I owned this car for nearly 3 years.
It looked great (to me), has acres of cabin space, seats are extremely comfortable (recently sat in a VW Phaeton & it didn't compare), has all the toys & on the open road you are wafted along as if you were in your favourite armchair.
The Cabasse hi fi system is also excellent.
However, faults were a problem, the front end of the exhaust detached itself due to a flaw, the turbo & intercooler were both replaced, window regulators replaced, 2 recalls, keycard replaced & 2 very annoying rattles were rectified.
Fortunately I was covered by a 3 year warranty but have now sold the car as this was about to expire.
I got 39mpg on longer drives but tyre wear was horrific, a new set of 4 every 8-9000 miles at £500 a set. Apart from this I only spent £30 on front wiper blades (very big)but am glad I was covered by warranty for other parts/labour.
Overall I'll miss the VelSatis despite the problems I encountered.
I've owned this car for 3 years & can honestly say that it must be one of the most confortable cars i've ever had,it has a very good spec,eg. esp,traction control,abs,all round bags, etc, etc. I must admit it is a bit under powered when pulling away from start(2nd 3rd & 4th gears fine) but when on the motorway you can't beat it. I will buy another but the 3.5 ltr, i would have no hesitation in recomending the vel satis to anyone
I can honestly say that I really like this car. It's different from the rest in its range, if you can find anything comparable, but it's a bit like Marmite, in as much as you either love the look of the car or you hate it!
As for the practicalities: the 3.5 engine (shared with the Nissan 350Z) is a beauty and is far more silky smooth and economical than advertised...if driven correctly. That is to say, if you want to drive it like the Nissan 350Z then it will perform like one (very quick off the mark for its size) and use fuel like one...but if you drive it sensibly, it will reward. I am getting around 29/30mpg in the winding country lanes where I live and about 35mpg on the motorway.
The interior is Tardis-like, the seats are large and comfy with a multitude of electronic settings...and the split backrest gives you options you never knew you could have. The leather in mine is light coloured which adds to the spacious look inside the cabin...and at 6'1" even with the driving seat well back for my driving position there is more than enough room behind me for any size of adult. There are also lots of cubbyholes under seats and in doors to store things.
The Initiale has all the bells and whistles that you would pay thousands for in a BMW or Mercedes (both of which I have owned) and the Sat-Nav is the same as that in a BMW of the same age.
In summary, this is one of the best value-for-money luxury cars you will ever find and if you like the looks you'll love the rest.
I bought a 54,000 mile, four-year-old Initiale a couple of months ago so these are early days. It was very cheap as someone else has suffered the horrendous depreciation.
However, from now on all it can loose is about what a top-level BMW will lose in the first year. It has a fantastic spec for the money and wonderfully comfortable seats and ride. Electric adjustment makes it easy to get comfortable or to make minor adjustments while on the move. Recent long weekend touring on fast French roads gave 40mpg, while I'm getting 36/37 to and from the station.
It has a great engine and is a smooth performer (but still a cruiser and not something to chuck about.)
There's just one complaint - this is a top-level French-built exec saloon with the factory sat-nav. Here in the UK it is OK, but the display is not too clear. Small streams show up more clearly than minor roads! However in France it shows nothing apart from motorways and the centres of a few large towns (eg Calais, Caen, Le Havre, but not Dieppe). Leave the motorway and you are on your own. No roads, no towns nothing - except for more rivers! It's a car not a boat - we need roads! Anyone who bought this new at over £30K will have been hopping mad. People in the UK who buy expensive French cars will probably want to drive in France - making them pay another £125 or so for French street level mapping is poor marketing.
By contrast, my Nissan Almera Tino of similar age has a fantastic sat-nav with detailed roads
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