2023 Renault Trafic facelift due in Australia this year with advanced safety

The Renault Trafic van is set to gain much-needed advanced safety technology from later this year, alongside a revised look, and a larger engine standard across the range.

Above and throughout: UK-market Trafic shown.

The 2023 Renault Trafic van is set for a major upgrade later this year, adding a new look, more power for most models and much-needed advanced safety technology – but a likely round of price rises to match.

Drive understands the updated van may arrive in Australian showrooms as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022 (October to December) – though Renault’s local distributor Ateco is yet to lock in launch timing.

Details shared with Australian government authorities reveal up to six variants will be available locally: three-seat Pro and Premium cargo vans, available in short-wheelbase (SWB) and long-wheelbase (LWB) forms, and the five- or six-seat Crew in base or Premium model grades.

All models are now powered by the largest engine currently available, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel developing 125kW and 380Nm – spelling the end of the current 85kW single- and 103kW twin-turbo 1.6-litre base engines.

It’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission as standard in the SWB and LWB Pro – previously limited to the 1.6-litre engines – or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic as an option in the Pro, or as standard in all other models.

Headlining the 2023 update for the Trafic for safety-conscious buyers is the addition of advanced safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) – already standard on the Toyota HiAce, Hyundai Staria Load, Ford Transit Custom, and other rivals.

AEB is standard across the range, along with blind-spot monitoring. SWB Premium, LWB Premium and Crew Lifestyle variants add adaptive cruise control.

It remains to be seen if the Trafic range is re-tested by Euro NCAP or its Australian equivalent, ANCAP, once the new safety technologies are added.

The Trafic’s now-defunct twin, the Mitsubishi Express, was hit with a zero-star ANCAP rating in 2021, due in part to a lack of advanced safety technology – though its 55 per cent adult occupant protection score would not have met the criteria for anything more than two stars.

While the Express and Trafic differ only in their badges, the Renault does not carry an ANCAP score. It was awarded a three-star safety rating by sister agency Euro NCAP under more lenient 2015 criteria.

Alongside the new technology and engine revisions, the Renault Trafic gains a new look with a restyled front fascia with slimmer LED headlights, plus a new Cumulus Blue colour, and new wheel designs in Europe.

In Australia, 16-inch wheels will continue to be standard on most models, with 17-inch alloys seemingly standard on the Crew Premium, and optional on all other grades.

Inside, upgrades for European models include a redesigned dashboard home to an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation.

There’s also a 4.2-inch display between the analog instrument dials, three USB ports, and a higher-power 15-watt wireless smartphone charging pad.

The 2023 Renault Trafic van is expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in late 2022 – though final timing has not been confirmed.

Pricing is likely to rise over the current model, due to the larger engine as standard and new safety technology.

The cheapest Trafic currently available, the SWB Pro 1.6-litre single-turbo manual, costs $39,590 plus on-road costs (from July 1) – while the most affordable model with the 2.0-litre engine, the SWB Premium, will cost $47,090 plus on-road costs from next month.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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