Take a long ride

Wheel­base and tray make the Mas­ter the tradies’ stretch limo

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@carsguide.com.au

THE Lit­tle Mas­ter might have played his last in­nings but Re­nault hopes its big Mas­ter has a long ca­reer ahead of it.

Sachin Ten­dulkar played his last in­nings in In­dia re­cently, but the van thatis a near name­sake is just get­ting started in Aus­tralia thanks to an ag­gres­sive pric­ing strat­egy and a new ute ver­sion.

This cab-chas­sis is aimed right at the lu­cra­tive tradie mar­ket. It is rated for a max­i­mum weight of 4500kg, which means it can carry a de­cent load, but more im­por­tantly, can be driven us­ing a reg­u­lar car li­cence.

Re­nault says its new hauler has twice the cargo space of a reg­u­lar ute, at a com­pa­ra­ble price, start­ing at $45,490.

That price is for the sin­gle cab, while a crew cab ver­sion is avail­able at $45,490, both plus on-roads.

The Mas­ter cab-chas­sis is diesel only, pow­ered by a 2.3litre di­rect in­jec­tion turbo four­cylin­der (110kW/350Nm). Max­i­mum torque is on tap from 1500rpm-2750rpm. The stan­dard trans­mis­sion is a sixspeed man­ual, while a six-speed au­to­mated man­ual adds $2500.

Vans in the Mas­ter range are front-drive, the cab-chas­sis utes drive via the rear wheels, which most op­er­a­tors re­gard as a ma­jor plus. The Mas­ter van has dual rear wheels for max­i­mum trac­tion and sta­bil­ity.

An au­to­matic dif­fer­en­tial lock, which helps get the upower down on slip­pery and un­even sur­faces is stan­dard on the crew cab and op­tional on the sin­gle cab ver­sion.

The Mas­ter ute’s pay­load comes in at 2500kg, while another 3000kg can be hauled us­ing a braked trailer.

The cab-chas­sis model is avail­able 3682mm and 4332mm wheel­bases and the crew-cab only in the longer con­fig­u­ra­tion.

The crew cab is of­fi­cially able to seat seven, al­though the four peo­ple sit­ting on the rear bench would want to be very good friends.

Cus­tomers can fit trays mea­sur­ing up to 5500mm for the sin­gle cab, which is a vast area for a tradie. Re­nault sug­gests the Mas­ter cab-chas­sis is not only an op­tion for trades­peo­ple, but says a re­frig­er­ated box could be fit­ted for food haulage, while a reg­u­lar box could be fit­ted in or­der to turn the Mas­ter into a com­pact re­moval van.

Re­nault also of­fers a choice of drop-side trays that are sourced lo­cally and avail­able in ei­ther alu­minium or steel.

Stan­dard safety equip­ment for the cab-chas­sis Mas­ter in­cludes Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol, trac­tion con­trol, an­tilock brakes, dual front airbags and an ad­justable speed lim­iter. There is even a fea­ture that lets you know when the brake pads are wear­ing thin.

Stan­dard com­fort fea­tures in­clude air­con­di­tion­ing, Blue­tooth phone con­nec­tiv­ity and au­dio stream­ing, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, chilled glove­box, mul­ti­func­tion trip com­puter and over­head stor­age. There are power win­dows in the front, with rear win­dow winders (re­mem­ber them?) in the crew-cab.

Op­tions in­clude a power take-off for pumps etc, Isri sus­pended driver’s seat, sat­nav and tow­ing pack.

The cab-chas­sis has capped price ser­vic­ing for 90,000km. This puts a limit on some, but not all, costs. Mas­ter ser­vice in­ter­vals are 30,000km, the war­ranty is three years/200,000km. Three years’ road­side as­sis­tance is stan­dard.

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