The Premium is one of the most versatile trucks in Renault’s lineup and is available in three cab configurations including the “Day cab”, “Sleeper cab” and “Sleeper cab high roof”. The high roof version is available in three different trim levels: Alliance, Privilege and Excellence.
Together with the Magnum, The Renault Premium offers a powerful, imposing and stylish design and has all the attributes for long-haul applications.
Compared with its rivals the French truck stands out thanks to its affordable price tag and the low fuel consumption and maintenance cost being one of the most cost efficient trucks in the segment. The Renault Premium Long Distance model is available with three engine options including 380 hp, 430 hp and 460 hp units. Globally the French truck competes against models like the Mercedes Actros, Iveco Stralis, Volvo FH or Scania R
Design and Interior
For an eight wheeler the three-step high-mounted cab of the Premium looks taller than you might expect. The “Sleeper cab high roof” model has the roofline almost on the same line with the top of the body, so there is no need for a big air deflector, hence the truck received only a small one.
Similar with the Renault Magnum, the upper surface of the Premium’s chassis is smooth and unobstructed to avoid interference between bodywork and truck components. Side members are pre-drilled so the rear cross member can be repositioned to adjust the overhang.
You get easy access to the cab, thanks to three wide steps that have graduated treads. Inside, the cab layout looks well put together and the dash is angled towards the driver in an ergonomic manner. The engine brake lever comes also easy into hand, as its mounted high left off the steering wheel. However, you won’t get too much storage space behind the seats, but Renault compensated by adding overhead storage boxes which offer a fair amount of space.
The suspension seats are big and comfortable and the high seating position gives you a commanding view of the road, while the thin pillars and the big panoramic windshield offers a great road visibility. The big side mirrors give a proper rear view and there aren’t any significant blind spots left behind.
We don’t have any complains about the instrument cluster either. It features a digital display with a central rev counter which is easy to read and offers information about speed, brake tank pressure, engine speed, water temperature and fuel levels.
We also like that the Premium is fitted with all sorts of features to make a long journey easier. Among the most important we name the MP3 radio with Bluetooth, the refrigerator, the optional TV and the deluxe sun visor. Moreover, the bed is spacious enough to permit you to get a comfortable sleep and you also have acres of headroom available.
The overall build quality is satisfactory but the cabin is fitted with a lot of cheap plastics and despite the fact that the Premium’s fittings look pretty solid, the Mercedes Actros still remains the leader at the built quality department.
Engines and performance
The 6-cylinder, 24-value DXi11 engine is the best choice you can make as it has a max power output of 450 hp at 1900 rpm with a huge torque of 2140 Nm achieved between 1100 to 1300 rpm. The engine features electronic idling control, antifreeze protection, and electronically controlled air braking system.
For efficiency reasons the Renault Premium is also equipped with the Automatic Engine Stop system which automatically shuts down the vehicle’s engine when it has been idle for more than five minutes, the parking brake is engaged, no power take-off devices are engaged and the engine is at normal operating temperature.
The Renault Premium is equipped with an innovative Optidriver+ gearbox (Three reverse and 12 forward gears) which can be also controlled manually by means of the column mounted stalks found on the right side behind the steering wheel.
The clutch offers a good response and the gearbox tries to keep the gear changes to a minimum and it will act only when is needed to keep the truck in check. The engine response however could’ve been better and occasionally you’ll find yourself obligated to downgrade a gear or two in order to get the best performances. Other than that, the transmission does a good job by its own.
Ride and handling
The chassis design includes an uncluttered array of components, with the main aluminum 460 litre diesel tank mounted on the nearside while the additional 60 liter plastic AdBlue tank, the battery box and the exhaust filter stay together on the off side.
The Premium features standard front steel, rear air suspensions combined with telescopic dampers and a stabilizer bar. There is also available a two channel remote controller which lowers or raises the rear air suspension depending on the load.
The wide chassis and the air suspension gives great stability and road-holding to the Renault Premium. The air-suspended cab is also pretty pliant and absorbs most of the bumps with ease, assuring a comfortable and silent ride. The steering is also precise and the truck has a relative small turning radius which permits you to deal with narrow spaces pretty good.
The Renault Premium will prove to be a trusted partner for the long highways thanks to its “hard worker” character. The cabin may not be the most comfortable in its class, but you have plenty of space and everything looks well put together. Inside you’ll also find everything is needed for a comfortable ride and the strong engines offer plenty of punch to move this truck effortlessly.
The automatic transmission is also among the best in its segment and offers low fuel consumption and smooth gear changes. Not to mention about the comfortable ride and the sharp steering which are some of Premium’s strong points. The Renault Premium is less expensive than some of its rivals and also has small costs of ownership which makes it a smart choice.
Video: Renault Premium long term test