl flooring did the trick, and Remi is now easy to clean and Honey friendly. Their huge Renault Trafic camper has two comfy couches in a blue and white striped fabric that make excellent beds at night.
This Renault Trafic van built from Kompanja is pure luxury. You can easily transform it from a 6-passenger van to a cargo haulier, then a four-berth long camper van in a flash. Its pièce de résistance is its pop top. This upper room mobile paradise is not only perfect for relaxation but is creates useful standing space when you are doing your washing, cooking or cleaning in your camper.
Kompanja’s Renault Trafic Camper is a 125BHP diesel engine in black or grey. Its pop-top and awning is stealth black as well. It has a lot of slides out storage sections and excellent cooking accessories. Its kitchenette is attached to its door, sliding out from a cabinet and revealing a stove.
There is a 35-litre fridge for your food, water and cold beers and a sink. Little vandwelers will love this Trafic camper van’s projector feature. Watch a family movie on it in the evening for some family time bonding after a long day in the outdoors.
The Renault Trafic is a fine for the van dweller that is looking for light to drive, and compact. This mid-sized van is an incredible value for the money, super spacious and is also beautiful to look at.