Standard EquipmentTechnical SpecificationOptional ExtrasIndependent Review

Driver Convenience

  • Blue and me
  • Trip computer

Entertainment

  • Aux input socket
  • USB connection

Exterior Features

  • Electric windows with electric/heated door mirrors

Interior Features

  • 10 floor mounted load anchorage point
  • Centre console with twin cupholders
  • Driver seat lumbar support
  • Driver's armrest
  • Drivers seat with lumbar adjust
  • Full steel bulkhead
  • Glovebox with lid
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Kaleido cloth upholstery
  • Overhead storage shelf
  • Passenger seat bench

Safety

  • 3 point height adjustable seatbelts with pretensioners
  • Drivers airbag

Security

  • Alarm Predisposition
  • Deadlocks
  • Electronic immobiliser
  • Remote central locking

Technical

  • 12V accessory socket
  • ABS +EBD
  • ESC - load adaptive with understeer control
  • ESP + Hill start assist

Wheels

  • Spare wheel

Emissions

CO2 (g/km)

204

Standard Euro Emissions

EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

Automatic Transmission

1

Cylinders - Bore (mm)

85

Catalytic Convertor

1

CC

2298

Cylinder Layout

IN-LINE

Cylinders

4

Engine Code

M9T 870

Engine Layout

FRONT TRANSVERSE

Engine Make

Fuel Delivery

COMMON RAIL

Fuel Delivery

DIESEL

Gears

6 SPEED

Manual Transmission

1

Number of Valves

16

Cylinders - Stroke (mm)

101.3

Fuel Consumption

EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies

1

EC Combined (mpg)

36.2

EC Extra Urban (mpg)

39.8

EC Urban (mpg)

31.7

General

Safety Concerns?

1

Badge Engine CC

2.3

Badge Power

110

Coin Description

Coin Gross Vehicle Weight Code

Coin Power Output Code

Coin Series

Coin Wheelbase Description Code

Coin Wheelbase Name Code

Timing Belt Interval Mileage

0

Insurance Group 1

Insurance Group 2

NCAP Safety Assist %

NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09

NCAP Front/Side Impact - Discontinued February 09

Badge Power

NCAP Pedestrian - Discontinued February 09

Badge Engine CC

Vehicle Homologation Class

NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %

24

Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months

25000

Special Edition

1

Special Order

1

Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage

100000

Standard manufacturers warranty - Years

4

Vehicle Homologation Class

N1

Vin/Frame No.

Performance

0 to 62 mph (secs)

18.7

Engine Power - BHP

110

Engine Power - KW

81

Engine Power - RPM

3500

Engine Torque - LBS.FT

210

Engine Torque - MKG

29.1

Engine Torque - NM

285

Engine Torque - RPM

1500

Tyres

Alloys?

1

Automatic Clutch

1

Plated 3rd Axle

Plated 4th Axle

Space Saver?

1

Tyre Make

Tyre Size Front

215/65 R16

Tyre Size Rear

215/65 R16

Tyre Size Spare

FULL SIZE

Wheel Style

Wheel Type

16" STEEL

Vehicle Dimensions

Height

2495

Length

5548

Load Height

1894

Load Length

3083

Load Space Width Between Wheel Arches

1380

Side Load Door Height

1780

Side Load Door Width

1270

Turning Circle - Wall to Wall

14.1

Wheelbase

3682

Width

2070

Width (including mirrors)

2470

Weight and Capacities

Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb

13.6

Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)

80

Gross Train Weight

5800

Gross Vehicle Weight

3300

Load Space Volume

10

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Removed

Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Up

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Down

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Removed

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Up

Max. Towing Weight - Braked

2500

Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked

750

Minimum Kerbweight

1976

No. of Seats

3

Max. Loading Weight

1324

On The Road

Driver Convenience

Entertainment

Exterior Features

Interior Features

Packs

Paintwork

Safety

Security

Technical

Trim

Wheels

Summary

The Renault Master is one of those vans that has improved at such a steady rate that it's quietly turned from an also-ran into a real contender. No, the interior doesn't feel quite as plush as a Crafter or a Sprinter, but you won't worry too much about that when you drive the Master and realise that it's more comfortable than both of them, so you'll emerge fresher after a long day at the wheel. There's also a vast amount of different configuration options to choose from and the special L4 body optimised for motorway use is bound to attract the attention of those operators who need goods hauled long distances quickly and efficiently. The one thing that comes shining through like a beacon when giving this vehicle the once-over is that Renault has clearly engaged deeply with not just the people who buy vans, but the people who use them on a day to day basis. That can only spell good things.

