Comparing Renault base vehicle to Fiat
I'm contemplating renewing my van.
I will obviously test and inspect, etc prior to purchase.
I currently have a Fiat base vehicle 2011 and looking to perhaps go to a Renault base vehicle 2013/14 for various reasons.
Can anyone who has owned a Fiat and now Renault enlighten me as to the nuiances or otherwise of the two base vehicles.
The engine in my Fiat is 130BHP, the Renault I'm looking 150BHP.
Do you prefer one or the other?
What comes with or has more equipment available - ie the newer Fiats can have an all in one sat nav / media centre - does the Renault have this option?
Driving and Handling - experiences?
Maybe not a fair comparison, but here is my experience:
Fiat Ducato-based '03 reg Burstner with 2.8jTD engine against Renault Master '07 reg Adria with the 150HP engine.
These 2 vans fall either side of a model change and face lift for both brands, so improvements will have been made to the Fiat which I haven't been able to compare.
The Renault-based van is my favourite of the two - it handles far better, doesn't suffer any judder problems (nor did the '03 reg Fiat), and the driver is sat much higher to the road. We have ISRI seats fitted and these, with a long-legged engine/gearbox, make driving a pleasure. The van is 7.3m long and handles like a well-behaved estate car.
OK - I'm biassed, but I did once drive my daughter's '08 Burstner 747 that was based on the X250 Fiat Ducato and still prefer my Renault Master-based van.
I have a 2013 Master Van DCI 125 Quickshift and I used to have a 2007 Fiat X250, Lunar Champ. First impressions were that the Fiat drove more like a car, and the controls were very light, the Renault is also nice to drive with the Quickshift, however it does seem like a bus sometimes due to the long wheelbase and the steering seems to have a lot of turns lock to lock.
I am at present experiencing a minor problem with how it drives, but only when the ambient temperature is above 14 degrees C.
If I set off slowly under light throttle, it changes into 2nd gear, then when the accelerator is depressed there is no power from the engine for a few seconds, I also sometimes get it when moving slowly in traffic and start to accelerate in 2nd gear. I have posted on this site asking if anybody else has the same vehicle and the same problem. Im not sure if it is a fault or they all do it, my local Renault dealer cant find anything wrong.
Which has the better service after sales record? Renault did not used to be good, neither did Fiat. Over the last few years Fiat do seem to have made an effort, getting less bad reports than in the past.
I can't compare because the Renault 150 is the only MH I have driven. I did a test drive when seeing it at the dealers and was hooked. It drives like a dream and I have nothing but praise for it and its MPG and 6 speed box.
As you have tried the alternative, I would suggest you get a test drive to help you make up your mind.
Renault after-sales service .......... DON'T go to a Renault car & van service place - they mainly don't have a clue about working onm Renault Master vans. ALWAYS go to your nearest Renault TRUCKS service depot - they quite pften also have Renault Master vans as their mobile service vehicles and so are used to working on them. My nearest, Thomsons Comercial Vehicles service all the local utilities companys' vans that are Renault Maaters. They also managed to diagnose a fault in 10 minutes that had others stumped.
.... but you could say I am biassed, but VERY pleased with our Renault Master-based van.
Renault car dealers seem to be stumped by anything larger than a Trafic van.
Thanks for the replies so far guys!
"If I set off slowly under light throttle, it changes into 2nd gear, then when the accelerator is depressed there is no power from the engine for a few seconds, I also sometimes get it when moving slowly in traffic and start to accelerate in 2nd gear. I have posted on this site asking if anybody else has the same vehicle and the same problem. Im not sure if it is a fault or they all do it, my local Renault dealer cant find anything wrong. "
I test drove a Renault base motorhome at the weekend:-
In response to Jev's comment above, the one I drove was the 125bhp version on the auto box with 14miles on the clock, the engine started fine, using the auto side of the box I selected first gear and slowly accelearated away, as the gearbox changed up to 2nd there was a slight pause/delay prior to engaging and carrying on. This was prominent in all gears but once I realised that this is how it is supposed to be (and not a fault/breakdown in process) you quickly forget about it, adapt and drive. Needlessly to say it drove faultlessly, smoothly and very nicely - it does not seem detriment to the operation and certainly hasn't put me off - I actually thought it drove very well.
Jev - if you are still concerned perhaps find a motorhome with this gear box on a dealers forecourt and take it for a test drive to compare..........
The Renault van only has a single din for the radio/stereo but having looked on line it is possible to buy a media system that fits into this space with a pop out 7" monitor which can then be used to watch dvd's and also connect up a reversing camera. It is also possible to buy a sat nav box that works with this unit but the cost of this may outweigh the benefit.
I didn't drive the van for long enough to determine the fuel economy but there is no reason for it to be any worse than my current 2011 Fiat base vehicle.
The Renault drove smoothly, was easy to drive and responded well.
The dash may seem to have more plastic than the Fiat but you do get cup holders - Yaaaaaay!!! :D
The door pockets aren't as deep as the fiat's and are therefore more usable when driving (unless of course you have monkey arms! :wink: )
The dash can be supplied with the 'wooden' decor and the Renault can be supplied with both driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, aircon, computer (including outside temperature) and all other fitments on the Fiat.
In conclusion (my conclusion) it makes a great alternative to the Fiat for a motorhome base vehicle so I shall be keeping an open mind when I buy my next motorhome.
Hope this helps some others who may be considering a change.
Lastly, for my view, when I parked the Renault next to a Fiat and compared the two, the Renault looked more fresher! Could just be that it was different........... :?
I agree with all of W5ray comments regarding the Renault, Yes you can adapt your driving to mask the delay but it still catches you out in traffic sometimes, but its still a nice drive.
Regarding the fuel consumption I am getting about 26 round town, but over the weekend I refilled and reset the computer and the average went up to 30MPG, on a 100 mile trip, half on a motorway at 70 the other half around town and stuck in traffic. I should add that mine is a panel van conversion with only 1000 miles on the clock.
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