By Trevor Gelken Can a battle for sales ever have been so bitter as the one being fought prior to the launch of the new Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano? The vans, essentially the same vehicle with different badges, go on sale in May but already both manufacturers have revealed a host of special models and free specification. First Renault announced that its range would cost from £ 20,795 while Vauxhall's started at £ 21,660 ( all prices ex- VAT). Then Vauxhall revealed a base Expression model at £ 20,250, and added £ 1,400 of free extras on all models bought until the end of July ( except the Expression). Renault hit back by adding a sophisticated colour TomTom sat- nav unit on all Masters except the entry- level Freeway. Both vans will be offered in the usual array of formats, Renault and Vauxhall fight it out in the battle of the heavy vans Specification Price £ 20,250-£ 29,925 Engines 2.3- litre turbodiesel Load 8- 17cu m volume; 994- 2,254kg payload Transmission 6- sp man, auto Efficiency TBA Rivals VW Crafter, Ford Transit First Drive: Renault Master/ Vauxhall Movano - on sale May Showroom For daily automotive news visit www. am- online. com/ news Renault Master starts from £ 20,795 including three wheelbases, four load lengths and three roof heights, chassis- cabs and other conversions, but new is the option of either front or rear wheel drive, in gross vehicle weights that now go from 2.8 to 4.5 tonnes. A single 2.3- litre engine, specific for commercial vehicles, provides power choices of 100bhp, 125bhp and 150bhp, with torque of 210lb- ft, 228lb- ft and 258lb- ft. It improves fuel economy by around 4.1mpg over the outgoing 2.5- litre unit, while servicing costs have dropped by 28%. All vans have a six- speed gearbox and the 125bhp and 150bhp versions can be ordered with a robotised gearshift. ABS is standard, while ESP is provided on rear wheel drive models. Volumes go from eight cubic metres to 17cu m, while payloads go from 994kg to 2,254kg. Access to the load area has been improved with the rear doors widened by 17cm.
New car market Aftersales conference News Showroom AM contacts Used car market News digest Recruitment By Tom Seymour Scrappage has elevated Hyundai's standing in the new car market and it needs to keep the momentum going with some new product. Luckily the ix35 has stepped in to mark another new start for the Korean brand as the first of its " fluidic" designed models. Subsequent Hyundai models will all feature this new hexagonal family face which gives the brand a bit more edge and identity. The main message for dealers is that this is a car which could be an alternative to a small SUV or even a family hatchback. This isn't a straightforward Tucson replacement. It takes up the same amount of space on the road as a C- Segment hatchback and has prices to match. Hyundai has got the Ford Focus in its sights, as well as the Nissan Qashqai and Citroën C4 Picasso. Hyundai wants dealers to explain to customers that have been tempted into showrooms following the scrappage scheme that an entry- level Style model is less expensive to buy than a basic Ford Focus. Hyundai looks to build on scrappage success with ix35 Specification Price £ 16,495-£ 20,745 Engine 2.0- litre 161bhp petrol; 2.0- litre 134bhp diesel Performance 0- 62mph 9.4- 10.2 sec; top speed 112- 114mph Transmission 6- sp man Efficiency 37.7- 51.4mpg; 147- 177g/ km CO2 Rivals Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Ford Focus, Citroën C4 Picasso First drive: Hyundai ix35 - on sale now The model range only features a Premium trim in addition to the Style, but both are heavily specified with standard equipment. Customers can choose from a 2.0- litre petrol and 2.0- litre diesel, but there will be a new 1.6- litre petrol emitting 149g/ km CO2 and a new 1.7- litre diesel in the autumn. All models have six- speed manual gearboxes as standard. An automatic six- speed transmission won't arrive until the end of this year. Modest sales of 2,500 from launch until the end of this year are predicted, but Hyundai is expecting this to increase to 4,000 units over a 12- month period. The 2.0D Style will be the biggest seller and Hyundai wants the combination of style, specification and value to result in a no- haggle situation in the showrooms. The five- year transferable warranty is also an additional bonus for customers.