Having read the other reviews, I just had to add my two pennies worth!
I have had my Espace for 9 months and during that time it has had.... one new gear box, a new tailgate lock, new hazzard warning light switch, a complete new automatic handbrake system, heater exchange box and probably something else that I've forgotten to mention!
It has all been sorted out quite quickly by the dealer but I would rather I had it than they did! Overall lovely to drive, not too thirsty and OK with 5 - 6 seats in but with 7, don't bother with any shopping, pushchairs, luggage or anything bigger than a carrier bag!
The experiences of some of the readers below are a puzzle to me. I've had two of these cars now and I've not had a single issue with either of them (other than a recall for the aircon unit on both models). I just had a two year service on my current Espace and it was significantly cheaper than the one year service on my wife's Grande Punto at the same time. I just haven't had any problems- I love the car.
Granted, the ergonomics aren't perfect, the seats are still a pain to lift out even though the system is improved now and sliding doors would be so much more useful in the supermarket car park. But all cars have compromises. I paid extra for the glass roof and it seems a bit pointless now. We have to have the shutter across in the summer as the car turns into a microwave - and in the winter, well, who wants to look at grey skies through a glass dome? I should have got the parking sensors instead so my wife could park it without worrying.
We just couldn't be without our Espace and I can't wait for the official pictures of the new model. I really want one.
This is a great people carrier. The engine is fantastic, the standard of equipment is excellent, overall it is a huge improvement over the previous model. I had lots of problems with the old espace but I'm happy to report that this one has been 100% reliable. I would thoroughly recommend the Espace.
I chose this as my company car previously having had a Ford Galaxy 2.3 Zetec (which was great).
Strange as it may seem, I didn't actually test drive the car before choosing it and was therefore a little worried at how it would feel on the road and if I could get used to the auto handbrake.
I have not been disappointed on either count. The 2.0-litre turbo engine pulls brilliantly giving plenty of torque even at low revs. I rarely have to change gear, even to overtake. I chose the six-speed manual and it is excellent. Motorway cruising is effortless. Room in the front is great but a little more cramped in the rear. With all seven seats in it's a bit cramped, but I'm sure the Grand version would cure this.
Interior build quality is good but not up to VW standards. The looks and features of the car are a little quirky but once you get used to them you learn to love them. Coming back to that handbrake - once you get used to it, you'll wonder why all cars don't use this method. It makes driving so much more relaxing!
I would strongly recommend this car - apart from the beefy 2.8 V6's a la Galaxy (which requires a lot of oil!) the 2.0 turbo is one of the fastest MPVs on the road and handles very reassuringly (probably because of the numer of computer controlled safety gizmos).
If you're unsure between the Espace, the C8 or the 807 - I'd go for the Espace every time.
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