Big Re­nault carving out a mar­ket niche

New Zealand LCV - - 2017VAN GUIDE | RENAULT MASTER -

RE­NAULT NEW ZEALAND OF­FERS FOUR VER­SIONS OF THE Master, a well-equipped big van with use­fully-large load spa­ces, good ride and han­dling and strong per­for­mance.

It was Re­nault NZ’S best-sell­ing van in 2016, with 88 regis­tra­tions – a shade over four times the num­ber sold in 2015 when 19 were reg­is­tered.

The 2017 NZ Master range starts with an eight cu­bic me­tre load­ca­pac­ity short-wheel­base model and con­tin­ues through a medi­umwheel­base 10.8 cu­bic me­tre van to long-wheel­base 13 cu­bic me­tre and 17 cu­bic me­tre ver­sions.

The first three are front-wheel drive, but the big­gest van has dual rear wheels and rear-wheel drive.

All Master vans share the same 2.3-litre twin turbo, in­ter­cooled, di­rect-in­jected, Euro 5 diesel engine. It comes in two states of tune, depend­ing on whichww gear­box it’s mated to.

In six-speed man­u­als, it de­vel­ops max­i­mum power of 110kw at 3500rpm; six-speed au­to­mated man­ual gear­box (AMT) ver­sions have 120kw of power at the same revs.

On man­u­als, peak torque is 350Nm, and AMT Masters have 360Nm. In both ver­sions, peak torque ar­rives at 1500rpm.

Com­bined cy­cle fuel econ­omy ranges from 6.9 litres/100km and 8.0 litres/100km for the eight cu­bic me­tre man­ual and AMT vans to 9.3 litres/100km for the 17 cu­bic me­tre dual rear wheel model.

The SWB Master has a 12 me­tre turn­ing cir­cle, the medium wheel­base model needs 13.6 me­tres, and the long wheel­base ver­sions turn in 15.7 me­tres.

All Masters have Re­nault’s Grip X-tend sys­tem which pro­vides added trac­tion on soft and slip­pery ground. Hill-start as­sist is stan­dard on all mod­els.

The three front-drive mod­els can tow a 2500kg braked trailer, and the rear-wheel drive can haul 3000kg.

Pay­loads vary from model to model, start­ing at 1620kg on the short- and medium-wheel­base mod­els, dip­ping to 1534kg on the smaller of the two long-wheel­base mod­els and peak­ing at 2128kg on the big­gest van.

Ve­hi­cle lengths range from 5048mm, through 5548mm and 6198mm to a mas­sive 6848mm. Width is the same on all ver­sions – 2470mm, in­clud­ing the ex­te­rior mir­rors – and heights start at 2310mm and peak at 2808mm.

Cargo area lengths start at 2583mm on the short-wheel­base Masters, and rise to 4384mm in the long-wheel­base 17 cu­bic me­tre model.

A left-hand side glazed slid­ing door is stan­dard on all Masters, and a glazed right-hand side slid­ing door is a $1500 op­tion. There are dual barn-style glazed rear doors that open to a max­i­mum of 270 de­grees.

Each Master van is a three-seater, with a bucket seat for the driver and a dual bench seat for the pas­sen­gers. The cen­tre seat­back can be folded for­ward to re­veal a ta­ble.

Driver and out­side front seat pas­sen­ger get airbags, and all mod­els have cruise-con­trol and a vari­able speed-lim­iter. Other stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes a multi-func­tion trip com­puter, au­to­matic engine stop/start, power-op­er­ated door mir­rors and cabin door win­dows, cargo area light­ing, man­u­ally-op­er­ated air­con­di­tion­ing, front and rear mud­flaps, and rear park­ing sen­sors.

There’s a steel bulk­head with a win­dow be­tween the cargo area and the pas­sen­ger cabin, and all Masters have au­to­mat­i­cal­ly­op­er­ated head­lights and rain-sens­ing wind­screen wipers.

Masters have Blue­tooth hands-free phone con­nec­tiv­ity with au­dio stream­ing; a USB au­dio in­put and 3.5mm AUX jack are stan­dard.

There’s also a CD/MP3 sound sys­tem with roof-mounted dis­play and steer­ing wheel-mounted con­trols.

Prices start at $51,990 for the short-wheel­base and peak at $72,990 for the long-wheel­base 17 cu­bic me­tre. The AMT trans­mis­sion adds $2000 to the list price.

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