A classic revisited with an SUV twist

Published on 11/03/2024

A classic revisited with an SUV twist

The concept of the people carrier and the vehicle of choice for large, busy families has evolved, resulting in a new, more contemporary Espace SUV available with 5 or 7 seats.
This new Renault Espace is a pleasure to drive and offers a high level of comfort on both winding country roads and in urban environments alike. For those who were familiar with the first model, which represented a real revolution with regard to the concept of space in a family car in 1983, this new version is likely to fall somewhat short of expectations

Although extremely well equipped and offering a high level of driver and front passenger comfort, Renault’s family car is somewhat less comfortable for those travelling in the third row of the 7-seater version, which is suitable only for those of a smaller build, and preferably over short distances. The boot volume in this configuration is just 159 litres, as opposed to 477 or 677 litres depending on whether the second row is moved forward or back.

The fully glazed roof is a very welcome feature, bathing the interior in natural light and allowing you to enjoy the scenery as if you were outdoors. The roof also offers plenty in the way of technology, filtering UV rays and keeping the air inside the vehicle warm or cool, depending on the season.

Driver visibility, too, is excellent, with a windscreen that, although not as large as on the original Espace, is still wide and unobstructed, while the controls are incorporated into a built-in display, so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Harmonious family travel
As is the case with every latest-generation Renault, the infotainment system on this one is very comprehensive. Connected to the OpenRLink multimedia system with Google built in, it offers access to apps such as Google Maps and Google Assistant. This high-tech equipment is complemented by USB-C and wireless charging points, as well as two 12V sockets, so there’ll be no more fighting over charging sockets for passengers’ mobile devices, only perfect family harmony!

Its E-tech fully hybrid 200hp engine is extremely economical, especially when driving in urban environments, where the two electric engines take over from the combustion engine. Its light weight in relation to the previous generation, high fuel efficiency and the 104g CO2/km (WLTP) it claims to generate are just some of the benefits that mean you can enjoy this new Espace with a clear conscience.

Thanks to its 4Control Advanced system, the Renault Espace is extremely easy to handle and a pleasure to drive. The models we test drove did hesitate slightly when accelerating past 70km/h, but this should be rectified before the Espace is launched this month.