New Maxity joins Master and Mascott in line-up

Commercial Motor
January 23, 2007

Renault has added to its light delivery vehicle range with the launch of the new Maxity, covering the 2.8-4.5t gross vehicle weight sector. The new model – a rebadged Cabstar from sister company Nissan – will only be available as a 3.5-tonner in Renault’s line-up and is aimed primarily at builders, tradesmen and local authorities.

The Maxity is powered by a choice of 2.5 or 3.0-litre diesel engine, with power offerings of 110, 130 and 150hp. The engine uses the latest generation common-rail combustion technology and the bigger engine also employs variable-geometry turbocharging. Transmission choice is between a five or six-speed manual – there is no auto on the cards yet.

In the UK Maxity is set to go head to head with the Isuzu NKR and Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 35 and it is on this basis that the Maxity has to be evaluated. Compared to the European vans from Renault, Iveco, Ford, Mercedes and Volkswagen, the truck isn’t at the races – it’s too noisy, the ride is too hard and the cab far too compact for most tastes.

However, if payload, price and ease of manoeuvrability are the key factors then the cab-over 3.5-tonner represents the best solution.

On current evidence, the Maxity has a lot going for it. The chassis-cab weighs in at just 1,683kg (for a 2.9m wheelbase and 2.5-litre engine) - the equivalent Canter tips the scales at 2,000kg, while the Isuzu NKR weighs in at 1,825kg (2.5m wheelbase). Renault also believes the cab is wider than either of the two major competitors, at 1.87m, and although according to the technical spec sheets from Mitsubishi the Canter has the edge at a little over 1.9m, the equivalent Isuzu is a good deal narrower.

The three are similar when it comes to on-road handling. If anything the Maxity is the quietest, although the steering of Canter is arguably the best and the Isuzu has the benefit of the automated transmission – it is not the best auto we have ever driven but it does relieve the driver of the effort of changing gear.

And then it comes down to price. Renault vice-president for the light delivery range Jean-Marc Lange believes the Maxity will generate a better price in the market than its two rivals. We will be surprised if that is the case, particularly in the ultra-competitive sector.

The Maxity will be sold through all 19 of Renault’s truck dealers and will go on sale at the end of March, making its show debut at the CV Show in April.


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Commercial Motor is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

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