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New Renault Trafic – 2019 facelift and engine upgrade for popular medium van

  • Renault’s medium van gets a new look inside and extra tech
  • All-new 2.0-litre dCi engines with auto gearbox option for first time
  • Up to 170hp and 380Nm, plus improved fuel economy

The Renault Trafic becomes the latest medium van to go under the knife, as Renault hits back against the recently upgraded Volkswagen Transporter and now well-established overhaul of the Ford Transit Custom with a new look and a new set of 2.0-litre engines - plus the option of an automatic transmission for the first time.

We’ve got all the official details of the new 2019 Renault Trafic direct from the reveal event in France – so keep reading.

What’s new about the way the Renault Trafic looks in 2019?

As with the Renault Master large van – which was shown in 2019 guise at the same press conference – the new Trafic gets a revised front end, demonstrating a new family design direction for the French manufacturer’s light commercial vehicles (LCVs).

2019 Renault Trafic - at launch event in France, Urban Grey, front view

The grille is said to be ‘more assertive’, while the availability of full LED headlights brings a more modern appearance and dramatically improved lighting performance. The C-shaped lighting signature is part of the new Renault LCV family look, and has also been added to the Alaskan pickup.

What’s new about the 2019 Renault Trafic engine line-up?

Renault has binned the efficient but slightly under-endowed 1.6-litre dCi turbodiesels in favour of a new set of 2.0-litre dCi turbodiesels for the Trafic.

The new 2.0-litre engines use a single, variable geometry turbo, and offer power outputs of 120hp with 320Nm, 145hp with 350Nm and 170hp with 380Nm. At the top of the range that's an increase of 25hp and 40Nm - still somewway short of the most powerful VW and Ford options, but still a big improvement.

Despite the larger engine size, fuel economy is also said to improve on a like-for-like basis - by as much as 10%. The new engines naturally meet the latest Euro 6D Temp emissions requirements.

Renault Trafic 2019 facelift - EDC automatic gearbox

Better yet, the two most powerful options can swap their standard six-speed manual gearbox for a new six-speed EDC automatic. EDC standard for Efficient Dual Clutch, and this gearbox works in a similar way to Volkswagen’s popular DSG autos – bringing smoother and faster gearshifts to the Trafic.

Should be good, and we look forward to trying both this and the new 2.0-litre motors in due course.

The 1.6-litre engine does continue, but only in its most basic 95hp specification as a low-power van for fleets.

Any changes inside the Renault Trafic’s cab for 2019?

The dashboard has been given a mild warming over – note the satin chrome accents (matching Renault's passenger car range) and uniform ‘dark carbon’ finish for the rest of the cab. There’s also a new gearknob and improved upholstery that’s said to last longer.

Renault Trafic 2019 facelift - cab interior

You can also now get infotainment systems compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – but expect to pay extra for the privilege on most versions.

What there isn’t is any major change to increase storage or practicality inside the 2019 Renault Trafic. But then, it does already offer up to 90 litres of space, and a passenger seat back that can be folded down into a desk.

Any new safety kit or load area solutions?

Upgraded safety kit is conspicuous by its absence here – the Trafic gets absolutely nothing new for 2019. The lack of autonomous emergency braking, even as an option, is the biggest surprise.

The LED headlights are brighter, though, we suppose, and expected to be fitted to over 90% of all Trafic models sold.

2019 Renault Trafic - at launch event in France, load area

There is also LED lighting for the load area now, too, alongside an optional upgrade to polypropylene lining – which is hardwearing and easy to clean.

New Trafic buyers will also get either a new three-button folding key fob or the option of ‘single door opening’ control via the Renault hands-free keycard – an effort to improve vehicle security.

When does the new Renault Trafic go on sale and how much will it cost?

The updated Trafic goes on sale in September 2019. UK pricing and specification is still to be confirmed, but expect at least a small increase over the existing model.

The new Trafic will not be shown at the 2019 CV Show in Birmingham.

Also read:

>> Renault Trafic full review

>> VW T6.1 - facelifted 2019 Transporter full detaiils

>> 2019 Ford Transit Custom - new engines and tech

>> A-Z of the CV Show 2019