Renault Espace: 7-Seat SUV Replacing Iconic Minivan

Esprit Alpine: Exclusive Design Upgrades

An undeniable symbol among minivans, the Espace has been transporting families throughout Europe since 1984. Although its prior editions were a combined effort between Renault and Matra, it wasn’t until 2002 that the fourth-generation model emerged – the first to be actively created and produced exclusively by Renault. After having a lifespan of thirteen years, its fourth generation was eventually replaced with a more crossover-like design in 2015. Now entering its sixth cycle, it is largely forsaking all the typical minivan qualities.

Essentially, it’s a lengthy edition of the Austral small SUV with some insignificant alterations to its look. Different to the norm, where vehicles usually become larger and gain weight, the novel Espace ignores that tendency since it is 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) shorter and 474 pounds (215 kilograms) lighter compared to its forerunner van. Moreover, it stands 1.25 inches (32 millimeters) lower and presents a roomier third-row, although you can also opt for it with merely five chairs.

The spacious cargo space of the Renault can be easily reached through the electric tailgate. With a maximum capacity of 64.2 cubic feet (1,818 liters) when only the five back seats are occupied, this vehicle allows for lots of storage possibilities. When all seven places are filled, volume available still amounts to 5.6 cubic feet (159 liters). Moreover, it is worth mentioning that by pushing all the rear seats towards the front, a capacity of 27.4 cubic feet (777 liters) is reached. Finally, with its 1.37 cubic feet (39 liters) at different spots in the cabin, users can store their smaller items efficiently.

The interior of the cabin is made to appear even more expansive with the addition of a colossal glass roof having dimensions of 1.33m x 0.84m. Depending on your chosen trim, wheel size either 19 or 20 inches are attainable. The top-tier Esprit Alpine is set atop every other version: Techno as standard and Iconic as mid-level. Even with just the base trim you’ll still have access to a 12.3″ digital instrument cluster and a 12″ touchscreen; if extra features are desired there’s an additional 9.3″ head-up display for purchase. To make sure your devices don’t ever go dead, two USB-C ports come supplied in each row, alongside a wireless charging pad and a pair of normal 12V sockets.

Notably absent in the powertrain portfolio of the all-new Espace is a diesel model. Instead, consumers can opt for a turbocharged 1.3-liter petrol unit, accompanied by two electric motors – one being the starter generator. All three components together make the total output to 199hp. The gasoline unit alone offers 131hp and 205Nm of torque while the main electric motor generates 68hp and 205Nm of twisting force. What’s more, the secondary e-motor supplies 25hp and 50Nm.

Through the adoption of a hybrid power train, the French make guarantees to reduce fuel usage by an incredible 40 percent, with a fuel economy now standing at 4.7 L/100 km and CO2 levels estimated at 105 g/km. Because of the intention of efficient travel and not focusing on max speed with the minivan, beating records at the Nürburgring won’t be plausible in the new Espace. However, 0-62 mph (100 km/h) can be achieved in 8.8 seconds and maximum speed has been limited to 109 mph (175 km/h).

Apart from boasting an advanced multi-link rear suspension, the Espace has another advantage over other SUVs of its type. It’s blessed with rear wheel steering which shrinks the turning circuit down to a Clio-like 10.4 meters. Without this system, that number would reach 11.6 meters. It functions by steering the back wheels up to five degrees opposite the front at velocities as high as 31 mph (50 km/h). If you hit higher speeds, then the back wheels will follow by instigating a 1 degree turn in the same direction as the front in order to enhance stability.

Starting this spring, Renault will be taking orders for the brand-new Espace. This isn’t the only minivan making a transition into an SUV; the Scenic will follow suit in 2024, however exclusively in an electric version.

Source: Renault

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