Renault Trafic (2001–2014)

What's good

The Renault Trafic is good to drive and has a pair of punchy turbodiesel engines that offers low running costs and decent economy.

Comfort is among the best in class thanks to a height adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel that moves for reach and rake.

The Trafic comes in two body lengths, two roof heights and two gross vehicle weights to make it a practical and versatile choice.

What's bad

Recall 18-11-2002: Potential loss of brakes due to missing clips from brake pedal to servo cross shaft linkage.

Recall 27-04-2007: Engine may seize due to engine cooling fan failure.

Recall 25-07-2007: Front passenger seatbelt pre-tensioner not properly configured.

Recall 05-10-2007: Dashboard wiring may short circuit.

Recall 08-04-2008: Inadequate airbag triggering in the event of an accident due to left to right inversion of side impact sensor wiring.

Recall 24-11-2008: Parking brake may fail due to handbrake cable intermediate connector breaking.

Recall 20-10-2009: Rear outboard seatbelts may become ineffective due to mounting bolt unscrewing.

Recall 30-11-2009: Risk of tyre failure due to incorrect tyre size being fitted.

Recall 29-06-2010: Suspension turret panel may fail due to inadequate welding.

Recall 17-12-2010: Handbrake may fail as end piece crimping may not conform to standard.

Poor Euro NCAP crash rating with just two stars. The Ford Transit Custom received five stars while the trio of the Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Fiat Scudo - all essentially the same van - got three stars.

Fuel injectors can fail due to water ingress. 
Wind noise from around the windscreen makes any motorway journey more tiring than it needs to be.

No ESP fitted as standard seems poor, especially for a brand renowned for safety.

General Motors PK5, PK6, PF1, PF6 manual transmission failure common in Vivaro, Movano, Traffic, and Primastar. The 'built-in' fault, which will result in failure, irrespective of how the vehicle is driven or serviced, is that the gearboxes are assembled in such a way that the preload on the bearings is massively over-torqued, which results in bearing failure, and the total destruction of the box from as low as 20k upwards. In some cases the boxes are built up so tight that it makes turning the box over by hand virtually impossible. Once the bearings are replaced, and shimmed correctly, the box will “go on” virtually indefinitely.

Report on BBC Watchdog that some 2006 - 2010 Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and Nissan Primastar vans fitted with the 2.0DCI M9R diesel enginewere suffering from rainwater dripping from a failed bonnet seal at the base of the windscreen into the valley on the top of the engine containing the injectors. On a van left for long period unused, or used primarily for short runs, this water is not evaporatred off by the heat of the engine and causes corrosion between the injectors and the cylinder head, fusing the injectors to the head (very similar to the notorious problem with Ford Focus 1.6 petrol engines). There is now a new piece of kit that can extract corrosion fused injectors from diesel engines. The current Vauxhall Technical Service Bulletin (published in August 2013) covering injector corrosion states that Vauxhall will make a 100% goodwill contribution to replace the injectors on vehicles up to 7 years old and 248,000 miles. The first Technical Service Bulletin pertaining to this issue (published in June 2010 and effective up to August 2013) stated that vehicles within warranty would be repaired under the conditions of the warranty. Vehicles up to 4 years old/100,000 miles would be repaired with a goodwill contribution of 70% from Vauxhall. Vehicles up to 5 years old/100,000 miles would be repaired with a 50% goodwill contribution from Vauxhall.

Report of issues with corroded injectors on Vauxhall Vivaro badged Trafics caused by water leaking from windscreen onto top of engine. 

Very common gear linkage problem Renault Trafics, Renault Masters, Nissan Primastars, Vauxhall Vivaros and Vauxhall Movanos from 2001. The selector cable bush wears or simply pops off  the balljoint on the gearbox selector arm. Warrington Transmissions ( has developed a repair clip to prevent this from happening for just £8 that takes a mere 15 minutes to fit.

13-3-2017: Timing belt snapped on 2004 Trafic engine at 57,000 miles. Should have been changed twice by now on age grounds alone.

3-11-2017: Report of Nissan Primastar van developing a "really low biting point on the clutch" making it almost impossible to get a smooth change. Garage found no leak in the hydraulics, so removed gearbox and replaced the clutch. Showed owner that it was in good condition and confirmed no leak from slave cylinder or cranskshaft end seal or transmission input shaft seal. Problem persisted. Garage eventually discovered that pedal assembly had fatigued and was pulling away from the bulkhead. Something to watch on ageing Primastars, Vivaros and Trafics.


What does a Renault Trafic (2001 – 2014) cost?