At A Glance
As a large panel van, the Renault Master is up against plenty of competition, but its cargo space, fuel efficiency and pleasant drive mean it is more than able to hold its own.
Engines & Spec
The Master is aimed at van leasing customers looking for a vehicle to transport large loads over long distances and it fulfils this role effortlessly thanks to its generous cargo area, which measures 3,733mm in length and is 1,765mm wide, narrowing to 1,380mm between the wheel arches.
It can carry a payload of up to 1,530kg and offers plenty of ways to load the cargo, with conventional rear doors and a sliding side door making the process that little bit easier when parked up in towns and cities.
The long wheelbase version of the Master delivers a pretty reasonable 35.3mpg and 125bhp from its 2.3-litre engine, translating to a torque of 310Nm at low revs, up by 10Nm on its predecessors. This makes it easier for drivers to transport heavy payloads in adverse weather conditions and on tricky road surfaces.
Renault has kitted its Master range out with plenty of features in a bid to help it stand out from the crowd.
The entry-level Master Debut panel van has a six-speed gearbox, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a full-steel bulkhead.
An electronic immobiliser, Renault Anti-Intruder Device, electronic windows and deadlocking are among the additions to the specced-up Debut Special Edition, while the Master Van Sport also comes with cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, and front fog lights.
All of these factors persuaded What Car? magazine to name the Renault Master as its van of the year and large panel van of the year for 2011.
What Car? isn't the only publication to be impressed with the latest generation of the Master.
Summing up the Master, Parkers commented: "It feels solid and durable enough to take on the tough daily wear and tear that occurs in vans as well as providing the huge amount of stowage space needed both in the cabin and load area." We couldn't agree more!