The Renault Maxity it’s a re-badged version of Nissan’s Cabstar and both models are among the most practical and versatile trucks in the 3.5 tones segment, destined for deliveries or small businesses. In a typical European way, the Maxity LCV features a cab-over-engine configuration which combines the maximum compactness with maximum body length.
The Renault Maxity is available with short cab or double cab configurations and has a wide range of body lengths ranging from 2.65m to 4.96m and has a 1,820kg body plus payload carrying capacity.
Globally, the Renault Maxity is equipped with either a 2.5 or a 3.0-litre diesel engine and has a starting price of 25.000 euro. Maxity features a three-year/60,000-mile warranty while the service intervals are set at 18,000 miles.
Design and interior
The Maxity’s exterior design is nothing to rave about, but we especially like the big vertical headlights and the sloped base line of the lateral widows. In 2011 the vehicle has also received a better ventilated bumper, with a more aggressive design.
Climb inside and you’ll be surprised by how much space offers the Maxity’s cabin. The dashboard layout is intuitive, but the build quality and materials aren’t too great. However, you won’t have any complains about the all around visibility, thanks to the generous windshield and the big door mirrors.
We also like the flat floor, which offers plenty of space for three occupants, while the centre seat back can be folded down forming a practical table. The seats don’t feel cramped and offer a proper back support, but sadly, they can’t be adjusted for height, hence it would be difficult to find a comfortable driving position. Thankfully, the steering column is adjustable for both reach and rake, and the gear lever comes easy into hand, as it’s located on the engine cover.
We’re also happy to find that there are plenty of cubby holes, cup holders and storage boxes spread all around the cabin. The comfort is further enhanced by the individual lighting and the refrigerated compartment.
Engines and Ride
There are two engine options for the Renault Maxity, the 2.5 (120 and 140 hp) and 3.0-litre (150 hp) diesel units. The power is sent to the rear wheels via either a five- or six-speed manual gearbox.
The DXi 2.5 L engine provides an excellent compromise between a flat torque range and low weight, delivering greater flexibility and mobility. Consumption benefits with a 4% reduction compared with the previous model.
The six speed gearbox (available on the 130 and 150 hp engines) has a short first gear offering a strong torque at low speeds and small fuel consumption. A 6 speed automated gearbox is available only on models equipped with the 150 hp engine.
Both engines are available with a limited slip differential which transfers torque between the 15 inch wheels when one of them looses grip, thus dealing perfectly with the slippery surfaces.
All-disc brakes feature ABS and EBD (electronic brake distribution) as standard, stopping the Maxity without thinking twice. Turn the Easy Hill Start system on and the vehicle can be started on gradients without rolling backwards or using the parking brake. Moreover, it even eliminates the need to maintain pressure on the brake pedal while waiting in traffic.
All of these features are combined with a relatively small 4.80 m turning radius which makes this LCV feel pretty nimble on the urban roads.
We don’t have any major complains about the Maxity’s handling, as it has a light and responsive rack and pinion steering, while the body roll is kept to a minimum level. The LCV is equipped with independent suspension at the front and parabolic springs at the rear, combined with all round shock absorbers. Sadly this configuration won’t give you a comfortable ride, but this issue is common for all vehicles in the segment. The ride however gets better when there is some load carried in the back. Sadly, the NVH levels at high speeds are on the noisy side and the cabin could’ve been isolated better.
|Power||120 hp @ 3,600 rpm||140 hp @ 3,600 rpm||150 hp @ 3,400 rpm|
|Torque||250 Nm @ 1,600 rpm||270 Nm @ 1,800 rpm||350 Nm @ 1,600 rpm|
Since its 2007 debut, the Renault Maxity was continuously improved and thanks to its generous payload capacity combined with the compact dimensions, the French LCV it’s no worse than any of its rivals. Thanks to its versatile character the Renault Maxity is perfectly fitted for a wide range of operations.
The truck handles well thanks to the short turning radius and the limited body roll, while the cabin is the most spacious in its segment. It’s true that the ride isn’t exactly plush, but it will be hard to find a comfortable ride in the LCV segment.
The Maxity was designed to excel in the urban environment and it does it with dignity, being one of the best options in the segment available on today’s market.
Video: Renault Maxity