Renault, Master, new, front, three, quarter

Renault Master van-like to drive and all the better for it!

Business Van Review of the Renault Master LWB MR 165 Energy Business

YES I know. Like teachers, we aren’t supposed to have favourites but in real life of course we do – and one of my particular favourites in the heavy panel van sector has always been the Renault Master.

Most of the manufacturers are trying to make vans more car-like to drive nowadays and they are doing it by making the seats more laid back and tilting the steering wheels over at an ever greater angle, so it almost feels as though you are lying on a settee.

I’m sorry but I like the old upright van position with an almost horizontal steering wheel. It feels more truck like but after a couple of hundred miles on the road you certainly feel less pain in the back.

The Master is one of the few vans left to maintain this position so that in itself gives it a big tick in my book. There are other things I like too, so let’s cut the eulogies short and get on with some useful info.

The Master was upgraded this summer with new looks, fresh options and a new set of engines offering better fuel economy.

We didn’t reckon there was anything wrong with the old model to be honest, but most of the van makers are running scared after seeing how blindingly good the new Ford Transit is and feel they have to do something to fight back.

Our test model is the long wheelbase medium high roof model with a stonking 2.3-litre twin turbo 165bhp engine under the bonnet, which isn’t exactly going to be the variant of choice for bigger fleets. If you are an owner-driver though, it ain’t half fun!

For those seeking more modest outputs there are also 110bhp, 125bhp and 135bhp units on offer.

In the upgrade there are two spec levels – Business and Business+.

Our test model is the lower level variant but even still weighs in at a hefty £28,900 as it boasted a fine array of added extras.

Business Van of the Year Awards 2021