New Renault Espace Initiale Leaves Reviewer With Mixed Feelings

Yes, the Renault Espace looks quite nice from the outside, and yes the interior is probably the best one the firm has ever made. However, it’s sadly yet another story of how a French manufacturer doesn’t go all the way towards making a great car all round.

According to this lengthy (35-minute) review by Autogefuhl, the car is a mixed bag. It looks sculptural and almost concept-like outside, while inside it seems as if it’s trying desperately to feel premium.

The car is worthy of your consideration if you want a unique looking, comfortable, frugal and clever near-premium MPV/crossover, but at least according to this test, it’s not fully flushed out.

Maybe they’ll fix all the niggles discovered here with a future facelift; the central front armrest lid, the way it flops about when open, is simply unacceptable in a car with premium aspirations and Renault should have figured it out by now.

It seems the French automaker is stuck in the days of the Vel Satis and Avantime, cars that looked good and avant-garde from a distance, but which were mediocre automobiles at best, whichever way you tried to look at it. Impression so far with this new Espace is that it continues the trend; let’s see if they managed to do better with the Talisman


  • Mike Gonzalez

    given it’s a german reviewer, i didnt expect him to put it on a pedestal… i’m sure he would pick a fugly and mediocre Sharan over the Espace any day

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    Why does every review need background music?!
    What does it add?
    Just tell me about the car; I’ll enjoy the review without music!

    • B B

      to jazz you up, or make it seem jazzier than it is.

  • Six_Tymes

    Gorgeous design inside and out. I agree the temp dials should have had a digital read out on them, that would be a more up to date feature. Looks to be a great car, if it were in the US I would buy one if I liked it in person and the way it drives.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      Sounds like a strong case for Renault to start importing into US then.

  • Sébastien

    Avantime actually has tons of fans, it just didnt sell enough in its time (overpriced?)

    • Timi

      It came years too late because of quality problems at Matra, where the Avantime was produced. And then after just about 3 years, Matra went bust, which killed the Avantime as well.

    • PhilLawrence

      Best car I ever owned. It put a smile on my face every single day I owned it.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Looks sort of like a Kustom Kar rather than a van. Don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not.

  • dinn

    New Espace looks absolutely stunning. Espace and S-Max seem to be the most interesting current MPVs.

  • TheBelltower

    It’s beautiful. But 55,000 euro for this? Damn!

    • Miknik

      Actually it’s rather easy to price many cars above 50k Euro in Europe that offer comparable space and tech. If it is German and premium, 55k is really more still close to base trim…

  • Ridicolously Strange

    Rear wheel steering? Where on earth that a car direction controled by the rear wheel??

  • Silviu

    I have this Espace, more than a year. Nice car, big, good for family with three children. Nice ride. I like it. But there are some design issues, not practical dashboard like cup holder useless. Display is big but takes a lot of attention to do basic thing like increase fan speed. than I had drop in power by 25% for about 10k km. they could not fix it. than it got fixed itself. issues with alarm, keeps going on. same so far not able to fix it. I was told it is normal because of ice and humidity.:) 200 cars in garage, only Espace horning. glove box inside stocked locked. or cover on the towing launch system, felt of when I was taking it over. so overall if they fix all issues in next model it will be great car. service in Renault is just different when you were used to VW or Skoda or KIA. I got the feeling that money are first and later comes customer. Kids love it. a lot of space in the back seat for three kids ISO seats.

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