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If you are like me, and simply love the Renault Espace, you’ll be sad to know that from 2011 it ceased production in favour of newer, more innovative MPVs better suited to the changing and demanding needs of mums on the go.
The Espace has been referred to in the past as the world’s first MPV, a term which Renault has affectionately encouraged over the years. The first Espace was originally designed back in the 1970s and finally went into production in 1984. Since then, four generations of the popular people carrier have been produced, all enjoying much success within the MPV world.
Designed as a large 7-seater MPV, the Renault Espace and the Renault Grand Espace (a long-wheel base version of the same car), monopolised the market for their innovative and ground breaking space and versatility. The Renault Grand Espace was able to offer increased leg and head room for passengers as well as a large boot capacity, something which still remains very rare in present day 7-seater MPV cars.
The fourth generation Renault Espace arrived in 2003 and was an entirely Renault-developed product. It was designed to be 90 per cent recyclable and contained numerous weight-reducing materials which helped towards the reduction of fuel consumption, catapulting it to the forefront of the market for those families looking for a cheap to buy and cheap to run car.
So, what went wrong for the Renault Espace? One of the main reasons for its demise was due to the fact that it simply did not cut the mustard in comparison to the latest MPVs to hit the market. New models such as the Citroen C4 Picasso and the Volkswagen Touran were taking the lead when it came to technology, engine efficiency and the level of comfort and practicality offered. Prices for the Renault Espace were also far too high.
Although the Renault Espace offered a selection of smooth and potent diesel engines and a futuristic interior, it still contained a very dated arrangement of seats. Whilst the ‘slide and lock’ system worked well, it remains impossible to get a level load space unless you remove the seats entirely from the vehicle which proves awkward and heavy work. It also does not contain any sliding doors, a feature which is expected as standard on most MPVs to hit the current market.
But although we say a sad farewell to production of the Renault Espace, there are still plenty of excellent quality used Renault Espace cars available on the market which offer a range of superb diesel engines and high safety standards. So, if you’re looking for a second-hand car, why not check out the Renault Espace – its low residual values mean you’ll benefit from a great car if you’re on a budget.