It’s a gloomy day for monovolume fans. Because once again, one of them will lose out. After five generations, it’s over and out for the Renault Espace. Because generation six is growing into an extended version of the recently launched Austral SUV. Yep, the Espace will be a “Grand Austral” with seven seats if desired.
Well, you can of course argue that the previous generation Espace was no longer really a MPV. As a result, the transition to SUV is not so earth-shattering. The design of genération six can be described simply: Take a Renault Austral, extend the wheelbase and add 21 centimeters of length to the body for a total of 4.72 meters. Funnily enough, the new Espace is therefore 14 centimeters shorter than its predecessor.
Especially in its highest version, Esprit Alpine, the Espace has become a tough guy with large bumpers, grotesque rims and a matte paint color. Although you can ask the question whether that image really suits family friend Espace. Anyway, the world is devoted to its SUVs, leaving no room for a classic monocab.
Since the Espace is an extended version of the Austral, it also takes over its interior. As a result, you get a dashboard with an “L-shaped” display feast. This consists of a horizontal 12.3-inch instrument cluster for the driver and a 12-inch vertical infotainment system. Interesting fact: the infotainment runs on software that was developed together with Google. So a kind of “Android Auto Auto”.
If we turn away from the screen shop, we see a very handy back seat that can be moved no less than 22 centimeters in length. That is of course useful to make room for the two extra optional seats in the back. These are – in contrast to a monovolume – no longer full seats. An emergency solution. The trunk has also shrunk somewhat compared to that of the predecessor (which was less spacious than its predecessors). With a load volume of at least 581 liters, you will not be short of anything in the five-seater. For the version with the extra seats in the back, that volume drops to 477 liters. If those seats are also in use, then 179 liters remain. In other words: the trunk volume of a Fiat 500.
If you could ever get the Espace with a creamy V6, times have changed considerably. Renault is introducing the sixth-generation Espace with a hybrid set-up consisting of a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo petrol that can spar with two electric motors. The result is a system power of a hefty 200 hp, while a battery of 2 kWh ensures short electrical journeys. With a standard consumption of 4.6 l/100 km, this is also the most economical Espace ever on petrol. Thanks to its new chassis, it is also an impressive 215 kilograms lighter than its predecessor.
It does not stop there in terms of drive news, because Renault is also bringing its 4Control to this Espace. This is probably standard except on the entry-level version and ensures that the rear wheels turn a bit to reduce the turning circle in cities or to provide more stability at high speeds. Renault immediately opens the order books for the sixth generation Espace. Is such an Austral just a bit too small for you? You know what to buy!
Leave a Reply