French Revolution Continues: Renault Espace

When it comes to MPVs, Renault, at one point, had 5 different models in its product range, including Modus, Scenic, Avantime, Espace, and VelSatis. Among these, Avantime was a 2-door MPV-coupe, while VelSatis surprised everyone as an upper-segment MPV model. Now, MPV models are gradually disappearing, losing their popularity to SUVs. They either bid farewell or continue their existence as SUVs. Another French manufacturer, Peugeot, transformed the 3008 and 5008 from MPVs to SUVs. In the northeastern part of the border, the German manufacturer Opel turned the Zafira model into a commercial vehicle (minibus). After bidding farewell to the Scenic, Renault, with its only remaining MPV model, the Espace, has decided to turn it into an SUV.

Actually an elongated version of the Austral, the Espace has a raised body compared to its predecessor. With a longer wheelbase for the 3rd-row seats compared to its sibling Austral, the Espace has a longer body length; however, it is 14 cm shorter than its MPV version. Sporting Renault’s current C-shaped headlight design, the model resembles its siblings with the protrusion of the hood caused by the large and new logo that conceals driving safety systems. Featuring a large front grille, the model has an aggressive design with a wide lower grille design reminiscent of sports cars and a lower lip at the very bottom. The muscular hood line supports the sporty appearance, while the plastic protectors above the fenders emphasize the SUV look of the vehicle.

Similar to other Renault models, the fender line starting from the rear door, combined with the rising window line behind the rear glass, results in wider hips for the vehicle, serving as another element supporting its sporty design. The design continues with large wheels and a shark-fin antenna, and when you move to the back of the vehicle, Renault’s design language persists. The C-shaped taillights, nearly converging at the upper light line, are interrupted by the logo that moves beneath the model name and plate, and the fake air vents on the edges of the bumper. Espace, with its unique design elements, continues Renault’s distinctive design language and shapes up to be a quite stylish SUV.

Featuring a 2-spoke steering wheel, a large digital instrument cluster, and a vertically oriented infotainment screen, the Espace positions this screen towards the driver and adds physical shortcut buttons underneath. Renault brings the engine start button to the steering wheel and incorporates the gear lever function into a lever previously used for wiping the windshield. With a high central console adding a large wrist rest, Renault also moves the ventilation grilles in front of the front passenger. The design, enhanced with large chrome details on the doors, looks very elegant.

While the front seat headrests, designed like they came from space, look stylish, their placement in the second row could be a hindrance to rear visibility. The sliding second-row seats also allow for adjusting the inclination of the seatbacks. Although the front design language continues here, the trunk capacity is reduced to 159 liters when the vehicle is configured with 7 seats due to the 14 cm shortened body. The enormous panoramic sunroof is one of the largest single-piece sunroofs on the market, adding a sense of spaciousness to the interior.

Equipped with current safety features and technologies, the Espace, like its Nissan-branded sibling, the X-Trail, will offer features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and emergency braking system. In addition to X-Trail, the model will also have a 4-wheel steering system, reducing the turning radius from 11.1 meters in the X-Trail to 10.4 meters, which is the same as Renault’s compact model, the Clio. What are your thoughts on the new Espace?

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