Renault Master E-TECH interior, dashboard & comfort
Function beats form in the utilitarian Renault Master E-TECH cab
There are no obvious clues inside the Master E-TECH to differentiate it from the standard diesel model. The only differences are the addition of a gear selector instead of a manual gearstick (you can get a diesel automatic Master, but they’re rare), and a set of blue coloured dials in the instrument cluster.
These instruments feature a big speedometer with a battery capacity meter to the left and an energy flow meter to the right. This has a needle which races from left to right, depending on whether you’re accelerating and using battery energy or braking and sending energy back into the pack.
Apart from that, it’s pure Master van fare inside. There are plenty of hard-wearing plastics, the fabric seats are designed for numerous entries and exits, and there’s plenty of storage and holders on offer to help you keep on top of working life. There’s three-abreast seating in the cab, but shoulder room is good if you’re travelling three-up.
Renault Master E-TECH dashboard
The Master E-TECH’s dashboard is simply laid out and easy to read, with three dials and a pair of digital readouts set within them. The display to the right shows gear selection and whether any doors are open, while the one in the centre dial is the trip computer.
This shows mileage, trip, battery range and records how much energy has been used, while it also displays a mileage countdown to the next service. It’s easy enough to read, but looks rather old-fashioned with its orange lighting. The centre console features the gear selector, climate controls and stereo, while above this is a pull-out clipboard attached to the dashboard. There are storage trays on top of the dash, plus a big glovebox and huge door bins.
Equipment, options and accessories
The Master E-TECH comes in Business trim, which is pretty basic, but has all the essentials covered. There are electric windows and heated electric mirrors, while the driver’s seat has height and lumbar adjustment and an armrest for added comfort. There’s a single side-loading door, anchorage points in the load area and overhead storage, too. The E-TECH also gets an interior pre-heating function designed to make the interior comfortable before you head off, rather than using the van’s battery to do the job.
Because the Master E-TECH is identical to the diesel Master in terms of load area and interior space, the same range of options is available. As well as short, medium and long-wheelbase variants, there are standard, medium and high-roof choices offered. On top of that, there are two lengths of platform cab offered and a range of conversion bodies available that offer up to 19 cubic metres of load space.
In addition, Renault offers a range of accessories for the load area, from plywood linings to fully functioning racking, courtesy of approved partner Sortimo. You can also get your van sign-written at the dealer before you take delivery, so you’re ready to go as soon as you get the keys.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The basic two-speaker stereo features DAB, Bluetooth phone connection and a USB port. This is handy, because that allows you to use your smartphone with Renault’s R&Go app that gives you eco driving tips and information, while a handy cradle allows you to use your phone or tablet as a sat nav. It’s a decent stopgap alternative to built-in sat nav, although Renault does offer this, too.
On the panel van, the R-Link system is mounted in position where the rear-view mirror would normally sit, so it’s actually quite intuitive to look at. It’s controlled via the buttons on the dashboard, but while it’s not the most user-friendly system, it at least has TomTom sat nav with live updates for the first three years of ownership.
Fleet users might be interested in Renault’s 'Easy Connect For Fleet' telematics. The Master E-TECH is fitted with a control unit as standard, and provides secure data transfer between the van and control, so that fleet operators can monitor their vehicles in real-time. This will help with logistics, vehicle tracking, route planning and charging management, hopefully cutting costs even further.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Renault Master E-TECH is one of the largest electric vans currently on sale, and is designed primarily for urban multi-drop deliveries
- 2Range, battery & chargingIts sheer size means the Renault Master E-TECH is compromised in terms of driving range
- 3Running costs & insuranceIt’s expensive to buy or lease, but total cost of ownership is where the Renault Master E-TECH claws back money
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Renault Master E-TECH has modest performance, but it can cope with reasonable loads
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingFunction beats form in the utilitarian Renault Master E-TECH cab
- 6Boot space, seating & load spaceThe Renault Master E-TECH is one of the most spacious electric vehicles on sale today
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe use of proven components and technology means the Renault Master E-TECH should be reliable