Four panel vans and two box trucks for the delivery of car parts across the country, all orders are brought to you by FWD Renault Masters. Let’s zoom in on the 2018 truck on the left, parked alongside the warehouse.
Just like that. It’s powered by the 170 DIN-hp version of Renault’s 2.3 liter dCi engine. The logo on the sideguard rail says the body was made by Vermeulen Carrosserieën BV. Exactly the same configuration is also used by a Dutch supermarket chain for their grocery deliveries.
Now to the rear side of an identical lowrider. The center cargo door can be opened separately. It’s a bit hard to see from this angle, but there’s a wide boarding step between the tail lights.
Any preschooler can step in and out of the cargo box effortlessly. A low floor, that’s a major advantage of this type of commercial vehicles. Never mind said preschooler doesn’t have a driver’s license.
Here’s the starting point, a factory (current model) Renault Master platform cab, strictly FWD. The underpinnings’ description is spot on, evidently.
As an aside, Nissan offers this Master clone, called the Interstar (previously known as the Nissan NV400).
For obvious reasons, Opel and Vauxhall have left this family of full-size vans and light trucks. Their Movano is now based on the Stellantis/Fiat Ducato-and-others bunch. Consequently, no RWD (with single or dual rear wheels) Movanos any longer.
there seems to be a significant difference in bonnet/front clip profile between the 2018 and current models, as well as the lights etc.
Is this just style (or even my eyes?) or is there a more subtle reason, like a taller engine, space for electrification etc?
The current snub-nosed front dates back to 2019, but essentially we’re still talking about the third gen Master, introduced back in 2010.
More recent news is that Renault is working on the next gen Master as we speak:
The worst situation driving our front-wheel-drive automobile is trying to start on a hill when it’s slippery out. I have peeled-out unintentionally a number of times. And that is just a little Jetta. I wonder what one of these is like when the rear box is loaded up and you are trying to start on a hill.
Ask the man who drives a Ram ProMaster under all kinds of circumstances, he must be somewhere around here.
One needs to be a bit judicious with the throttle. Haven’t gotten stuck yet; well, actually once, but that was on a steep rocky “track” with sand between the rocks. I had to back down and take another route.
Any FWD vehicle can “peel out” when starting on a hill if it’s slippery. Easy does it!
That must be a pretty steep hill. I have often started up Vancouver’s Oak Street hill on rainy days. Never had a problem with spinning out. If I did, I would be considering new tires.
Daniel can confirm how steep it is!
With some rumor, maybe even moving towards official news, that Renault may come back to the US, I think a Nissan-branded version of this could be a solid seller here. In my area at least, there are many smaller NV200’s and even quite a few of the old RWD NV vans in commercial service with small businesses. Though I just checked and the NV200 has been dropped in North America due to low sales. I’ll agree that the Chevy badged version was a flop.
Sales of small commercial vans in the US are dead for MY 2024. My suspicion is that several factors were involved, perhaps the biggest of which is that they weren’t profitable enough and it made more sense to put the supply chain limited parts into more profitable vehicles. I think that’s a shame.
I test drove the NV200 in 2016. It was the worst new vehicle I’d driven in decades. It deserved to die. Ford Transit Connect and RAM ProMaster City were significantly better.
Maybe someday small vans will come back, but only if they’re built in the North American free trade zone. Stupid Chicken Tax.
Or in the pre-Stellantis era: the full-size Chevrolet Movano…
Maybe our commenter/photoshop artist Daniel M can slap a Chevy badge on that Renault or Nissan. 🙂
Every van you see on the freeway in Oz is a Master or the smaller Trafic. Mitsubishi had the Trafic as an Express for a short time, maybe two years. Last year they went to 10 year warranty and included the Trafic clone. Think they must have realised this was a bad idea as the car is now no longer available. Shame, for a bit it was the best van you could be buying, especially with the 10 year warranty!
Seeing how high up Ford E-series and the like ride makes me really, really angry. All that wasted space in something you need to climb in and out of multiple times each day…
Is that irrational?
That Ford is a whole different breed: RWD/body-on-frame.
For comparison purposes, below a heavy-duty RWD Renault Master chassis-cab with a flatbed. By the way, a FWD chassis-cab is also available (so besides the FWD platform-cab as shown in the article).
I agree they are totally different… One has 2 feet of unused space underneath it!
….though it will “settle down” once fully loaded, the rake stance will be gone.
Someone was once doing 4×4 -> FWD conversions of E-series Cutaway Vans, in order to have really low bed heights.
My previous work van was a 2013 swb high top Movano, pretty capable vehicle really, even on the semi off road use that a construction equipment service van gets used in, and was very reliable, only real issue seemed to be the rear brakes that liked to seize up, even though the van got daily use.
The high top was a boon, as could stand up 6′ fence panels in the rear, with room to spare, was kind of sad to see it go, though the transit custom that I have now is far easier to park and way more economical.
ooh. 6 speed manual? Imagine the practical non-herniating pick-up you could make with that. Imagine how many kids you’re not going to run over with that great forward slope-front visibility too!