Background

Renault's Master van is one of those commercial vehicles that seems to do just enough to warrant its own existence in the UK, rarely being the first vehicle buyers consider in a large van segment dominated by models like the Mercedes Sprinter, the Volkswagen Crafter or the Ford Transit. In Europe it's a different matter, the Master racking up some impressive sales. Spawned from the same basis as the Vauxhall Movano and Nissan NV400, the Master has been around in one guise or another since 1980, with that first generation model lasting for 17 years. Its 1997 replacement stuck around for a mere 13 years and the third generation Master appeared in 2010 and has now been revised to keep things current. Is it time we gave the Master the respect it would appear to deserve?

Driving Experience

The biggest changes to this Master come under the bonnet, where Renault now offers a choice of four dCi diesel engines. They're all based on the same 2.3-litre block, but the 110 and 125PS entry level engines are bolstered by one turbocharger, while the heavier duty 135 and 165PS units get a pair of turbos bolted on. Even the 110PS unit generates a respectable slug of torque, with 285Nm available at just 1,250rpm. The twin-turbo 165PS powerplant is good for 360Nm at 1,500rpm. A dual mass flywheel and a crankshaft with eight counterweights also help to reduce engine noise and cut the amount of vibration coming into the cabin. The Master is available in both front and rear-wheel drive layouts and Renault has even built a special heavy hauler model optimised for motorway usage. The rear-wheel drive L4 version with single rear wheels has been added to the Master catalogue, in addition to the existing twin rear-wheel version. This variant means that 30 extra centimetres are now available between the interior rear wheel wells, which means a europallet can be loaded widthways. Five such pallets can be accommodated, and that is sure to interest long distance operators and express courier businesses at which this version is aimed. This version of the Master is only available with twin turbo engines. Fuel consumption is down by around half a litre per 100km compared with the equivalent twin-wheeled version, thanks notably to a longer final drive ratio (which means lower revs for the same travelling speed),plus the vehicle's lighter weight, reduced rolling resistance and the better aerodynamics of the single rear wheels.

Design and Build

The cabin of the Master has been designed to be as car-like in its seating position as possible while incorporating a number of 'office on wheels' features. Renault has given a lot of thought to the depth of the footwells relative to the hip point of the seating and the degree of seat rake available to offer a supremely comfortable driving angle that's a long way from the sit-up-and-beg stance you had to adopt in older vans. A suspension seat is available as an option, as indeed is seat heating. The design of the windscreen and side windows, plus the high-up seating position ensure commanding vertical and horizontal fields of vision of 39.9 and 193.1 degrees respectively.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £19,000 excluding VAT, which is in line with its sibling vehicles from Nissan and Vauxhall. Of course, there's an absolutely dizzying array of Master variants with more than 120 different models already on Renault's books, with carrying capacities extending from 8 to 22 cubic metres. As well as the panel vans we examine here, there are people carriers, buses, chassis cabs and twin-cab chassis, platform cabs, crew vans and tippers. The Master is offered in four lengths, three wheelbases and with two different rear overhangs. Front and rear-wheel drive is available, with the rear-wheel drive chassis sold with single or twin rear wheels. Then there are four gross vehicle weights: 2.8 tonnes, 3.3 tonnes, 3.5 tonnes (with single or twin rear wheels) and 4.5 tonnes (with twin rear wheels). Standard equipment provision looks good with a DAB stereo, Bluetooth hands free telephony, a CD player plus USB and iPod connectivity. There's also an optional system incorporating the Carminat TomTom navigation system with an overhead screen. There are also a number of driver aids that improve safety, such as the Grip Xtend function that optimises grip on soft surfaces, hill start assist, stability control with load adaptive control and simpler things such as a wide view mirror built into the passenger sun visor that eliminates the traditional blind spot.