Story: COLIN DAWSON
SME van operators who favour Renault’s largest model should now find it better than ever, according to the manufacturer. A range of improvements to Master vans has enhanced fuel economy and lowered engine emissions, says Renault.
A number of specification changes have also been made, including the introduction of new radios and adoption of air suspension for front-wheel-drive versions.
The 2.3 dCi powerplant, which is available in a choice of three power outputs (100hp, 125hp and 150hp), has improved fuel consumption by up to 3.8mpg (SL/SM dCi 125 Quickshift6 Euro 5 versions), and the core-selling dCi 125 is improved by 3.3 mpg (SL/SM versions). CO2 emissions now start at 194 g/km, and are down by an average of 16g/km (24 g/km in the case of dCi 125 Quickshift6 Euro 5 versions of SL28 and SL33).
The improvements have been achieved by better thermal management – an improved water circuit for even faster starting, new gearbox lubricant, the introduction of new oil and power steering pumps, and low-fuel-consumption tyres.
Cabin comfort has been enhanced with a selection of new radios said to be easier to use and better equipped than previous models. Bluetooth and USB connectivity are now standard features across the range, and flagship Sport versions come with a CD player and MP3 playback, as well as a separate display. Air suspension is available for front-wheel-drive Masters.
Optional air suspension is also now available for the most of the front-wheel drive range (panel vans, Chassis Cab, Chassis Double Cab, Platform Cab) at £2,000 excluding VAT, irrespective of engine, with the exception of the 2.8-tonne GVW version. Air suspension offers several benefits for company van drivers, including maintenance of constant ride height irrespective of load and correct differences behind the left- and right-hand sides of the vehicle; allowing vehicle ground clearance or rear clearance angle to be raised momentarily; lowering the rear suspension to achieve a lower rear sill height (450mm): and the ability to manually adjust the deck height at the rear by +70mm or -60mm.
For business van users who have towing requirements, a new option is available for twin-wheel, rear-wheel-drive Chassis Cabs in the form of 3.5 tonne towing capacity, which represents an additional towing capacity of 500kg over the current Master, taking GTW from 6.5 to 7 tonnes. The option is priced at £350 excluding VAT.