April 29, 2017

New van battle: Renault Trafic v Vauxhall Vivaro

new van

Medium vans are among the most popular on the market. It’s no surprise; the medium van segment includes big hitters like the best-selling Ford Transit Custom and iconic Volkswagen Transporter. There are at least ten medium vans available from the major manufacturers in the new van market including the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, but which should you choose?

The Renault Trafic is effectively the Vauxhall Vivaro’s ‘sire’, as the original version of a van that’s now spawned THREE copycat models including the Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300. Last year, 22,791 new Vauxhall Vivaro vans were registered in the UK while the Renault Trafic shifted just 15,279 units – a difference of almost 50%.

So why does the Vauxhall Vivaro outsell the van it’s based on in Britain? It’ll be due in part to the fact that the Vivaro is built in Britain – we’re a patriotic bunch – but is there anything else that puts the Vauxhall Vivaro so far ahead of the Renault Trafic in the UK? Let’s find out!

Due to the fact that their bodies are identical, dimensions and weights will also be the same albeit with some very slight differences. So, splitting these vans is going to be a little harder than usual. One area that each manufacturer has control over is each vans’ specification, so let’s look at what you get with each new van.

New van battle: Renault Trafic v Vauxhall Vivaro

Vauxhall vans have two versions of the Vauxhall Vivaro, ‘base’ and ‘sportive’. Standard features across the range include digital radio, Bluetooth as well as USB and Aux-in connectivity, a front passenger’s bench seat and a full-height steel bulkhead. Not bad. The top-spec Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive models add body-coloured front and rear bumpers, side-protection mouldings, air conditioning, a load-through bulkhead, fold-down work surface, cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors, cd player, LED daytime running lights. Front fog lights and two-coat metallic paint. As you can see, Sportive models are very well equipped.

By contrast, Renault vans have three versions of the Renault Trafic, ‘Business’, ‘Business+’ and ‘Sport’. Standard features across the range include digital radio, Bluetooth as well as USB and Aux-in connectivity, a front passenger’s bench seat and a full-steel bulkhead. Yes, both entry-level models are virtually identical.

The difference becomes apparent in the upper trim levels of the Renault Trafic. The mid-range Business+ trim adds air conditioning, fold down work surface, underseat storage, body coloured front bumper, door rail and rear light column, a load-through bulkhead and rear parking sensors. It’s not quite as generous the trim of the Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive, but then Renault vans have held back some features making them exclusive to Renault Trafic Sport models.

These Renault Trafic Sport models add a number of features not included on the Vauxhall Vivaro, like automatic headlights and wipers, 7 inch touchscreen with built-in navigation, leather steering wheel and alloy wheels. Naturally, the top-end Renault Trafic is the definitive model – it’s the original so it’s no surprise that Renault vans have ensured that their top-spec model comes out on top.

That being said, the Vauxhall Vivaro is still an excellent vehicle with a superb level of equipment. The additional features on the Renault Trafic Sport are ‘nice-to-have’, but not essential. Splitting these two will largely be based on personal preference and/or budget but ultimately the choice is down to you.

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