Test drive 2022 Renault Espace dCi 190 EDC

There is no need to go back over the whole saga of the Renault Espace (1984), which, with the Chrysler Voyager (1983) and arguably also (and this is less well known) the Nissan Prairie (1982), contributed to the development of the minivan concept. to live”. A concept that lasted for some time, seeing the competition multiply before folding under the influence of SUVs and other crossovers that quickly occupied the field. This is probably why Renault ended up giving it a small crossover look on the occasion of the launch of the 5e generation in 2015.

But today the concept is bowing out as Renault has signaled that production of the Espace will soon be phased out. Moreover, at the time of writing these lines, there are only two versions left in the catalog, two power levels from the 2.0 Diesel dCi: 160 or 190 hp. But is it because a model is suspended that it loses its qualities? Almost 2,000 km on board the 190 hp version proves that it is not.

Owl

With its crossover airs, the Espace offers a good seat height, easy access on board and a good view of the vehicle’s contours. The driving position is actually excellent, and the very enveloping and well-designed front seats allow you to rack up the miles without tiring. Especially since the cabin is well soundproofed and the noise from the 4-cylinder Diesel only reaches the occupants with difficulty.

This version has Multi Sense as standard which allows you to configure driving modes. In practice, we have always driven in “Normal” and not seen too much interest in a “Sport” mode on such a machine. This superior Initiale Paris version has these controlled shock absorbers coupled to the “4Control” rear wheels as standard. And there, on the other hand, we directly perceive their contribution, both in the handling in the small mountain villages and in the stability on the motorway. Never, when you drive, The space does not give the impression of measuring its 4.86 m.

The diesel engine of 190 hp but especially of 400 Nm available very early as well as its robotic EDC 6-speed automatic gearbox that supports it perfectly, ensures reminders and dynamism at all times. But above all, it gave us a ridiculous consumption of 6.5 to 7 l/100 km on the highway, at constant speed and… legal, despite 5 people on board and luggage. What guarantees a range of around 900 km, always appreciated during long journeys. When an electric wants to guarantee such autonomy, we want to spend 1 hour at a charging station. If we find a free one that works…

Another of the room’s qualities lies in its interior design, where no space is sacrificed (apart from the two at the bottom of the boot on the 7-person versions). The 3 people sitting on the middle bench each have a real seat of the same width, sliding, with adjustable backrest, plenty of legroom and various storage spaces. At the same time that the boot volume (again if the two seat cushions are not deployed) basically allows you to see ahead. What more ?

Shame

Too bad, yes, that this Space is at the end of their career and will not be renewed. Because objectively it remains a smart vehicle, comfortable to live in as well as drive and well finished. It has definitely lost a bit of the minivan side, which was so fashionable at a certain time to “SUV-erize”, but without excess. In any case, it remains smarter than some SUVs that play it adventurous but with no regard for internal well-being.

Unfortunately, too it remains only available with two diesel engines whose first price approaches 50,000 euros in the Balance version for the 160 hp. Admittedly, standard equipment is provided and notably includes the automatic gearbox (sometimes hesitant and slow to engage at low speeds), but it remains a budget car that is not particularly accessible to most families for which it is intended. How about the superior Initiale Paris version associated with the dCi-190 hp engine, which approaches 60,000 euros, or even exceeds them if you choose the panoramic roof at 1,1150 euros?

Renault Espace Diesel 2022 Review

Also…

If you’re looking for a family vehicle, inviting for 5 people and their luggage, completely convincing on long journeys, whether it’s comfort or silence on board or even ridiculous fuel consumption and therefore infinite autonomy, look no further: the Espace is probably made for you on two conditions. First to hurry, because the end of production is close. So to accept to get your hands on the wallet because the initial effort is not insignificant.

But since this is a model at the end of its career, there may be a way to negotiate some attractive discounts on stock cars. Searching a bit, and without starting the slightest negotiation, we found an Espace dCi-160 for 44,385 euros instead of 49,800 euros. It is always taken and it is about the price of a compact electric that offers 300 km of autonomy (when all is well). Between the two, my heart doesn’t really swing…

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