I am 20 years old and a part-time youth worker, meaning I often carry large quantites of people and big equipment around, hence I was pleased when my Dad insured me on his brand new Renault Espace.
To me the Espace's pros are that it has a comfy drive and pulls well in upper gears, the inside is futuristic and unique - I often get shouts of joy from young people who like to ride in "the spaceship". Also, things like ESP, a digital speed dial, a glass roof which moves, 5-disc CD changer, an automatic handbrake and having six gears for me make it somewhat of an outstanding vehicle.
Front visibility is also good for the car's size. The 'cabin' is very spacious - so much so, in fact, that a six-foot front passenger can stretch their legs out on the dashboard and still not touch the windscreen.
However, the cons are low fuel economy, high insurance group (for 20 year-old males anyway), and you won't win first away from the traffic lights in it.
All in all, I think the car is great - it's comfy, classy and reliable, and we haven't had a problem with it yet. If the budget allows it, I think it's one of the best MPVs to own!
After initially great levels of service from the dealer, swift delivery from new and good service for the first six months, the reality of owning a French car started to show.
To say I'm disappointed with this vehicle is an understatement; to say I'm unimpressed with the dealer is not even close to the truth.
To drive, it's fine for a big heavy MPV, and it pulls well, being the 2.2dCi version, and the finish is acceptable. The tyre wear is heavy, but not as bad as the Audi Quattro previously owned. The servicing costs are as expected for the big Renault and the overall running costs are acceptable.
The big disappointment comes from Renault build quality which is just plain bad (putting it politely).
The car has had so many problems, I don't want to list them all for fear of being knocked off by Renault UK.
It's had two new flywheels, one new clutch, two new driveshafts, one new exhaust and catalyst, eight new tyres, four new brake discs, eight sets of brake pads, five different recalls and the usual services - not bad for 65,000 miles and careful motorway driving.
The dealers wouldn't believe me when I mentioned the clutch problem at 15,000 miles and instead waited until the vehicle was just out of warranty to finally admit something may be wrong. Luckily for me, I had quietly purchased extended warranty from Renault Direct. It has paid for itself three times over in four months.
When the warranty ends, so will my relationship with Renault - forever.
Having owned the car for 18 months, I can say that this car is great to drive and looks good on the road - top marks, Renault design.
However seating practicality in the rear is somewhat time consuming to adjust - the seats are heavy and you do risk putting your back out when relocating. Six-footers - don't sit in the rear, as your head is pushed into your body by the roof.
Tyres are only lasting 12,000 miles on the front due to the weight of the vehicle - and tyres cost £150 each.
I have had some quick fix reliability issues and corrosion on the alloys (Alcantra). The dealerships however are not at a standard you should expect. This is a shame as I won't purchase another due to this.
Have had the Grand Espace for 2 and a half years, bought as ex-demo with 500 miles. We've had no problems with it whatsoever and the kids have loved it - although we are now looking for a smaller car since the older ones are now too embarassed to be seen with their parents... My only grump would be the arm rests on the front seats which seem to have aged significantly compared to the rest of the car. Handbrake has been perfect, no diesel problems and our work horse will be missed - by far the best MPV on the market!
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