In the world of large MPVs (Multi-Purpose Vehicles), the Renault Escape is certainly a tempting option. It has been on the market for quite a while now and it has always been a fairly popular car as well. It offers lots of space, pretty sophisticated engines, a smart design, and lots of safety features to keep you and your family safe. So, is Renault Espace a good car?
The Renault Espace can be a good car if it fits what you want from a car and if you don’t go for a high-mileage older model that has seen a fair share of abuse and lack of maintenance in its lifetime. All the engine options are reasonable which means that they prioritize efficiency, low-running costs, and decent power outputs.
The design is relatively smart as the Espace looks a like a mixture of a traditional minivan, a saloon, and an SUV which makes it pretty futuristic throughout. The interior also looks fairly modern but isn’t on par with a luxury car. The driving experience is rather docile and chilled, exactly what you want from a car like this.
Reliability-wise, the Espace has its fair share of issues, but it does manage to hold up nicely if you take proper care of it. Practicality is really good as the Espace can sit up to seven people at a time, but it does have less space than a comparable full-size seven-seater SUV.
The latest Renault Espace model is available with two different engines, one gasoline engine, and one diesel engine. The gasoline variant is a 1.8L inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that pushes out 225hp and comes with a 7-speed DCT gearbox. The diesel variant measures 2.0L in displacement and is also a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with a power output of 190hp.
The diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed DCT transmission. Both models drive the front wheels only and are fairly quiet. Efficiency-wise, you can expect to get around 31MPG combined from the gasoline engine while the diesel variant can return around 36MPG.
The pre-facelift model also features a smaller 1.7L 4-cylinder engine with 200hp which has been abandoned for the post-facelift. The pre-facelift model also featured a 1.6L diesel engine with 130hp to 160hp but has also been abandoned for the latest model due to emissions regulations.
Design and Driving Experience
The Renault Espace looks fairly futuristic and is one of the more interesting-looking minivans out there. The large Renault badge dominates the front end while sleek LED lights and nice-looking wheels do make it look fairly premium. The interior is also really airy thanks to a huge panoramic roof, brightly-colored trim, and slim seats which do make it look really modern and smart.
The driving experience is on par with what you’d expect from a minivan which means that the Espace drives in a chilled and docile manner. It does not try to be dynamic, nor does it try to be anything besides a comfortable family cruiser.
Reliability and Common Issues
The first few generations of the Espace have had their fair share of issues throughout the years, but as Renault managed to up its reliability in the past decade, the latest model is much better. Even so, it does suffer from a few notable issues we are going to mention now.
The most common Renault Espace problems include faulty electronics such as the A/C, the heater, or the dashboard speedometer. The EGR valve is known to fail and push oil consumption while the oil itself is known to leak from the oil sump gasket.
Pricing and Practicality
You can expect to pay between €50,000 and €60,000 for a brand-new Espace while 2nd hand models did take a significant dive after 5 years of use bringing the used price to around €30,000 for most relatively lightly used models. All in all, the Espace is fairly expensive for an economy-level car but is worth its price.
Practicality is excellent as the Espace can fit up to seven people, but the people in the rear 3rd row could feel a bit uncomfortable due to a low ceiling. The trunk space is excellent, entry and exit are really easy and visibility is good for the car’s size.
How Safe is the Renault Espace?
As expected, the Renault Espace enjoys an excellent 5 out of 5-star safety rating. It offers industry-leading child protection results which are to be expected since the Espace is a family minivan after all. Safety Assist features are also fairly decent as the Espace offers almost everything you can get from a modern-day car minus the very latest and highest-end stuff.
All in all, if safety is a big concern, you don’t need to worry about the Espace as it is a large and really safe car for everyone inside. We do need to mention that its pedestrian safety results could be better, but these aren’t as relevant as adult and child protection, both of which are good across the board.
Which Cars Rival the Renault Espace?
The Renault Espace competes with the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace which leans more on the SUV segment, the Peugeot 5008 which is a direct competitor, the Nissan X-Trail which is a full-on SUV, and the Mitsubishi Outlander which is also a full-on SUV.
As such, we can see that the two true competitors are the Espace and the Peugeot 5008 as they both share a similar design language.
Is Renault Discontinuing the Espace?
Renault just came out and said that the Espace is ending production in March 2023 because it is eventually going to be replaced by an Espace successor which is going to be a full-on SUV. We can also expect the next-gen Espace to feature a plethora of hybrid engines as well which are going to make the Espace much more efficient and popular among modern buyers.
All in all, this version of the Espace had a really good run, but it lacks EV powertrains and hybrid powertrains. If you combine that with the fact that minivans are slowly going out of style and the current Espace is out for a while, it makes sense to end it.