The car: Renault Master 2.3L dCi
The Price: From $43,990 plus on road costs
Vital statistics: 2.3L 4cyl diesel; 107kW/350Nm; 6-sp manual; RWD; 9L/100km, 238g/km C02.
The tester: David McCowen
Why we’re driving it: Renault says the Master is a “warehouse on wheels”, so we put one to the test at Drive’s Car of the Year awards. The big van became Drive HQ for a week, swallowing everything we had to throw at it, from communications gear to cameras and traffic cones.
Likes: Rear barn doors bend back 270 degrees to allow full access to the cargo space. Acres of room in the load bay area, which has a maximum payload of 1645kg. It also has plenty of space to stash things in the driver’s compartment. Diesel engine has solid fuel economy. Swivelling in-cabin desk handy for sorting out paperwork or a demolishing drive-through lunch. Standard stability control good to have.
Dislikes: The driver’s seat can be uncomfortable on long drives. A cushy optional driver’s suspension seat might help, but it’s incompatible with curtain and side airbags. Those extra airbags are an option, we’d like to see them fitted as standard.
Would I buy one: Not personally, because it’s overkill - big enough to hold all my worldly possessions and still give me space for a bed. But the Master is worth consideration if you need more than 10 cubic metres of load space.