Buying a new Renault Master 12-seater Bus is a good way for school administrators and principals to encourage teachers to volunteer to escort pupils to off-site engagements.
The Renault Master Bus is based on the highly successful van of the same name and is very easy and comfortable to drive.
It’s very safe too, with the engine up front, not between the seats, meaning there’s a larger, safer crumple zone in front of the occupants.
And with dual airbags, a driver head and chest airbag, ABS and traction control, ESP and Grip-Xtend as well as a myriad of clever electronic aids, both passive and active safety systems give their all in the protection of those on board.
Renault Australia has specified the Bus with 12 seats so that there is plenty of legroom and shoulder room for growing kids, while behind the back row of four individual buckets seats there is a huge space for school bags or sports kit, or both. The uncompromising luggage space means teachers don’t necessarily need to tow a trailer when taking the bus away on a camping weekend, making life easier for all concerned. Plus a roof rack can carry up to 200 kilograms (including the rack).
An optional cargo barrier will be available complete with two metal shelves to allow the floor-to-ceiling space to be safely, yet fully loaded. Because the barrier sits behind the rear seats, a glazed panel in the roof provides the required third emergency exit and allows in plenty of light. All emergency exits are equipped with a hammer to break the glass in case of the need to evacuate in a rush.
Renault has priced the Master Bus from $59,990 (Manufacturer’s List Price, but less for ABN holders), making it exceptionally affordable. Renault running costs are reduced with up to 30,000 kilometres between scheduled servicing or once per year (unlike some that demand a day at the dealership after just 10,000 kilometres) and the first three scheduled services costs only $349 each. Renault protects its LCVs with a 3-year/200,000-kilometre-factory warranty, and this can be extended to five years, which is very handy for schools that don’t clock up big km on a regular basis.
Of course there are lap/sash seat belts for every seat as well as ISOFIX connections and tether strap hooks on two seats, just in case smaller tots are carried.
The air conditioning system has been designed to cope with Australian conditions, which means it can cool the cabin down very quickly even if the bus has been left in the sun for a while at a cricket or netball game. That means the engine doesn’t need to be left idling to run the A/C all the time, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Getting in and out is easy, too, with a powered step emerging from under the side sliding door aperture even for models with the manually activated door. An optional electrically powered side sliding door is controlled by the driver.
Should the driver attempt to drive off with the side door open an alarm sounds and the door automatically begins to close.
Teachers will love driving the Renault Master Bus because it is very quiet, with barely any engine noise reaching the cabin. The smooth automated gearbox makes very slick changes and the elevated driving position gives a commanding view over the road.
Despite being 6.2 metres long and almost 2.5 metres high and over two metres wide, the Master Bus doesn’t feel huge on the road, or even when parking, thanks to a standard reversing camera.
Smooth sides and flush glazing also help to reduce wind noise from reaching the cabin, making the Bus exceptionally pleasant on longer journeys, even on the freeway at cruising speeds.
The 2.3-litre single turbo diesel engine is also very light on fuel with around 10 or 11.0-litres per 100-kilometre consumption easily achievable, depending on load, topography and headwinds. With a 100-litre thank, that means a theoretical range of more than 1,000 kilometres per fill, helping to further drive down the cost of transporting the First XI.
“We have designed the Master Bus to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of school users in Australia,” says Lyndon Healey, Model Line Manager for Renault LCV.
“We have a bus that is easy to drive, efficient to run and affordable to service.
“It is comfortable to drive and to sit in as a passenger, and it is exceptionally spacious down the back, with particularly generous luggage space especially compared with typical rival vehicles.
“For schools looking for a smart, spacious and affordable solution to moving small groups of pupils or teachers around, the Master Bus fulfils their requirements perfectly,” he says.
“And if the 12-seat configuration doesn’t work for you, talk to us to see how we can devise a version to meet your exact needs. After all in Europe there are more than 380 different variants on the Master van theme, so there will be a solution that’s right for you,” Lyndon says.
Find out more about the new Renault Master 12-seater Bus via the Renault website.