It’s a bus! That is the very first thing that comes to mind as I lay eyes on the humungous Renault Trafic Passenger. Honest.
And the bus is not especially pretty, either. So, fighting the urge to bolt in the opposite direction, I launch my 1,56-m frame into the driver’s seat and try to get comfortable, which is not as difficult as I had expected.
The bus may be big, but it does cater for us shorties, with pedals sprouting from the floor for you to stomp on, rather than simply depress, and a seat that slides right up to the steering wheel if needs be. Sitting well above most other vehicles on the road is rather fun, and once underway, the large Trafic feels surprisingly wieldy and, powered by the same 1,9 dCi turbodiesel as its panel van sibling, even manages to hold its own in a stream of fast-flowing traffic.
The Trafic should comfortably seat up to nine, though it doesn’t successfully manage to shake off its commercial roots. In fact, if that was the intention, Renault may not have tried hard enough since its origins are very noticeable in the rickety quality of the facia plastics, and the particularly painful cloth upholstery.
But, the Trafic is a capable people mover, and once the seats are tossed down in a variety of configurations, the available space is enviable. And even with nine up, the luggage space is completely usable, something more designers of seven seater SUVs should consider.