More than 30 years after Renault invented the MPV, this new Espace shows off a sleeker, more modern silhouette with improved cabin quality. There’s a wide range of driver-assistance systems and a revolutionary infotainment interface, while it’s more fun on the road thanks to the adaptive damping, four-wheel steering and lower body. The cabin can carry up to seven, and the new 1.6 dCi BiTurbo diesel and dual-clutch auto box are a good fit.
It’s no secret that Renault won’t be bringing the new Espace to the UK – with MPV sales dwindling, it’s seen as too big a risk. However, as the original European MPV, the legendary name still holds weight on this side of the Channel, and with a capable BiTurbo 1.6 diesel, SUV looks and seven seats, it remains an interesting proposition.
The old car was culled from the UK line-up in 2011, but sales continued with vigour in foreign markets. This fifth incarnation has been totally reinvented for 2015. Gone is the pure MPV styling, replaced by a trendier SUV body: “It brings together the SUV, the MPV and the hatchback,” Renault claims.
There are two engine options with three output levels: a 1.6-litre diesel with 128bhp or 158bhp, and a 197bhp 1.6 petrol. However, only the two more powerful Espace models have the smooth dual-clutch auto as standard.