• Renault Trafic vs Vauxhall Vivaro: Pros and Cons
  • Renault Trafic vs Vauxhall Vivaro: Pros and Cons

Renault Trafic vs Vauxhall Vivaro: Pros and Cons

We put the two popular mid-size vans head-to-head

The Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro - two extremely popular vans that prove their worth for businesses up and down the country. But how reliable are they? Which is the most economical? Are there any faults to be aware of? We answer all of these questions and more!

In this van comparison article, here at Loads of Vans, we compare the mighty Renault Trafic against the hardworking Vauxhall Vivaro to give you a better understanding of the pros and cons for each. Read on to find out more about these two titans of the commercial vehicle world…  

Are the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro the same van?

As two very similar looking medium-sized vans, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro are identical, but scratch beneath the surface, the two are in fact quite different. 

renault traffic vs vauxhall vivaro comparison

To give you some background, the Renault Trafic is the older of the two models, having been in production since 1980. The confusion between the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro is mainly so because until 2018, the Renault Trafic was marketed as the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro, alongside other models, which we now know as the Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300. Confusing, we know! 

This process is known as ‘badge-sharing’, or ‘rebadging’ and you can find out more about the concept by reading our ‘Same Van Different Name’ article which explains more. For example, up until 2019, under the bonnet of a Vauxhall Vivaro was Renault’s award-winning 1.6-litre twin turbo engine, along with the same chassis, also known as a ‘platform’.   

Following the takeover of Opel/Vauxhall by Stellantis in late 2017 (the same company that also owns Citroën, Fiat, and Peugeot), the Vauxhall Vivaro model which was based on the Renault Trafic went out of production. Instead, from 2019 onwards, Vauxhall introduced a new generation Vivaro which was based on an altogether different platform. 

By comparison, the Vauxhall Vivaro now has many more similarities with a Citroën Dispatch and Peugeot Expert than it does with the Renault Trafic.

What are the differences between a Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro?

Now we've explained how the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro vans used to be very similar, here we explain the differences between the two; from the variant editions through to the standard onboard equipment, there are many factors that set these two commercial vehicles apart… 

Van trim levels 

The Renault Trafic is available in four different trim levels, from the entry-level edition, through to the top end elite edition:

  1. Business
  2. Business+
  3. Sport
  4. Sport+

blue renault trafic parked with driver and parcels

By comparison, the Vauxhall Vivaro is available in just three different trim levels which vary from a basic spec up to a more premium variant:

  1. Dynamic
  2. Doublecab Dynamic
  3. Sportive

vauxhall vivaro parked near pallets

Van bodystyle and variants

The Renault Trafic comes in two different lengths and two roof heights, depending on which version you opt for, as demonstrated below.

Crew Van

Four possible dimensions to choose from, including; LWB/high roof, LWB/low roof, SWB/high roof, and SWB/low roof. 

  • Number of seats: 6
  • Maximum payload: 1122 kg 
  • Standard load volume: 4.3m³
  • Overall length: 5,480mm
  • Overall height: 1,967mm

Panel Van

Four possible dimensions to choose from, including; LWB/high roof, LWB/low roof, SWB/high roof, and SWB/low roof. 

  • Number of seats: 3
  • Maximum payload: 1017-1251 kg
  • Standard load volume: 5.8-8.9m³
  • Overall length: 5,080mm 
  • Overall height: 1,971mm

The Vauxhall Vivaro has six different variants available in the range, depending on the dimensions required. They are available in L1 (short) or L2 (long) models and include; L1 Dynamic Panel Van, L1 Sportive Panel Van, L2 Dynamic Panel Van, L2 Sportive Panel Van, L2 Dynamic Doublecab, and L1 Dynamic Platform Cab, which can carry up to 9 passengers. 

L1 Panel Van

  • Maximum payload: 1,079-1,458 kg  
  • Standard load volume: 5.3m³
  • Overall length: 4,959mm
  • Overall height: 1,905mm

L2 Panel Van

  • Maximum payload: 1,060-1,415 kg
  • Standard load volume: 6.6m³
  • Overall length: 5,309mm
  • Overall height: 1,905mm  

Van engine size

Engine sizes vary between both the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, which we’ve explained in more detail below.

The Renault Trafic offers four different engine sizes, which are:

  1. Practical - Blue dCi 110. The 2.0 litre turbo engine is coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox, boasting AdBlue technology.
  2. Efficient - Blue dCi 130. The 2.0 litre turbocharged AdBlue engine is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. 
  3. Versatile - Blue dCi 150. The 2.0 litre turbo engine is available as a 6-speed manual version or a automatic dual-clutch 6-speed EDC gearbox. 
  4. High-performance - Blue dCi 170. Offering 380 Nm of torque paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or dual-clutch 6-speed EDC version. 

The Vauxhall Vivaro also offers four energy-efficient diesel engines, available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 8-speed automatic version:

  1. 1.5 (100PS) Turbo D Start/Stop BlueInjection
  2. 1.5 (120PS) Turbo D Start/Stop BlueInjection
  3. 2.0 (145PS) Turbo D Start/Stop BlueInjection
  4. 2.0 (145PS) Turbo D Start/Stop BlueInjection auto  

Van fuel economy

The Renault Trafic’s 2.0 litre engine has a range of up to 40.9 mpg according to the official WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) results.

By comparison, the Vauxhall Vivaro claims to have a range of 60.1 mpg for its 1.5 litre Turbo D variant, but under WLTP conditions, this falls to around 47.0 mpg, whereas the 2.0 litre Turbo D version has a more realistic range of 39.2 mpg. 

