Purchasing a used Renault Premium

The Premium Long Distance tractor unit is easily the most important model in the Renault Truck range, accounting for around 70% of the marque’s UK truck sales. In recent years, it has held around 10% of the UK tractor unit market.

Although that might not sound a great deal, closer analysis reveals that the Premium is a star among what can loosely be described as fleet tractors. It outsold Volvo’s FM by a factor of two to one last year and outsold Daf’s CF85, Mercedes’ Axor and MAN’s TGS. The Premium is a popular fleet tractor.

Renault introduced the Premium Long Distance tractor in 1996 as a compact (2.3m-wide cab) tractor to complement the big, flat-floored Magnum. We focus here on Premiums, which figure most strongly in today’s used market. These are the ones that date from the end of 2005, when Renault facelifted the Premium’s cab and introduced the 10.8-litre DXi11 engine, replacing the DC11 engine.

The DXi11 is based on Volvo’s D9 engine, bored and stroked to raise displacement from 9.4 litres to 10.8 litres, and has an overhead camshaft as well as unit injectors. It was a Euro-3 engine when first used in the Premium in late 2005, with nominal ratings of 380hp and 440hp. Maximum torque was 1,800Nm and 2,000Nm respectively. The standard gearbox was ZF’s 16-speed manual, with Volvo’s 12-speed I-Shift – dubbed Optidriver by Renault – as the automated option.

Changing with legislation

Euro-4 emissions limits became mandatory for trucks registered from 1 October 2006, which meant adding an SCR system to the Premium’s exhaust – and thus giving the DXi11 engine more power and torque. Euro-4 Premiums come in three nominal ratings: 370hp/1,735Nm; 410hp/1,900Nm and 450hp/2,151Nm. In 2009 Renault offered Premiums with Euro-5 versions of this engine, with identical power and torque ratings, but with emissions tweaked to hit Euro-5 limits, thus earning a Reduced Pollution Certification (RPC) and cutting VED by £500 a year.

These examples are easily identified by their combination of badges – Euro-5 but with Euro-4 ratings of 370hp, 410hp or 450hp. Once the Euro-5 deadline was passed on 1 October 2009, the RPC incentive ended and Renault introduced fully fledged Euro-5 DXi11 engines in the Premium, boasting even higher nominal ratings: 380hp/1,840Nm; 430hp/2,040Nm and 460hp/2,200Nm.

The popularity contest

The higher ratings, either 450hp or 460hp, are by far the most popular in 6x2 Premium tractors, while in 4x2 tractors the split between 450hp/460hp and 410hp/430hp is more evenly balanced. As well as a healthy output for a moderately sized engine, the DXi11 offers weight savings of 150kg to 200kg compared with rivals’ 13-litre engines and has a reputation for decent fuel consumption.

The Premium’s cab is 200mm narrower than full-width cabs, and there are three trim levels; Alliance, Privilege and Excellence.

The top two have a higher roof, with Privilege being the most popular. The Premium story has just ended in Europe, with June’s launch of its Euro-6 successor (CM 20 June). The new T range tractor units replace both Premium and Magnum. The new cab is wider than the Premium, and the engine tunnel is 130mm lower at 200mm.

In the July 2013 edition of CAP Red Book, a 2010-registered (10-plate) Euro-5 6x2 Renault Premium 460 tractor with Privilege sleeper cab and DXi11 engine, with 420,000km on the clock, is valued at retail for £27,250 (plus VAT).

Product recalls by VOSA

Since January 2006 Vosa has issued 11 recalls on the Premium range. Here are the most significant:

  • November 2009: Risk of fire. It has been identified that the mounting bolts of the turbo hose mounting flanges may not have been tightened to the correct torque. In this condition oil may leak, with the attendant risk of fire.
  • December 2009: Potential loss of directional control. The rear pneumatic suspension leaves may fail, this will result in noise from the suspension and if not rectified, may result in loss of directional control.


Parts prices for a Euro-5 6x2 Renault Premium tractor with sleeper cab and DXi11 engine delivering 460hp/2,200Nm with automated transmission

Part Price
Headlamp £418.95
Oil filter £31.95
Air filter £59.95
Front bumper £499.95
Rear mudguard £42.95
Windscreen £223.26
Turbo, 11-litre £899.95


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