February 18, 2021
Perhaps because more of us are stuck at home and ordering what we need online, the market for light commercial vans has been brisk in recent months, with medium-sized ones particularly keenly sought after.
Two models falling into that class which are hugely popular with tradespeople are the Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic. With reputations as no-nonsense, dependable workhorses, in essence they’re both very similar, albeit with some key differences in terms of trim, especially at the upper levels.
Indeed, we’re often asked whether the Trafic and Vivaro are actually one and the same vehicle. So we try and answer that question here.
Put simply, the older Renault Trafic is in fact the model on which the Vivaro is based, so the two were once closely linked. The Trafic has been made by the French manufacturer since 1980, and until 2018 was actually marketed as the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro. However, this variant ceased production in 2018, after Groupe PSA took over Vauxhall, a process completed in late 2017.
At entry level, both models are almost indistinguishably the same, with incredibly similar bodies and only negligible differences in weights and dimensions.
The current version of the Renault Trafic first went on sale in 2014, but in 2019 new emissions-compliant diesel engines were introduced.
At the same time, Renault updated the model’s tech and looks generally, while including state-of-the-art infotainment systems.
Trims available include Business, Business+ and Sport, as well as the Black edition and Crew models, with the latter seating six.
There are two roof heights and body lengths, with cargo volume ranging from 3.2 cubic metres (crew edition) to 8.6. A hatch below the (twin) passenger seat means the Trafic carries loads up to 4.15m, making it one of the roomiest vans in its class. The Sport models also introduce features not available in the Vivaro.
All models are front-wheel drive, and, since 2019, available in the UK only with 2.0-litre engines, from 120 to 170hp. An automatic gearbox is available for the 154 and 170hp models, otherwise there’s six-speed manual transmission.
Overall, the Trafic offers a comfortable, car-like drive, even over longer journeys.
The latest (third generation) version of this British-built van was launched in 2019, and the model is one of the most capable in its class, although it’s one of the smaller vehicles within its sector. Expect plenty of tech, a low roof making urban driving easier, and excellent payload capacity.
Indeed, maximum payload is over 1.4 tonnes, or one of the industry’s best in this class of van. You’ll find four trim levels: Edition, Dynamic Sportive and Elite, along with two options for body length (L1 or the longer L2 at 2.862m), a crew model plus an electric option. However, there’s just one roof height.
You can also look forward to an impressive fuel economy, with a choice of two quiet engines with four power outputs. Take your pick from the 1.5 or 2.0-litre diesels, with up to 180hp. The 180hp has eight-speed auto transmission, otherwise a six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard. (The automatic is also an option with the 120hp 2.0-litre.)
Some reviewers have remarked that the cab of the Vivaro feels rather compact. However, you can still look forward to an all-round excellent, very comfortable, driving experience.
At Vansdirect, we have extensive knowledge of medium-sized commercial vans, including the Vivaro and Trafic, and supply both models. We also offer a great range of flexible finance packages allowing you to pay for your vehicle, from contract hire and hire purchase to leasing. Make us your first port of call whether you’re replenishing or expanding your business fleet.