From these results, the Renault Trafic is more economical than the Vauxhall Vivaro by a small margin when comparing the 2.0 litre models. However, if a 1.5 litre engine will do the job, then the Vauxhall Vivaro is the van for you.     

Van standard features

Both the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro offer a multitude of key features as standard for a more comfortable, enjoyable and advanced driving experience, including the following driver assist technology:

Renault Trafic

  • 360° parking sensors
  • Blind spot warning 
  • Active emergency braking system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning

Vauxhall Vivaro

  • Emergency braking
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver drowsiness alert
  • IntelliGrip
  • 180° rear view camera

Are Renault Trafic vans reliable?

Over the years, the Renault Trafic has earned a very good reputation for its reliability. Described by Renault as ‘practical, versatile and secure’, the Trafic van has made its mark as one of the most popular - if not the most popular - mid-size commercial vehicles on the market. 

driving renault trafic on the street

Since 1980, the Renault Trafic has been adapted over the years to suit all business requirements, making it the ideal van if you’re a sole trader, or a company owner needing an entire fleet. Dubbed ‘the van of all trades’, the Renault Trafic is adaptable and can be customised to suit any type of job thrown its way. 

In terms of reliability, it’s about the best van you can buy on the market today. Pairing comfort with practicality, life on board is made simple. Expect driver safety features aplenty, plus an optimised loading area which is said to to be the greatest in its segment.   

Are Vauxhall Vivaro vans reliable?

Benefiting from years of development, the Vauxhall Vivaro is also up there in terms of reliability. Despite this, some owners have found issues, which we explain in more detail, below.

driving vauxhall vivaro on the street

For peace of mind, the Vauxhall Vivaro is covered by a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard. Forging its way as one of the most capable mid-size models on the market, the Vauxhall Vivaro now comes with more tech than ever and an improved towing capacity. 

With top of the class interior design teamed with ergonomic seating, Vauxhall boasts that its Vivaro now offers ‘more choice, more practicality, more clever features, plus class-leading fuel economy’ - that’s quite the claim.  

What are the common faults with a Vauxhall Vivaro?

Back in 2016, Vauxhall recalled its Vivaro models due to issues with the bonnet catch, which had been failing and causing an issue for many owners. This issue also coincided with reports of a failed bonnet seal that allowed water to get inside, causing corrosion. These problems have since been addressed and rectified.

Despite its previous problems, the Vauxhall Vivaro is generally a good van to invest in and has a reputation for a strong and reliable engine. 

Renault Trafic pros and cons

To help you make a decision on the right van for you, here we take a look at the pros and cons of owning a Renault Trafic van:

Renault Trafic Pros

  • It’s an extremely reliable van
  • It’s a great value van and is very competitively priced
  • The van holds its value in the used van market
  • The 2022 facelift offers even more safety technology
  • It has the longest loading length in the medium van market
  • It’s comfortable and easy to drive by offering a car-like driving experience
  • Good real-world fuel economy
  • Long service interval times (the manufacturer recommends up to 25,000 miles or two years between servicing)
  • Low service maintenance costs thanks to Renault EasyLife service plan
  • A wider variety of trim levels are available 

Renault Trafic Cons

  • Rival vans can offer a better payload
  • Older versions may lack safety features compared to rival vans
  • The infotainment system can be fiddly to operate
  • Only offers a three-year warranty as standard, compared to rivals that offer five-year warranties
  • Be aware of safety recalls on some of the 2014 models

renault trafic loading space opened with worker

Vauxhall Vivaro pros and cons

To aid your decision when it comes to purchasing a van, we’ve also compiled a list of the pros and cons for the Vauxhall Vivaro:

Vauxhall Vivaro pros

  • Offer high payload ratings - one of the best in the mid-size van sector
  • Strongly built and reliable engines
  • Van dimensions are city friendly
  • Impressive fuel economy for the 1.5 litre engine model
  • Well priced and proves good value for money
  • Its towing capabilities have been improved
  • Its FlexCargo loading system is practical and increases the load volume

Vauxhall Vivaro cons

  • The cabin can feel cramped inside
  • Not as comfortable as its rivals
  • Fewer safety features in the standard model
  • The manual gearbox variant isn’t recommended for long drives
  • 2016 models had faults with the bonnet
  • The loading length isn’t as long as its rivals

vauxhall vivaro loading space opened in a warehouse

Rely on a Renault Trafic from Loads of Vans

If the Trafic is the right van for you, then you’ve come to the right place. Read more about it in our Renault Trafic Review, see our Renault Trafic deals and offers or browse our full stock of used Renault Trafic vans. Here at Loads of Vans in North Cheam, South London, we specialise in the sale of commercial vehicles to help you get the job done. 

One of our most popular vans, the Renault Trafic is as reliable as a medium size van gets. Whether you’re looking for a new or used Renault Trafic, speak to us today about booking a test drive. 

We also offer finance deals for our Trafic vans, to help make your purchase more affordable. Whether you’re interested in Finance Lease, Hire Purchase, or Contract Hire, get in touch to chat with one of our van finance experts who can help get you on the road in a new Renault Trafic.  

If a Vauxhall Vivaro van is right up your street, then you’re on to a winner, as we also stock these too. Once based on the popular Renault Trafic, the Vauxhall Vivaro now has distinct differences and has really come into its own and you can view our nearly new / used Vauxhall Vivaro vans for sale here.  

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